Humayun Rashid Choudhury
Humayun Rasheed Choudhury (1928–2001) was a career diplomat and speaker of the Bangladesh National Parliament (1996–2001). Humayun Rashid Choudhury was born in Sylhet on 11 November 1928. He was elected president of the 41st session of the UN General Assembly in 1986. Mr. Choudhury was fluent in Bengali, English, Urdu, French and Italian, and had a working knowledge of Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Indonesian. He died in Dhaka on 10 July 2001.
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.
Career and work
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 recognition of Bangladesh by 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. Choudhury 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.
Humayan Rasheed Choudhury was part of the cabinet of President Hossain Mohammad Ershad and a member of the National Parliament in 1986 and 1988. He was elected member of the National Parliament in 1996 as a nominee of Bangladesh Awami league and was elected Speaker of the Parliament.
Choudhury appeared as a resort to Hasina and Rehana, two daughters of Bangabandhu after his sad assassination. Perhaps that was why after Mr. Choudhury's departure Hasina lamented that she has been orphan for the second time. He died in Dhaka due to a heart attack on July 10, 2001.
In 1984 he was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Prize by the College of William and Mary in Virginia. During his assignments abroad, he has actively promoted the advancement of Islamic culture in the host countries. He was awarded the U Thant Peace award posthumously.
A R Shamsud Doha
|Minister of Foreign Affairs
Anisul Islam Mahmud