Top Bangladeshi UN Official Resigns

Ameerah Haq of Bangladesh has resigned as the United Nations Under Secretary General for Field Support, ending a nearly four-decade long challenging career with the organization.

She had expressed her desire to quit the post to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently.

Ban announced acceptance of Haq’s resignation in a statement on Tuesday and expressed ‘tremendous gratitude’ to her for her ‘outstanding services’ to the United Nations, especially her contribution to its peace-keeping programmes.

He said Haq had been involved in development, democratic advancement and protection of human rights and in peacekeeping programmes in several countries.

She served with élan and wisdom in countries like East Timor, Sudan, Afghanistan, Malaysia and Laos, he added.

Haq, the highest-ranking Bangladeshi official at the UN, spent around 20 years of her 38-year career in the UN in trouble-torn areas.

She became the under secretary general of the department of field support on June 11, 2012.

When asked about her resignation, secretary general’s spokesperson Farhan Haq told bdnews24.com that despite the resignation Haq would continue to serve as the under-secretary general for field support until October.

The secretary-general will nominate someone else in her place by that time, he said.

Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative to the UN AK Abdul Momen told bdnews24.com that her resignation had pained him the most.

“I got all-out help from her all the time while discharging my responsibility in the interest of Bangladesh. Her holding a key position in the UN Headquarters was a great help for us,” he said.

Haq started her stint with the UN in 1976 as a junior professional officer in Jakarta, Indonesia. She was transferred to Afghanistan as assistant resident representative in 1978.

She worked in the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific at UNDP Headquarters in various capacities from 1980-1990, which included responsibilities for aid coordination mechanisms and as desk officer for Thailand, Myanmar and Bhutan.

She also had an assignment with the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) from 1985 to 1987.

The Bangladeshi served as the United Nations resident coordinator and UNDP resident representative in Malaysia from 1994 to 1997 and in the same capacity in Laos from 1991 to 1994.

She was also the deputy assistant administrator and deputy director of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery at UNDP Headquarters in New York.

Haq had held the positions of deputy special representative of the secretary-general as well as UN resident coordinator and humanitarian coordinator for Sudan. Before that she had also served as deputy special representative of the secretary-general and United Nations resident coordinator and humanitarian coordinator for Afghanistan.

She was also the special representative of the secretary-general for Timor-Leste and head of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT).

Haq, who leads a simple life, often attends programmes organised by Bangladesh Mission and Bangladeshi community in New York.

The mother of two holds master’s degrees in community organisation and planning from Columbia University and in business administration from New York University.

She completed Bachelor of Arts at Western College in Oxford, Ohio.

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