New Delhi: Senior diplomat and former high- profile spokesperson of the External Affairs Ministry Syed Akbaruddin has been appointed as India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, succeeding Asoke Mukerji.
A 1985 batch IFS officer, Akbaruddin, 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.
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.
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.
Later Akbaruddin said it is a privilege and honour to serve India at the UN.
"Am humbled. Thank u for all the good wishes. will strive to do my best," he tweeted.