Chamber House talk: ‘From Verwoerd to Mbeki’

2011-02-22 00:00

THE South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) has invited Tom Wheeler, its research associate, to deliver a talk entitled “From Verwoerd to Mbeki, 50 Years, 50 Slides, 50 Minutes”.

Wheeler graduated from the University of Stellenbosch in 1959 and after a year as a government translator joined the South African Foreign Service in 1961.

His 42-year career saw him serving in Washington, Blantyre, London, Sydney, in New York as consul-general and in Ankara as ambassador to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Between 1990 and 1997 he was closely involved in the process of transition to democracy, the transformation of the foreign service, and South Africa’s return to the United Nations and other multilateral organisations.

Between 1993 and 1997 he was chief director of global security and disarmament and arms control, among others.

Wheeler led the South African delegation to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Extension and Review Conference in 1995 and the Antarctic Treaty Conference in Kyoto.

He was a member of President Mandela’s delegation to the UN General Assembly when South Africa resumed its seat after a 20-year absence.

After his return from Turkey, he served as chief director, Latin America, in Foreign Affairs from 2001 to 2003.

Wheeler has been with the SAIIA since 2003.

He and two former colleagues in Foreign Affairs have compiled the me­moirs of people who served in the department during the troubled years between 1966 and 1995.

The talk takes place on March 1 at Chamber House at the Royal Showgrounds at 12.30 pm.

To book, call Lorna Jones at 033 345 2747.

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