Munir Akram

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Munir Akram
Gorntazy Group Ltd
Chairman
Incumbent
Assumed office
2008
Personal details
Born (1945-02-14) 14 February 1945 (age 69)
Karachi, Pakistan
Residence New York
Alma mater University of Karachi
Occupation Businessman (ex-diplomat)
Religion Islam

Munir Akram, HQA (Urdu: منير اکرم‎) (born 2 December 1945) was the Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations from 2002 to 2008. Following a regime change in 2008, Ambassador Akram stepped down to pursue a career in the private sector. He was replaced by Hussain Haroon, a politician and a non-career diplomat.[1]

Akram was accused of violence against his partner, Marijana Mihic, in December 2012 while serving as Pakistan's ambassador to the UN.[2] He was not charged with the crime due to his diplomatic immunity.

Early career[edit]

Munir Akram was born in Karachi, Sindh on 14 February 1945 to Mohammad Akram Shaikh and Mohsina Akram. He has a BA (1963), LLB (1965) and MA (1966) from University of Karachi. He then joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1967 where he had a distinguished diplomatic career spanning over 38 years. His assignments at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs include: Section o Officer (1967–1969), Director at the United Nations Directorate (1975–1979), Director General at the United Nations Directorate (1985–1988) and Additional Foreign Secretary, heading the UN Directorate and Economic Coordination Division (1992–1995).

Akram's designations at the Pakistan missions abroad include: Second Secretary, Pakistan Mission to the United Nations (1969–1974); Counsellor, Pakistan Mission to the United Nations Office at Geneva (1979–1982); and Minister, Embassy of Pakistan in Japan (1982–1985).

During this time, Akram's designations at the United Nations include: Chairman UN Committee for NGO's (1970); Chairman Special Group on 'Most Seriously Affected Countries' by the Oil Crisis at the UN General Assembly’s Special Session on "Raw Materials and Development" (1974); and chairman of the Group on Political Issues, International Women’s Conference, Nairobi (1985). As Vice Foreign Minister, Akram negotiated the Pakistan-India Treaty prohibiting attacks on nuclear facilities (1987).

Ambassadorial career[edit]

Munir Akram then was selected as the Pakistan Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and Luxembourg (1988–1992). After serving for a brief time in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, Akram was made Pakistan Ambassador to the United Nations Office at Geneva (1995–2002). There, he was the President of the Conference on Disarmament (June 1996); Chairman of the WTO Trade Policy Review Body (1997); and Chairman of the Group of 77 in Geneva (1997). Chairperson of the Working Party on the Accession of Oman to the WTO (2000).

In 2002, Munir Akram was appointed as Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations. Munir Akram has represented Pakistan in numerous United Nations bodies and international conferences, including the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council. At the UN, he was twice the President of the Security Council (May 2003 and May 2004); President of the Economic and Social Council (2005); Chairperson of the Working Party on the Accession of Saudi Arabia to WTO (2005); and Co-Chair for UN Management Reform (2005). President of the Group of 77 Developing Nations & China (2006).

Munir Akram is a prolific writer and has lectured widely on various strategic, political and economic issues. His most recent published work in 2011 is as a contributing authort to 'Pakistan – Beyond the Crisis State'. He has been awarded Hilal-i-Quaid-i-Azam[citation needed] by President of Pakistan for his selfless service and devotion to the country.

His forty years experience in the foreign service, his two terms as President of the UN Security Council, his presidency of the UN Economic and Social Council and his numerous top-level contacts with world leaders give him a unique practitioner's perspective on international affairs, global economic issues and Pakistan's foreign policy.

World leaders, friend and foe alike, hold him in great admiration for his honesty, competence and negotiation skills. He also has been viewed as one of the more colourful players in the world foreign policy arena. John Bolton, United States Ambassador to the UN (2005–2006), described him in his book 'Surrender is not an option' as "Munir Akram, the smooth-as-silk Pakistani Ambassador".

Charges of assault[edit]

In 2003, Akram's then girlfriend, Marijana Mihic, called the Manhattan Police to report Akram for violent assault against her. Her report included charges of previous incidents of violence.[3] Police in Manhattan did not arrest Akram due to his diplomatic immunity as the UN Ambassador. As a result, the State Department asked Pakistan to waive Akram's diplomatic immunity so he could be charged with misdemeanor assault on the woman.[3] Akram was not charged since Pakistan did not agree to waive his immunity.

Post-ambassadorial career[edit]

Since retiring from the diplomatic service in August 2008, Ambassador Akram operates a private advisory company, Gorntazy Group Ltd, whose strategic objective is to help its clients build relationships in the Middle East and Asia, particularly China, with a view of raising capital from these regions and promoting strong trade and economic links between investors, governments and Gorntazy's clients.

Gorntazy client list include leading financial groups within Private Equity, Hedge Funds and Real Estate. The Group also promotes many unique direct investment opportunities with a focus on natural resources and infrastructure. Gorntazy focuses its marketing on sovereign wealth funds, pension funds as well as targeted institutions/groups and high worth individuals within the GCC and Asia. Since inception, Ambassador Akram's company has achieved significant success in its objectives.

Ambassador Akram also uses his knowledge and relationships in the Middle East and Asia to examine and advise his clients on the political themes as well as economic and business trends in these regions that may impact their particular business activities there.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Qudssia Akhlaque. "Hussain Haroon to replace Munir Akram at UN" The News, 7 June 2008
  2. ^ "Pakistan ambassador in assault row". CNN. 8 January 2003. 
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Asks Pakistan to Lift U.N. Envoy's Immunity After a Violent Quarrel". The New York Times. 8 January 2003. 

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Shamshad Ahmad
Pakistan Ambassador to the United Nations
2002–2008
Succeeded by
Hussain Haroon