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Saturday, April 27, 2013

[] A Bangladesh Diplomat: Acting President of UN General Assembly

Bangladesh Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen has been elected as the Acting President of the UN General Assembly beginning from April 28, 2013 for couple of weeks.  The current President H. E. Vuk Jeremic will be on vacation during the period.  President Jeremic sent a letter to Dr. Momen stating the following, "on the basis of your reputation as a prominent, visible, and active Permanent Representative whose valuable interventions on numerous occasions have been widely appreciated here in the United Nations, I am pleased to confirm you as the Acting President of the General Assembly........". 
Ambassador Momen is currently Vice President of the UN General Assembly and he has been presiding over the UN General Assembly Debates for quite sometime.  There are 5 Vice Presidents from each region to assist the President.
It may be mentioned here that when Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina delivered her speech at the last UN General Assembly session in September, 2012, Dr. Abdul Momen presided over that event also.  Most recently, when Bangladesh Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith delivered his speech at the Global Economic Governace on April 15, Ambassador Momen was chairing that session also.
It may be mentioned that other than Dr. Abdul Momen, the only other Bangladesh diplomat who had the privilege to preside over the UN General Assembly was late Humayun Rashid Chowdhury who died as the Speaker of Bangladesh Parliament in 2001.   He was the only Bangladeshi who got elected as the President of the UN General Assembly in 1986.  Prior to being elected as UN President, he was Bangladesh's Foreign Minister.  The current UN President Vuk Jeremic is Serbia's Foreign Minister.
Today Bangladesh also got elected in two other UN Committees and these are (1) Commission on Population and Development (CPD) for the term 2013-2017 and (2) the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) for the term 2014-2018.
The other members elected to the CSW were Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, India, Kazakhstan, ROK, Tajikistan, El Salvador, Guyana, and Uruguay. For CPD, new members elected for 2014-2018 were Benin, Liberia, South Africa, Zambia, Pakistan, UK and the USA. We were elected for the term 2013-2017.
Apart from CSW and CPD, elections were also held for the Membership to the Statistical Commission, Commission on Narcotic and Drugs, Committee for Programme and Coordination Executive Board of UNICEF, EX Board of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS, Ex Board of WFP, Programme Coordinating Board of the Joint UN Programme of HIV/AIDS, UNPFII and Int'l Narcotic Contol Board. 


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