United Nations, Jan 26: Senior diplomat Syed Akbaruddin has presented his credentials as India's new permanent representative to the United Nations to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Receiving the credentials yesterday, Ban welcomed his appointment as the top Indian diplomat to the UN and appreciated the significant role India plays at the powerful world body as a long-trusted partner of multilateral system.
The former high-profile spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs reiterated India's commitment to the UN and assured the secretary general of his support in helping the UN achieve its ideals and priorities Ban had set out at for 2016, including that of Agenda 2030 and the quest for peaceful political solutions for all problems, an official statement said.
Akbaruddin, India's 21st Permanent Representative at the UN, succeeds Asoke Mukerji who demitted office on December 31. Prior to this appointment, Akbaruddin was the chief coordinator of the India-Africa Forum Summit -- a milestone event with participation of all 54 African states held in October 2015 in New Delhi. Immediately before that, he was the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs from 2012 to 2015. He is known for his effective use of social media for diplomacy outreach.
A 1985-batch Foreign Service official, he has represented India's interests in various capacities, promoting friendly ties across the globe. He has also served as an international civil-servant at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna from 2006-2011. In that capacity, he worked as Head of External Relations and Policy Coordination Unit and also as the Special Assistant to the Director-General of the IAEA.
Akbaruddin had previously served at the Indian Mission to the United Nations as First Secretary during 1995-98 and focused on the UN Security Council Reform and Peace-Keeping. He was a member of the Advisory Committee on Administrative & Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) during 1997-98.
He has also served as Counsellor at the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. He is proficient in Arabic. During 2000-2004, he was the Consul-General of India, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, and prior to that he was the First Secretary in Riyadh and Second Secretary/Third Secretary in Cairo, Egypt. In his first few speeches soon after this arrival early this month, Akbaruddin urged the UN to show a common resolve to rise above semantic definitional differences and work on the long overdue Comprehensive Convention on International terrorism.