With 2016 set to be a crucial year for United Nations amid a host of festering crises in the world, India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin underlined New Delhi’s commitment to the UN-led diplomacy in achieving world peace and stability.
Mr Akbaruddin, a veteran diplomat who set new benchmarks in his previous role as spokesperson of India’s external affairs ministry, presented his credentials as the country’s new PR to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on January 25.
Mr Ban welcomed his appointment as the top Indian diplomat to the UN. He also appreciated the significant role India plays at the powerful world body as a long-trusted partner of multilateral system.
Mr Akbaruddin reiterated India’s commitment to the UN and assured the secretary general of his support in helping the UN achieve its ideals and priorities that Mr Ban had set out at for 2016 which include Agenda 2030 and the quest for peaceful political solutions for all problems, an official statement said.
In his remarks at the plenary, Mr Akbaruddin spoke about how 2015 was a path breaking year of multilateralism. With the adoption of landmark agreements such as ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, the ‘Addis Ababa Action Agenda’ and the ‘Paris Agreement’ under UNFCCC, he said 2016 would be important for the implementation of these historic decisions.
Mr Akbaruddin also made a strong case for the need to implement a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT). “We think it is time to have a closer look at what we can do more and do better together to build global norms to counter the common threat posed by terrorism and violent extremism,” he said. He expressed hope that the spirit of reform would percolate to areas that have remained insulated and hoped that the UN would move in the direction of becoming ‘fit for purpose’ in the 21st Century, in all its aspects.
Mr Akbaruddin is India’s 21st Permanent Representative at the UN. He succeeed Asoke Mukerji. During his tenure as the spokesperson of MEA, he was known for his sharp one-liners and effective use of social media for diplomacy outreach. He was the Chief Coordinator of the Third India-Africa Forum Summit held in October 2015 in New Delhi before taking charge as India’s PR to the UN in January this year.
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