“Syed Akbaruddin, (IFS:1985), currently additional secretary in the ministry, has been appointed as the next ambassador/permanent representative of India to the United Nations in New York,” an official statement said. Akbaruddin will be replacing Asoke Kumar Mukherjee, who will be retiring. As India’s Permanent Representative to the global body in New York, Akbaruddin’s main task would be to push for India’s bid to gain permanent membership of the UN Security Council as well as to strongly advocate its position on key issues.
Akbaruddin was Chief Coordinator of the recently-held Indo-Africa Summit here which was participated by heads of state and government of 41 countries from African continent. After completing a very successful term as the External Affairs Ministry spokesperson in April this year, Akbaruddin was slated to go to Geneva as India’s permanent representative to the UN offices there. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi handpicked Akbaruddin to be the chief coordinator of the IAFS, a mega event that was attended by all the 54 countries of Africa. The event went off smoothly with all visiting dignitaries praising the way it was organised.
The permanent Representative or the UN ambassador is the head of a diplomatic mission of a country to the United Nations. Akbaruddin’s role as the permanent representative would be to propagate for India’s bid to have permanent membership of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and also put forth India’s opinion on different international issues.
The senior diplomat and former high-profile spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry, is currently serving as an Additional Secretary in MEA, is credited with bringing a whiff of fresh air into the Ministry’s External Publicity division during his three-and-half year tenure as the spokesperson. He had also brought an effective mix of social and digital media into the External Publicity division.
He had served at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Geneva and is considered an “expert” on the West Asia where he had served in various capacities. Vikas Swarup, author of best-selling novel Q&A which formed the basis for Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire, had replaced Akbaruddin as MEA spokesperson in April.
Abaruddin passed out as an Indian Foreign Service officer in 1985. He is considered an expert on India’s foreign policies in West Asia. He was appointed as an official of the Ministry of External Affairs in India in 2011 Prior to that, he was on deputation for four years At the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. He was serving as an Additional Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs Most recently, he headed the External Publicity and Public Diplomacy division of the ministry and has also introduced social media to attract public feedback
The UN, which completed its 70th birthday this year, decided to have text-based negotiations with all 193-member countries for reforms and expansion of the UN Security Council for the first time ever. As India’s UN Ambassador, Akbaruddin will be tasked with pushing India’s bid for a permanent position in the UN Security Council.