May 29, 2023, 12:34 am

Diplomatic correspondent

2022-06-10 20:14:24 BdST

Rabab Fatima appointed UN under-secretary general

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres Thursday appointed Bangladesh's Rabab Fatima as high representative for the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states (UNOHRLLS).

She replaces Courtenay Rattray of Jamaica who was appointed as chef de cabinet.

The secretary-general extended his appreciation and gratitude to Heidi Schroderus-Fox of Finland, who is the deputy to the high representative and director of UNOHRLLS, for her dedication and commitment as acting high representative.

Through the appointment of Ambassador Fatima, a female diplomat from the Bangladesh Foreign Service, for the first time, has been appointed as UN under-secretary-general.

Also, Fatima will be the highest ranking person in the UN system as a Bangladeshi citizen.

Her appointment is a reflection of Bangladesh's close participation in the international arena and the acceptance of Bangladeshi professional diplomats, said the Bangladesh Mission in the UN.

About her appointment, Ambassador Fatima said, "I am grateful to the prime minister. She gave me this opportunity. She appointed me as the permanent representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations with confidence and trust in me."

"I am grateful to the UN secretary-general. I would like to reflect on the deep trust and confidence that the UN secretary-general has placed in me by appointing me as the high representative of the least developed countries, developing countries and developing small island states," she added.

Ambassador Fatima brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in national and international civil service, encompassing bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, policy-making, advocacy, programme planning and implementation.

She is the current ambassador and permanent representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York.

Earlier, Fatima was the ambassador of Bangladesh to Japan (2016-2019), director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2015-2016), regional representative for South Asia (2007-2011) and regional adviser for South and Southwest Asia and regional adviser for climate change and migration (2012-2015) of the International Organization for Migration, Geneva, and head of human rights at the Commonwealth Secretariat, London (2006-2007).

She joined diplomatic service in 1989 and served in various capacities in MoFA and Bangladesh Missions in New York, Kolkata, Geneva and Beijing.

Fatima holds a masters degree in international relations and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and a bachelors degree in social science from the University of Canberra, Australia.

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