Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury
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Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, Ph.D., was Adviser for the Foreign Ministry to the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh from January 2007 to January 2009. In addition, he was also given the portfolios of the Ministries of Expatriates' Welfare and Chittagong Hill Tracts. Currently he is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) at the National University of Singapore.
Background and education
Chowdhury stood First Class First in BA Honours in Political Science at the Dhaka University and obtained an MA and Ph.D in International Relations from the Australian National University, Canberra. Earlier, he secured a High First Division in Intermediate of Arts, and a place in Matriculation Examination. In the Civil Service Competitive Examination in 1968, he stood first in the then East Pakistan and joined the erstwhile Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP) in 1969.
Throughout a career that spanned across a period of nearly four decades, Chowdhury held many senior positions in the government including that of Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York (2001–2007),Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva (1996–2000)and Ambassador of Bangladesh to Qatar (1994–1996). He was a Secretary to the Government of Bangladesh. He also had concurrent accreditation to the Holy See (Vatican),Chile and Peru as Ambassador.
During his long stints in Geneva and New York, he had been the President of the Conference on Disarmament, Chairman of the WTO Council on Trade Policy Review, WTO Committee on Trade and Development, Chairman, United Nations Information Committee, Chairman, Population and Development Commission, Chairman for the Committee for Social Development, Vice Chairman, Human Rights Commission,and Vice President of the United Nations General Assembly, and Vice Chairman, UNICEF, among other positions.
He had been actively associated with the United Nations reform process as a facilitator appointed by the President of the United Nations General Assembly. He was also responsible for conducting negotiations on the paragraphs on 'Responsibility to Protect' in the United Nations reform document, which he did successfully.
He has participated in numerous seminars and workshops in various universities and think tanks around the world and has contributed articles on international relations and economic development in journals and newspapers.
His contributions as a global diplomat were recognized by the New York City Council when in a Proclamation in 2003, Dr. Iftekhar Chowdhury was named one of the world's leading diplomat leaders. He was also awarded a Knighthood of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by the Pope. He and his wife, Mrs. Nicole Sherin Chowdhury, have one daughter, Naureen Chowdhury Fink, currently Senior Research Officer at the International Peace Institute in New York.
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