Ambassador Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, was made president of the Executive Board of UNICEF for the current year after the elections of the officers of the Bureau held on Monday in New York.
The officers of the Executive Board numbering five who constitute the Bureau are elected by the Board at its first regular session of each year from among members for that year. The five officers - the president and four-vice presidents - represent UNICEF's five regional groups with presidency rotating among the groups on an annual basis.
The 36-member Executive Board provides inter-governmental support and supervises the activities of this specialised agency the world body (UN). The Board, which meets four times a year, gives guidance for the work of its Executive Director, monitors the performance of UNICEF and approves country programmes.
The first meeting of the Executive Board will take place on January 31.
UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy, speaking after the elections, said that the Board would benefit from the leadership and long experience of the Bangladesh Ambassador in the field of development.
Other countries, including India, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Sudan and Libya, hailed Bangladesh on its election.
The four vice-presidents elected by the Board from four geographical regions are Azerbaijan, Bolivia, the Netherlands and the Sudan.
Bangladesh first became a member of the UNICEF Executive Board for a three-year period beginning 1998. Ambassador Chowdhury is the first Bangladesh Permanent Representative to become president of the Executive Board.
Ambassador Chowdhury has earlier served as Chairman of the Preparatory Committee for the five-year review of action of the International Conference on Population and Development, Chairman of the Fifth Committee and Vice President of ECOSOC.