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Humayun Rasheed Choudhury (Bangladesh)

Elected President of the forty-first session of the General Assembly

Photo of Humayun Rasheed Choudhury

Humayun Rasheed Choudhury (Bangladesh), who was elected President of the Forty-first session of the General Assembly has been his country's Foreign Minister since 3 July 1985.

Mr. Choudhury headed the delegation of Bangladesh to the thirty-ninth General Assembly session and, as one of the session's vice Presidents, presided over a number of plenary Meetings.

From July 1984, until his appointment as Foreign Minister, Mr. Choudhury, a career diplomat, served as Adviser for Foreign Affairs to the President of Bangladesh. In May 1986, he was elected a member of the Bangladesh Parliament.

After graduation from the Aligarh Muslim University in 1947 with a Bachelor of Science degree, he studied for the English Bar and was a member of the Inner Temple, London. At the London Institute of World Affairs (which was affiliated to the University of London) he obtained a diploma in international affairs. He was President of the Pakistan Students Federation in Great Britain and Europe and in that capacity organized the first Asian Students Conference in the United Kingdom.

Before the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent nation, he joined the Pakistan Foreign Service in 1953 and received extensive training in the Pakistan Foreign Office and other government departments as well as in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. He obtained a graduate certificate of honour from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Massachusetts, United States.

During his diplomatic career he held various assignments in Rome, Baghdad, Paris Lisbon, Jakarta and New Delhi. He served as the Chief of the Bangladesh Mission in New Delhi in 1971-1972 during which he negotiated the Bangladesh recognition of Bangladesh with over 40 countries. He was the first Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1972, a post he held until 1976 having concurrent accreditation to Switzerland, Austria and the Holy See. He was also the first Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Mr. Chowdhury was also the first Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with concurrent accreditation to Jordan and Oman. During this assignment he represented Bangladesh in the Organization of the Islamic Countries. After serving as Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1981-1982 he was appointed Ambassador to the United States in June 1982.

As a member or leader of his country's delegations, he attended the United Nations General Assembly session; the Islamic Summit Conference held in Taif, Saudi Arabia (1981); the Islamic Foreign Ministers' Conference in Tripoli (1977), Dakar (1978), Fez, Morocco (1979), Islamabad (1980) and Baghdad (1981); the North-South Summit-level dialogue held in Cancun, Mexico (1981); Meetings of the Islamic Summit-level Peace Committee to resolve disputes between Iran and Iraq; the extraordinary session on Afghanistan of the Islamic Foreign Ministers in Islamabad (1980); and the extraordinary session on Jerusalem of the Islamic Foreign Ministers held in Amman (1980)

He has also led his country's delegations to a number of bilateral meetings including talks with India on border delineation, sharing of Ganges waters, demarcation of the maritime boundary, South Asia Forum (South Asian Regional Co-operation), Bangladesh-Burma border demarcation talks, Bangladesh-Saudi Arabia Joint Economic Talks and others.

As Chairman of the fourteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (ICFM XIV), he presided over the Co-ordination Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Islamic Conference while attending the thirty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly. He also led the Bangladesh delegation to the Extraordinary Ministerial Meeting of the non-Aligned Countries on Namibia, held in New Delhi in April 1985, and the Islamic Peace Committee Meeting, Held in Jeddah in May 1985.

In 1984 he was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Prize by the University of William and Mary, Virginia, United States, in recognition of his contribution to world peace through his diplomatic activities. During his assignments abroad, he has actively promoted the advancement of Islamic culture in the host countries. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee, Islamic Centre of America, Washington, and Chairman of its Finance Committee. He is also a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies, London.

Mr. Choudhury is fluent in Bengali, English, Urdu, French and Italian, and has a working knowledge of Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Bahasa Indonesia.

He is married and has a daughter and a son.

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