Asoke Kumar Mukerji

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Asoke Kumar Mukerji
Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations
In office
April 2013 – December 2015
Preceded byHardeep Singh Puri
Succeeded bySyed Akbaruddin [1]
Special Secretary (Political matters) in
Ministry of External Affairs at New Delhi
In office
February 2012 – March 2013
Additional Secretary (Foreign policy planning & review) in
Ministry of External Affairs at New Delhi
In office
2010–2012
Deputy High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom
In office
2007–2010
Preceded byRanjan Mathai
Succeeded byRajesh N Prasad
Personal details
BornDecember 1955 (age 63)
Kolkata, India
OccupationDiplomat (IFS)

Asoke Kumar Mukerji (born December 1955) is a former Indian diplomat and writer. He was Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations from April 2013 to December 2015.[2][3]

Early life and education[edit]

Mukerji was educated at North Point School, Darjeeling and St. Stephen's College, Delhi.[2]

Diplomatic career[edit]

Mukerji qualified for the Indian Foreign Service, which he joined in July 1978.

His early diplomatic career took him to Belgrade and Washington DC. He became Consul General of India in Soviet Central Asia in June 1990, and helped transform India's relations with the five newly independent countries of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan during the momentous period of transition following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. During March 1992 to December 1992, he was India's first Charge d'affaires in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.[2] Mukerji is actively interested in Central Asian affairs. In July 2012, he articulated a forward-looking view on interaction with Central Asia in an address at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London.

Mukerji worked as a trade negotiator in the newly formed World Trade Organization between 1995-98. He was among the first Indian officials tasked with representing India in trade disputes involving India brought before the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism. The WTO Dispute Settlement Body in its meeting on 21 October 1998 recognized his "knowledge of the WTO issues was unsurpassed" while approving his inclusion in the Indicative List of Panelists for Dispute Settlement.[4] Mukerji's article "Developing Countries and the WTO: Issues of Implementation" published in 2000 [5] has been widely used in the context of the Doha Development Round of trade negotiations.

He is credited with the formation of the first private-public partnership Indian Community Welfare Committee in the United Arab Emirates during his assignment as Consul General of India in Dubai (1998-2001).[6] This platform, under the patronage of the Government of India, brought together stakeholders from the private sector, public undertakings, and individual civil society representatives, including women social workers, to deal with issues facing Indian nationals in distress.

Mukerji was India's Deputy Ambassador to the Russian Federation between 2001-2005. He was responsible for the implementation of projects inducting modern defence systems into the three wings of India's armed forces during his assignment, including the T-90 main battle tank,[7] and the Su-30MKI fighter aircraft.

As India's Ambassador to Kazakhstan (2005-2007), Mukerji negotiated the acquisition of India's first Caspian Sea oilfield stake (Satpayev) in 2005 by Indian Government-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.[8]

Between 2007-10, Mukerji was India's Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom at London, which is India's oldest and largest diplomatic mission.[2]

Mukerji was responsible for India's foreign policy planning and review, participation in international organizations, border management, and cyber issues as Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs from 2010-2012. He headed the Government of India's multi-agency counter terrorism working groups with foreign countries, including with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and co-chaired the India-EU Security Dialogue.[2] He led Indian delegations for dialogues on cyber issues with the United States, United Kingdom,[9] Russia and Japan[10] between 2011-2012.

He was Chairman of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Steering Committee that established the South Asia Forum,[11] tasked with implementing a South Asian Economic Union by the SAARC Summit in Maldives in 2011. He has worked closely with Indian and international think-tanks on foreign policy issues related to major transitions in India's immediate neighbourhood.[2]

At the United Nations[edit]

Mukerji spearheaded India's campaign in the United Nations General Assembly mandated Inter-Governmental Negotiations for expanding and reforming the United Nations Security Council, catalyzing the consensus United Nations General Assembly Decision 69/560 of 14 September 2015 adopting a text-based negotiation process after 23 years of discussions.[12][13][14][15] He projected the interests of India as a major troop-contributing country to United Nations peacekeeping operations.[16][17][18] During United Nations negotiations on Agenda 2030, Mukerji advocated strongly for the greater use of technology, especially information and communication technology, to accelerate development.[19][20][21][22] The outcome of the United Nations process on Financing for Development reflected the acceptance of this proposal by the establishment of a Technology Facilitation Mechanism.[23] The Review of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) by the United Nations General Assembly endorsed accelerating the use of ICTs for development, including bridging the digital divides.[24]

During a review in the United Nations on the future role of UN peacekeeping, Mukerji raised greater awareness of the need to recognize the value and role of troops sent by UN member states for peacekeeping operations. In July 2014, the United Nations agreed, after protracted negotiations which had dragged on for almost ten years, on increasing the monthly reimbursements to troops deployed on United Nations peacekeeping operations through a survey mechanism of troop contributing countries. Consequently, the rate reimbursed for each soldier deployed for UN peacekeeping rose from US$1028 per month to US$1332 per month, and would rise up to US$1410 per month by 2017.[25] India became the first UN troop contributing country to create a Virtual Wall in honor of her fallen UN peacekeepers, which was launched by Mukerji at the United Nations on 29 May 2015.[26] The proposal by India for the establishment of a Memorial Wall at the United Nations Headquarters to honor the more than 3300 soldiers who have laid down their lives during UN peacekeeping operations was recommended by the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations in its report A/69/19 (Para 19), and adopted by the UN General Assembly in June 2015. Participating in the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping on 28 September 2015, Prime Minister Modi called for this memorial wall to be created quickly, affirming India's readiness to contribute, including financially, towards this objective.[27]

Mukerji crafted the successful campaign in the United Nations General Assembly to have a Resolution adopted by consensus to declare 21 June of every year as the International Day of Yoga , implementing a proposal made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to the United Nations General Assembly on 27 September 2014.[28] The Resolution moved by India attracted a record number of 177 co-sponsoring countries, and was tabled, negotiated and adopted between 27 September 2014 and 11 December 2014, making it one of the fastest initiatives of its kind to be implemented in the United Nations General Assembly.[29] The United Nations commemoration of the First International day of Yoga was held outdoors on 21 June 2015 with the active participation of the UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, and beamed live for the thousands of yoga practitioners gathered at the iconic Times Square in the heart of Manhattan, symbolically linking the activities of the United Nations with the wider world.[30]

His contributions to the work of the United Nations during his assignment were positively assessed, especially by his peers.[31]

Public Speaking[edit]

Mukerji has been a public speaker at the Universities of Cambridge,[32] Oxford, Harvard,[33] Columbia,[34] Princeton,[35] Rochester,[36] Dartmouth College,[37] at the London Conference on Cyberspace [38] and at the public commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter in San Francisco.[39][40]

Mukerji is a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, London, the United Service Institution (USI), India and the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA),India. He is also a mentor to the Centre for Strategic and Foreign Relations at Vision India Foundation.[41]

Works[edit]

Asoke Kumar Mukerji has published seven books.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 February 2016. Retrieved 2016-02-07.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Ambassador's profile, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations". Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Permanent Representatives of India to the United Nations". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  4. ^ Minutes of WTO Dispute Settlement Body Meeting No. WT/DSB/M/48, p.19
  5. ^ Asoke, Mukerji (1 December 2000). "Developing Countries and the WTO; Issues of Implementation". Journal of World Trade. 34 (6).
  6. ^ "'ICWC has so far handled 47 Diya money cases since inception and hope…". 19 January 2015. Archived from the original on 19 January 2015.
  7. ^ "First Batch Of Russian T-90 Tanks Delivered To India". 3 January 2002.
  8. ^ "Deferred expectations from Kazakhstani shelf". investkz.com.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 2015-12-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "MOFA: The 1st Meeting of Japan-India Cyber Dialogue". www.mofa.go.jp.
  11. ^ http://mea.gov.in/in-focus-article.htm?3048/Foreign+Secretarys+media+interaction+during+curtain+raiser+for+1st+meeting+of+SAF
  12. ^ "General Assembly Adopts, without Vote, 'Landmark' Decision on Advancing Efforts to Reform, Increase Membership of Security Council — Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". www.un.org.
  13. ^ "India calls for more transparency, reforms in UN Security Council — Firstpost". www.firstpost.com.
  14. ^ Borger, Julian; Inzaurralde, Bastien; Levett, Cath; Newell, Chris; Sheehy, Finbarr; Maynard, Phil; Borger, Julian; Inzaurralde, Bastien; Levett, Cath; Newell, Chris; Sheehy, Finbarr; Maynard, Phil. "Vetoed! What's wrong with the UN security council – and how it could do better" – via www.theguardian.com.
  15. ^ "Paralysis over Syria builds pressure for reform at United Nations".
  16. ^ "Ambassador's Speeches". Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  17. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/17/un-united-nations-peacekeepers-rwanda-bosnia
  18. ^ McGreal, Chris (7 September 2015). "70 years and half a trillion dollars later: what has the UN achieved?". the Guardian.
  19. ^ "Inclusive growth should be guiding objective of UNDP: India". 16 January 2018 – via The Economic Times.
  20. ^ "UN Agenda Should Ensure Developed Nations' Accountability: India".
  21. ^ "The SDG Agenda".
  22. ^ India at United Nations (16 October 2015). "Ambassador Asoke K. Mukerji's Interview with All India Radio" – via YouTube.
  23. ^ United Nations A/RES/69/313 paras G.114 and G.123 dated 17 August 2015
  24. ^ United Nations A/70/L.33 dated 13 December 2015
  25. ^ "Concluding Second Resumed Session, Fifth Committee Approves Texts on Peacekeeping Budget, Increasing Troop Reimbursement Rates — Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". www.un.org.
  26. ^ Ians (30 May 2015). "India unveils virtual memorial wall for fallen UN peacekeepers" – via www.thehindu.com.
  27. ^ "India's commitment to UN Peacekeeping remains strong and will grow: PM Modi at the Summit on Peace Operations".
  28. ^ https://www.un.org/en/ga/69/meetings/gadebate/27sep/india.shtml |
  29. ^ "UN declares June 21 as 'International Day of Yoga'". 11 December 2014 – via The Economic Times.
  30. ^ Section, United Nations News Service (21 June 2015). "UN News — Celebrating first International Day, UN says Yoga can boost public health and promote peaceful relations". UN News Service Section.
  31. ^ IANS (31 January 2016). "Thanks to Mukerji, serious negotiations on Security Council to begin" – via Business Standard.
  32. ^ "What's On: What's On". www.admin.cam.ac.uk.
  33. ^ "Amb. Asoke Kumar Mukerji — India Conference at Harvard". 9 January 2014.
  34. ^ "Intellectuals pay rich tribute to Ambedkar at Columbia University". 29 October 2013.
  35. ^ https://www.ias.edu/files/pdfs/publications/annualreport1314.pdf
  36. ^ College, St John Fisher. "Home — News and Events — St. John Fisher College".
  37. ^ "Amb. Asoke Kumar Mukerji: Transforming India: Development and Diplomacy — Dartmouth College". dartmouth.edu.
  38. ^ "London Conference on Cyberspace: Chair's statement — GOV.UK". www.gov.uk.
  39. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-01.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  40. ^ https://www.pminewyork.org/speeches.php
  41. ^ "Team". Vision India Foundation. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  42. ^ Reporter, A Staff (1 October 2001). "Book on stamps released".
  43. ^ "Celebrating London's India House Art". www.khabar.com.
  44. ^ http://webtv.un.org/watch/war-memorials-of-the-first-world-war-special-commemorative-event/3732679115001?page=2
  45. ^ https://www.pminewyork.org/slide_book/rvsd1_ind_un_70/