Humayun Rashid Choudhury

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Humayun Rasheed Choudhury
হুমায়ূন রশীদ চৌধুরী
Humayun Rashid Choudhury.jpg
Speaker of the Jatiyo Sangsad
In office
14 July 1996 – 10 July 2001
Preceded bySheikh Razzaque Ali
Succeeded byAbdul Hamid
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
Preceded byA R Shamsud Doha
Succeeded byAnisul Islam Mahmud
President of the United Nations General Assembly
In office
Preceded byJaime de Piniés
Succeeded byPeter Florin
Member of Parliament Sylhet-1
In office
Preceded byKhandaker Abdul Malik
Succeeded bySaifur Rahman
In office
Preceded bySyed Rafiqul Haque
Succeeded byKhandaker Abdul Malik
Personal details
Born(1928-11-11)11 November 1928
Sylhet, Assam Province,  British Raj
Died10 July 2001(2001-07-10) (aged 72)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Resting placeShah Jalal Dargah Cemetery
RelativesFaruk Rashid Chowdhury (brother)
AwardsIndependence Day Award (2018)

Humayun Rasheed Choudhury (Bengali: হুমায়ূন রশীদ চৌধুরী; 11 November 1928 – 10 July 2001) was a Bangladeshi career diplomat and Speaker of the Bangladesh National Parliament from 1996 to 2001. He was elected president of the 41st session of the UN General Assembly in 1986.[1][2] He was awarded Independence Day Award in 2018 posthumously by the Government of Bangladesh.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Choudhury was born on 11 November 1928, to a Bengali Muslim political family in Sylhet, erstwhile British India. Their ancestral home is in Dargapasha in Sunamganj District.[2] He was the eldest of the seven children of Abdur Rasheed Choudhury (d. 1944) and Begum Serajunnessa Choudhury (1910–1974).[4] Abdur was a member of the Assam Legislative Assembly and later a member of the Central Legislative Assembly in Delhi. Serajunessa was elected a member of Pakistan National Assembly.[5]

Choudhury passed the matriculation exam from Sylhet Government Pilot High School. Later he studied in St. Edmund's College in Shillong. He graduated from Aligarh Muslim University in 1947. He then studied for the English Bar and became a member of the Inner Temple in London.[6] He obtained a diploma in International Affairs from the London Institute of World Affairs. He later graduated from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Massachusetts, United States. He gained fluency in Bengali, English, Urdu, French and Italian, and was conversational in Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Indonesian.


Choudhury joined the Pakistan Foreign Service in 1953. During his diplomatic career with Pakistan, he held various assignments in Rome, Baghdad, Paris, Lisbon, Jakarta and New Delhi. During the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, he defected to the Provisional Government of Bangladesh. He negotiated the recognition of Bangladesh by over 40 countries. On Victory Day, 1971, he addressed the Indian parliament on behalf of the Bangladeshi people. He became the first Bangladeshi Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1972, with 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).[7] In 1975, Choudhury sheltered Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana at his residence in Bonn after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.[8]

In 1976, Choudhury became the first Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He also had concurrent accreditation to Jordan and Oman. During this assignment, he represented Bangladesh in the Organization of the Islamic Conference. He served as the Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh during 1981–1982. He was appointed Ambassador to the United States in June 1982.[2] 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 on International Cooperation and Development 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).[7]

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. Choudhury was part of the cabinet of President Hossain Mohammad Ershad and a Jatiya Party Member of Parliament during 1986–1990. He was elected member of the National Parliament in 1996 as a nominee of the Bangladesh Awami League and was elected Speaker of the Parliament.[1] He died in Dhaka due to a heart attack on July 10, 2001.[1] He was buried in Shah Jalal Dargah Cemetery in Sylhet.[9]


Personal life[edit]

Humayun Rashid Choudhury was married to Mehjabeen Choudhury (1931-2018).[10] They had a daughter Nasrine R Karim (1949–2010) and a son Nauman Rasheed Choudhury (1950-2017).[10]


  1. ^ a b c Enamul Haq. "Choudhury, Humayun Rasheed". Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Man in the News; U.N. Enthusiast at Assembly Helm: Humayan Rasheed Choudhury". The New York Times. 1986-09-23. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
  3. ^ "16 personalities nominated for Independence Award-2018". The Daily Star. 2018-02-20. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  4. ^ "A Legacy of Love". The Daily Star. 2010-06-25. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  5. ^ Nasrine R Karim (July 11, 2003). "Lest we forget Humayun Rasheed Choudhury". The Daily Star. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  6. ^ "The Embassy of Bangladesh in Washington DC - Ambassador Humayun Rasheed Chowdhury". Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  7. ^ a b c "Humayun Rasheed Choudhury (Bangladesh) :Elected President of the forty-first session of the General Assembly". United Nations. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  8. ^ Chowdhury, Nauman Rasheed (2014-08-15). "August 15: Bangabandhu's daughters". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2021-07-28.
  9. ^ হুমায়ুন রশীদ চৌধুরীর মৃত্যুবার্ষিকীতে শ্রদ্ধা নিবেদন. Bangladesh Pratidin (in Bengali). 2019-07-10. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  10. ^ a b "Nasrine Karim passes away". The Daily Star. April 16, 2010.