European Union

H.E. Mr. Gerton van den Akker, Chief of Staff, Head of Coordination, and Press & Information Section at the European Union Delegation to the United Nations in New York

Gerton van den Akker graduated from Radbound University Njimegen in the Netherlands with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1988. He went on to earn a Master’s degree from Radbound University Njimegen in Public Administration and Management Services in 1993.

Mr. van den Akker then began a decorated career in policy in 1994 starting at the UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency) as a Field Officer. In 1996 he joined the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as an Associate Professional Officer. He worked as a Policy Adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands focusing on financial affairs, HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, and United Nations reform.

He moved to New York City in 2002 to work as a Senior Policy Specialist at the United Nations Development Group Office. He then moved to Brussels, Belgium to serve as the First Embassy Secretary on Political Affairs as a member of the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands to NATO. After briefly working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs back in the Netherlands, he returned to New York so serve as an Adviser to the European Union Delegation to the United Nations. In 2014 Gerton van den Akker was named the Chief of Staff, Head of Coordination, and Press & Information Section at the European Union Delegation to the United Nations.

Mr. van den Akker is responsible for the functioning of the EU Delegation in New York. He works with other diplomatic missions to ensure a coordinated and strategic approach to the variety of issues his mission is faced with and serves as the final point of quality control on reports, speaking points, and statements for the Ambassador.

H.E. Mr. Thomas Mayr-Harting, former Ambassador of the European Union to the United Nations

Thomas Mayr-Harting is Managing Director for Europe and Central Asia in the European External Action Service since the end of 2015. He is a former Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations in New York (October 2011-December 2015) and had also served as Permanent Representative of Austria to the United Nations. In 2009 and 2010 he represented Austria on the UN Security Council, and in November 2009 he was President of the Security Council. He was also one of the Vice-Presidents of the 66th UN General Assembly.

Thomas Mayr-Harting joined the Austrian diplomatic service in 1979. In the course of his career he has worked, inter alia, at the Austrian Mission to the European Communities in Brussels, the Austrian Embassy in Moscow, the Private Office of the Austrian Foreign Minister and as Director for Security Policy and Policy Planning. Between 2003 and 2008 Thomas Mayr-Harting served as Director General for Political Affairs in the

Foreign Ministry of Austria. From 1999 to 2003 he was Austrian Ambassador to Belgium and Head of the Austrian Mission to NATO.

Thomas Mayr-Harting studied law at the University of Vienna. He is also an alumnus of the College of Europe (Promotion Karl Renner). In 1978, he was awarded the Diploma of The Hague Academy of International Law.

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