Narinder Kakar

  • Professor
  • Professor Emeritus, University for Peace

Mr. Narinder Kakar is accredited to the United Nations as the Permanent Observer of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s oldest and largest environmental network, dedicated to the cause of natural resources conservation.  Concurrently with IUCN representation, he has also served as the Permanent Observer of the United Nations mandated University for Peace (UPEACE).

Mr. Kakar has had extensive experience working for the United Nations.  Prior to joining IUCN and UPEACE, he served the UN Development Programme (UNDP) for over 30 years.  During his long and distinguished career with UNDP, he served in countries like Yemen, Guyana, Turkey, China and the Maldives with progressively increasing responsibilities, culminating in the position of UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative, in addition to serving in senior positions at UNDP Headquarters. 

During his long career with UNDP, his responsibilities included development and management of programs in human development and the broader aspect of sustainable development.  While in the Maldives in the mid-1990s, he was instrumental in co-sponsoring with the Government of Maldives the meeting of the IPCC in 1997, preparatory to the UNFCCC COP meeting in Kyoto, Japan.  Representing IUCN at the United Nations, Mr. Kakar has performed admirably to advocate the cause of environmental conservation and sustainable development.  He has had prominent roles in discussions related to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and in the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development and in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. He continues to participate actively in the discussions related to the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the formulation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will serve as a successor arrangement to MDGs. 

Recognizing his commitment to conservation causes, the American Museum of Natural History featured him prominently in the renovated Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall with an interview on the timeline of the conservation movement started by the 26th President of the United States.  Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton are the two prominent leaders interviewed for the same timeline.

Mr. Kakar has served on a number of boards: as Chairperson of the UN Joint Appeals Board; Chairman of the UN Federal Credit Union (a saving and loan institution with assets of over $ 4 billion currently); Member of the Board of Directors of the UN Joint Staff Pension Board (with assets of over $ 55 billion currently); and as a member of the Board of Directors of the International School of Beijing.  He currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Canadian Foundation for International Training.  He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Elizabeth Haub Foundation, dedicated to promoting the cause of environmental conservation.  He lectures extensively on issues related to the UN in general and to peace and conflict, as well as on sustainable development and Post-2015 Development Agenda. 

Mr. Kakar has written a number of articles and papers on socio-economic matters and has edited curriculum and training manuals on different aspects of peace education. 

Mr. Kakar secured his bachelor-level diploma after studying at Delhi Polytechnic and subsequently did his Diploma in Journalism from the Institute of Journalism in Delhi.  He secured his masters degree from the Haceteppe University in Turkey.  Subsequently, he was a Research Associate at Harvard University.

As Adjunct Professor, Mr. Kakar teaches the course on UN Environmental Diplomacy Practicum at Pace Law School.