Assembly pays tribute to its late President, Humayun Choudhury of Bangladesh
At the outset of its meeting this morning, the Assembly observed a minute of silence in memory of the late President, who died in Dhaka on 10 July at the age of 72.
The current President of the General Assembly, Harri Holkeri of Finland, stressed that Mr. Choudhury had had a "long and very distinguished diplomatic career," which included service as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1985 to 1988 as well as Ambassador of Bangladesh to various countries. "A Member of Parliament of Bangladesh for several years, he was the Speaker of the National Assembly at the time of his death," Mr. Holkeri noted. "A skilful negotiator and diplomat, he will be remembered for his devotion to his country and to the ideals and principles of the United Nations."
Also addressing the gathering, UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette said Humayun Choudhury "was not only a wonderful envoy for his country and a fine Speaker of his country's parliament; he was also a world citizen and a veteran of world diplomacy." She added that "during a long and distinguished career, he not only witnessed history being made; he took part in making it happen."
"Our thoughts today go to his family and the Government and people of Bangladesh," she said, offering condolences also on behalf of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who is travelling in Europe.
Speaking for Bangladesh, the country's Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, described this morning's tribute as "a genuine recognition of the lifelong achievements and endeavours of late Ambassador Choudhury, who had been a key figure in the arena of diplomacy and politics both national and internationally."