Between 1976 and 1978 Dr Kerim was a member of the Presidency of the Youth Federation of Yugoslavia and President of the Foreign Policy Committee. In 1986 he was appointed as Minister of Foreign Economic Relations in the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and served in this position until 1989.
Dr Kerim also represented the Republic of Macedonia as Ambassador to Germany (1994-2000), to Switzerland and Liechtenstein (1995-2000).
Dr Kerim’s first duty related to multilateral diplomacy was Advisor to the President of the Sixth Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD VI), held in 1983 in Belgrade.
From 1988 to 1991 he served as Deputy Minister and Spokesman of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in charge of multilateral affairs (including participation in the UN, G-77 and Non-Aligned Movement activities).
In 1990 he was part of the team responsible for preparation and participation at the first OSCE conference on economic cooperation, held in Bonn.
He also took part in the negotiations with EU (then EC) on the Association Agreement between Yugoslavia and EU (1989-91).
During his tenure as Ambassador in Germany he also served as Special Envoy of Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe (1999-2000).
From 2000 to 2001 Dr Kerim was Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia, in which capacity he also served as Chairman of Southeastern European Cooperation Initiative (2000-2001). During this period the Republic of Macedonia signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU.
He then became Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Macedonia to the United Nations (2001-2003) during which time he served as Vice-chairman both of the International Conference on Financing for Development (Monterrey, 2002) and of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 2002). In addition, he was a member of the group of facilitators to the President of the Fifty-sixth UN General Assembly, focusing on UN reform, and was a co-organizer of the Regional Forum on Dialogue of the Civilizations (Ohrid, 2003).
From 2007 to 2008 Dr Kerim was President of the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. During his term the Assembly focused on the following issues: Responding to Climate Change, Financing for Development, Implementing the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Advancing United Nations Reform and Following up on measures to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
Between 2008 and 2009 he was Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General on Climate Change.
Since 2008 Dr Kerim is a member of the Council of Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly.