Humayun Rashid Choudhury

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Humayun Rasheed Choudhury
হুমায়ূন রশীদ চৌধুরী
President of the United Nations General Assembly
In office
Preceded by Jaime de Piniés
Succeeded by Peter Florin
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
Preceded by A R Shamsud Doha
Succeeded by Anisul Islam Mahmud
Personal details
Born (1928-11-11)11 November 1928
Sylhet, British Raj, (now Bangladesh)
Died 10 July 2001(2001-07-10) (aged 72)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Children Nasrine R Karim

Humayun Rasheed Choudhury (11 November 1928 – 10 July 2001) was a Bengali 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]

Early life and education[edit]

Choudhury was born in Sylhet in the British Raj on 11 November 1928.[2] He was the eldest son of Abdur Rasheed Choudhury and Begum Serajunessa Choudhury. His father was a Member of the Indian Provincial Assembly (Assam) and later to become a Member of the Central Legislative Assembly in Delhi. His mother was elected a Member of Pakistan National Assembly.[3]

Chowdhury 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. He obtained a diploma in International Affairs from the London Institute of World Affairs. He later graduated from the The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Massachusetts, United States.


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).[4] In 1975, Choudhury sheltered Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana at his residence in Bonn after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

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).[4]

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]


In 1984 Choudhury was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Prize by the College of William and Mary in Virginia. He was awarded the U Thant Peace Award posthumously.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Choudhury was married to Mehjabeen Choudhury.[5] They had one daughter Nasrine R Karim (1949–2010) and one son Nauman Choudhury.[5]


  1. ^ a b c Enamul Haq. "Choudhury, Humayun Rasheed". Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Times, Special To The New York (1986-09-23). "MAN IN THE NEWS; U.N. ENTHUSIAST AT ASSEMBLY HELM: HUMAYAN RASHEED CHOUDHURY". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-04-12. 
  3. ^ Nasrine R Karim (July 11, 2003). "Lest we forget Humayun Rasheed Choudhury". The Daily Star. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Humayun Rasheed Choudhury (Bangladesh) :Elected President of the forty-first session of the General Assembly". United Nations. Retrieved March 13, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Nasrine Karim passes away". The Daily Star. April 16, 2010. 
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Jaime de Piniés
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Succeeded by
Peter Florin
Political offices
Preceded by
A R Shamsud Doha
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Anisul Islam Mahmud