India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Syed Akbaruddin retired on Thursday. Bidding adieu to António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the UN via video conferencing, he extended him a Namaste. Akbaruddin was appointed to the post on November 16, 2015, and is known to be one of the finest Indian diplomats. He will be succeeded by another seasoned diplomat TS Tirumurti, currently serving as Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs Ministry.
Posting a video of his conversation with the UN chief on Twitter, Akbaruddin said that it is time for him to 'bow out'. He said that before leaving he would make only one demand from the chief. "Before I leave secretary-general I have one small last request. And that request is in the Indian tradition when we leave or when we meet we don't say hello, or shake hands, we say Namaste, so before it ends, I want to say Namaste to you and if you can reciprocate."
Time to bow out, with the usualðð½ pic.twitter.com/BM6m7j7qQW— Syed Akbaruddin (@AkbaruddinIndia) April 30, 2020
The Indian ambassador Syed Akbaruddin had a noteworthy career at the UN, with many feathers on his hat including when 26/11 mastermind Masood Azhar was designated as a global terrorist. Last year, he punctured all attempts of Pakistan to raise the Kashmir issue at the United Nations after the abrogation of Article 370 by the taking-on-all-comers approach and exposing Pakistan's fake news.
It was during Syed Akbaruddin's tenure that India created history at the United Nations in 2017 by winning a fiercely-fought electoral contest against its former colonial ruler Britain for the re-election of Justice Dalveer Bhandari at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague.
A 1985-batch Indian Foreign Service officer, Tirumurti will succeed Syed Akbaruddin, a prominent face in Indian diplomacy who is credited with successfully presenting the country's position at the global body on a range of key issues for last several years. Tirumurti is serving as Secretary, Economic Relations at the ministry's headquarters in Delhi.
The government has also appointed senior diplomat Namrata S Kumar as India's next ambassador to Slovenia, while Jaideep Mazumdar goes to Austria as the country's next envoy. Joint Secretary in the ministry Deepak Mittal was appointed as the Ambassador of India to Qatar. Another senior diplomat, Piyush Srivastava, has been appointed as India's next Ambassador to Bahrain.