Dhaka for maintaining integrity of IOM DDG election

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 19:56, Jun 24, 2019 | Updated : 22:37, Jun 24, 2019

Bangladesh has urged the member countries of International Organisation of Migration to maintain the integrity of the vote of Deputy Director General post at the organization. Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque is a candidate for the post.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam Monday (Jun 24) at a diplomatic briefing said the members would continue to support Bangladesh candidate when ‘yes-no’ voting resumes Wednesday, said a foreign ministry official.
In a cliff-hanger high voltage election drama in Geneva on Friday, out of 148 vote cast, the Foreign Secretary secured 75 votes while his nearest competitor from Sudan got 73 in the fifth round. The IOM Legal Council decided to hold a yes-no vote for Shahidul to prove two-third support for him but African Union opposed it. Later the election session chair from Ethiopia decided to suspend the election till Tuesday.
“There was no dispute from any party about the voting process, but when Bangladeshi candidate won in the fifth round, the African Union started to object it,” the official said.
“We hope all the member countries support us when the voting process resumes tomorrow (Tuesday),” he added.
In the election, four other aspirants were also vying for the post and those are from Sudan, Afghanistan, the Philippines and Jordan.
The election heated up as in the first round the foreign secretary secured second position and situation remained same till the fourth round.
While Jordan and the Philippines quit early in the race, Afghanistan withdrew after the fourth round. As a lone Asian candidate, Shahidul bagged most of the votes of the continent and made it to the top position.
The election started on Friday 2pm Bangladesh time to elect the second man of the UN body which looks after the global governance of migration, a subject very important for Bangladesh.
In a tweet message on June 16, the foreign secretary said, “I am often asked about my most rewarding experience as a migration enthusiast. The answer has always been simple but NOT the task – it’s never been about a specific day of my life but the ability to constantly serve for dignity and rights of migrants.”
In a column published in Project Syndicate on Thursday, he proposed to establish a new migration framework to ensure right and dignity of migrants.
A popular face in the migration world, Shahidul used to be in the IOM and worked there for 11 years at senior level posts on lien. He left the organization in 2012 and became the foreign secretary in 2013.
The secretary went to retirement on Dec 31 last year but got an extension for a year. He also elevated to senior secretary post last year.