Ambassador Asoke Kumar Mukerji
Ambassador, Asoke Kumar Mukerji, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations
Asoke Kumar Mukerji assumed office as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations in April 2013. Prior to his assignment in New York, Ambassador Mukerji was Special Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, responsible for political issues.
During his 36-year professional career in the Indian Foreign Service, Ambassador Mukerji has served in London, India's largest and oldest diplomatic representation (from 2007-2010 as Acting/Deputy High Commissioner); Moscow (from 2001-2005 as Deputy Chief of Mission, overseeing the acquisition of state-of-the art air, land and sea defence systems by India's armed forces); Washington DC (from 1987-1990, as Political Officer and Special Assistant to the Ambassador).
He has been India's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Kazakhstan (2005-2007), successfully negotiating the acquisition of India's first Caspian Sea oilfield. He opened and headed India's embassies as Charge d'affaires in the newly independent Central Asian states of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan in 1992. He was Consul General of India in Soviet Central Asia from 1990-1992.
As Consul General of India in Dubai, India's largest Consular Post, from 1998-2001, he introduced the first ever public-private partnership welfare scheme for the 1 million Indian workers in the UAE.
In the Ministry of External Affairs, Ambassador Mukerji has been responsible for India's foreign policy planning and review, participation in international organizations, border management, and cyber issues as Additional Secretary 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.
He was Chairman of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Steering Committee that established the South Asia Forum, 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.
During his earlier assignments in the Ministry, he has worked in the Soviet/East European and Central Asian Divisions. He has been the Executive Assistant to the External Affairs Minister from 1985-1987, and Chef de Cabinet of the Minister of State for External Affairs from 1993-1995.
Ambassador Mukerji has extensive experience of international trade policy and law, having been commended by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body for his "unsurpassed" knowledge of WTO issues. He was Chairman of the WTO's Committee on Specific Commitments under the GATS in 1997. He was India's negotiator for integrating textiles into world trade, and the liberalization of financial services, telecom services, and maritime transport services in the World Trade Organization from 1995-1998. He has represented India in 11 trade disputes adjudicated by the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO, as complainant, respondent and third party. His articles on WTO issues have been published by reputed academic journals in London, Geneva and Moscow.
He has published five books, Stamped in Memory: a Postal History of Dubai 1909-1999, Dubai, 2001 ; India through the eyes of Russian Artists, Moscow, 2004; India House, London, London, 2009; Mahatma Gandhi in London, London, 2010 ; Valour and Sacrifice: the First Indian Soldiers in Europe 1914-1916, London, 2010.
Ambassador Mukerji has been a public speaker at the United States Foreign Service Institute; the Institute for Oriental Studies in Moscow; the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies in Almaty; the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and St Andrews in the UK; the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London; the University of Rochester and the Harvard Kennedy School in the USA.
Born in December 1955, and educated at North Point School, Darjeeling and St Stephen's College, Delhi, Ambassador Mukerji is married to Vanita Singh Mukerji, a Slavist and freelance writer.