Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury

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Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
2007–2008
Preceded by Iajuddin Ahmed
Succeeded by Dipu Moni
Personal details
Born 25 October 1946
Dacca District, British Raj
Religion Islam

Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury is a Bangladeshi career diplomat and former government minister. He is a visiting senior research fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) in the National University of Singapore. Chowdhury served as a member of the Caretaker Government of Bangladesh during the 2007-2008 Emergency. He was in charge of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Expatriate Welfare and Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs.

As a senior member of the Bangladesh Foreign Service, he served as Bangladesh's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York (2001-2007) and Geneva (1996-2001). He was also Bangladesh's ambassador to Qatar (1994-1996) and was accredited to Chile, Peru and the Vatican.

Background and education[edit]

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).[1] 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.[citation needed] He and his wife, Mrs. Nicole Sherin Chowdhury, have one daughter, Naureen Chowdhury Fink, who is Senior Research Officer at the International Peace Institute in New York.

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Political offices
Preceded by
Iajuddin Ahmed
Minister of Foreign Affairs
2007-2009
Succeeded by
Dipu Moni