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A.S. Bokhari and the UNICEF

Akram Piracha in the Raza Rumi Blog “All Things Pakistan”
Says:August 5th, 2006 at 8:38 pm pakistaniat.wordpress.com/2006/08/05/guest-post-patras-bokhari


A little known contribution of Bokhari is the survival of UNICEF, which was about to be disbanded after having completed its humanitarian mandate in the WW2 devastated Europe. This most respected and best known humanitarian/development UN organization set the pace and pattern for the subsequent UN development system. Created for the suffering European women and children, the time had come (1952?) to close its doors. Elenor Roosevelt, wife of the US President was the Chief US delegate. Bokhari as the chief delegate of Pakistan was elected to chair the Committee meeting. She read from the prepared US statement given to her, thanking UNICEF for a job well done and proposed its winding up. Bokhari at that point in a dramatic manner stepped down from the Presidents Podium and resumed his seat as Pakistani delegate. He said that listening to Mrs. Roosevelt, he felt that he was presiding over some funeral. He said although UNICEF’s work in Europe may have ended, there were millions of suffering women and children in the developing countries that were in far greater need of UNICEF’s help. This reprimand stunned Mrs. Roosevelt. At the next day meeting of the Committee, she thanked Bokhari and reversed the US position. UNICEF mandate was extended and it has remained the flag-bearer of humanitarian development until these troubled times.