French Institute of Higher Defence Studies High-level Delegation Visits India

A high-level delegation from the French Institute of Higher Defence Studies (IHEDN) has concluded its international study trip in India, undertaken from March 16 to 26.

A public institution under the direct charge of the Prime Minister, the IHEDN is tasked with conducting training and awareness sessions on defence, security, foreign policy, armaments and defence economics for high-ranking civilian as well as military personnel.

Lieutenant General Bernard de Courreges d’Ustou, IHEDN Director, led the 104-member strong delegation of auditors of the IHEDN’s 69th national session on defence policy. The purpose of this visit was for the auditors to gain insights into India’s perspectives on major regional as well as international issues. The delegation’s India programme took it to Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.

In the course of stay, the IHEDN delegation participated in a conference by Mr Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, on strategic and bilateral issues. The delegation members also held discussions with their counterparts at the National Defence College, as well as with officials of the Integrated Defence Staff. Round-tables with think-tanks USI, NMF, CAPS, CLAWS, IDSA and Gateway House provided them with further opportunities for in-depth exchanges of views.

The delegation had the privilege of being received at the Western Naval Command in Mumbai. The members also visited various industrial and military complexes, including those of Mazagon Dock Shipyard, L&T, CapGemini, Renault, St Gobain, Engine Factory Avadi, Sanofi, and Suez-Bhandup.

French Institute of Higher Defence Studies (IHEDN), established in 1948, brings together high-level managers from the civil service, military as well as various business sectors in France, the European Union and other countries with the aim of expanding their shared knowledge on defence, security, foreign policy, armaments and defence economics issues. It conceives and conducts tailor-made training programmes that include modules on decision making “scenario exercises” in a strategic environment and the collective writing of “position papers”.

From 1980 onwards, IHEDN’s training programmes have incorporated an “international session”, which is organised with the Security and Defence Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The high rank of the participants – high-level civil servants, general and flag officers, ambassadors, academics, journalists, corporate executives – ensures the optimisation of IHEDN’s outreach.

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