About Consular Corps in Bangladesh (CCB)
The Honorary Consul is defined in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, 1963, in its point 2 of Article 1, which reads as follows: “Consular officers are of two categories, namely career consular officers and honorary consular officers”. In practical terms, the difference between a career consular officer and an honorary one is that the latter does not belong to the official diplomatic and consular cadre of the sending state, i.e. not a state employee, and usually is a well-known and respectable citizen or permanent resident of the receiving state. Furthermore, service as an honorary consul is usually not his or her main source of income.
An honorary diplomat is normally appointed by countries who cannot afford or do not wish to spend the substantial amounts required to set up an office. Even for states with greater financial capabilities, the increase of cultural, touristy, economic, and trade relations with distant places of the world rendered the performance of consular functions only through diplomatic missions virtually impossible, due to the very nature of the fact that embassies are located only in the capitals of the receiving states while even the richest states may not be able to afford setting up consulates headed by career consuls in every important city of a receiving State where such offices may be required in their own interests.
Appointing an Honorary Consul saves them the cost of supporting staff and sending out their own citizens as full-time diplomatic representatives abroad. The work of an honorary consul is exactly the same as that of a career diplomat of the same rank. Typically, this work involves issuing or renewing visas and passports, helping businessmen and tourists with problems, and promoting commerce and cultural exchanges.
In Bangladesh, Honorary Consular Officers, Consuls General, and Consuls have been appointed in Dhaka and Chittagong by as many as 68 countries.
Honorary Consuls General/Consuls in Bangladesh have an association, namely, “Consular Corps in Bangladesh (CCB) with the following aims and objectives:
a) To encourage, organize and develop the relationship among the Consuls General/Consuls in Bangladesh and secure and protect their interests in all respect.
b) To secure and ensure the facilities, privileges, and immunities relating to Consular posts.
c) To promote and foster ideas of co-operation and mutual help amongst the members.
d) To develop & maintain a good relation & co-operation between all Members.
e) To enrich the activities of the office of the consuls for building the country’s image.
f) To publish journals, magazines, and other publications about the latest information related to consular relations.
g) To take all steps that may be necessary for promoting or any other action affecting the consuls and in general to take initiative to secure and safeguard the interests of the Consular community in all respects.
h) To convene, when necessary, conferences, seminars, workshops, and round table discussions at such time and at such places as may be determined.
i) To do all such other things as may be conductive to the business or incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objects of the Forum or any of them.
j) To subscribe to, or become a member of, The Federations Internationale des Corps et Associations Consulaires (FICAC) and procure and communication with any incorporated organization such information as may be likely to forward the objects of the Association.
k) To accept any request, domain, gift contribution, or subscription towards promoting and maintenance of the objects of the Company and to create and provide funds and to invest and apply the same in the manner and for the purpose as the Company may deem expedient.
l) To acquire any land or building or construct upon any premises any building or buildings for the purpose of the Company and to alter, add to, or improve any building upon such premises.
Consular Corps in Bangladesh (CCB) a representative body of Honorary Consuls General/Consuls in Bangladesh was established in September 2007. Hon. Mr. Salahuddin Kasem Khan is the founder President/Chairman of the corps.
It has 55 Honorary Consuls /Consul Generals on roll. The Corps has a Constitution and a Board of Members consisting of a President, Immediate Past President, two vice Presidents, Secretary-General, Treasurer, and five members. Selection for the offices of President, Secretary-General, Treasurer, and members are held every two years.
At present the Board of Members consists of the following:
Hon. Neaz Ahmed
Honorary Consul of New Zealand
Immediate Past President
Hon. K. M. Mozibul Hoque
Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Yemen
1. Hon. Reshadur Rahman
Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Poland in Dhaka
2. Hon. Abul Hossain
Honorary Consul of the Republic of Uganda
Hon. Shams Mahmud
Honorary Consul of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Hon. Mohammed Taneem Hasan
Honorary Consul of Bosnia & Herzegovina
1. Hon. A.S.M Mohiuddin Monem
Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic
2. Hon. Syed Farhad Ahmed
Honorary Consul of the Republic of Estonia
3. Hon. Riad Mahmud
Honorary Consul, Consulate of Georgia in Bangladesh
4. Hon. Zulfikar Ali
Honorary Consul of the Republic of Guatemala
5. Hon. Samira Rahman Ali
Honorary Consul, Consulate of Iceland
CCB is affiliated with FICAC. FICAC, also called the World Federation of Consuls, was founded in Copenhagen on 2 October 1982 by a small group of visionaries led by Consul General Vagn Jespersen of Denmark. Countries present at the meeting and first signatories were Finland, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. This body gave consuls of the world a much-needed forum to share experiences and coordinate efforts to enhance their status and effectiveness and bring together Consular Associations and Corps from all around the globe.
Some of the more important objectives of FICAC are as follows:
a) To enhance the performance of consular services on behalf of sending States in receiving States.
b) To support and improved the status, legitimacy, and effectiveness of all consular officers, and to seek the extension of such well-recognized facilities, privileges, and immunities to Honorary Consular Officers by the receiving States as are necessary for the efficient discharge of their functions with dignity, while taking note of the fact that honorary consular officers, in comparison with career consular officers and diplomatic agents performing consular functions, do not enjoy all facilities, privileges, and immunities granted by receiving states and, in many cases, do not have the same links with the sending states which appoint them.
c) To encourage the establishment of new Associations and their membership of the Federation.
d) To Promote and improve contacts and friendships amongst Consuls throughout the world.
e) e) To promote the implementation of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relation 1963, to encourage its ratification by non-signatory states, and to seek, when appropriate, to influence any amendments to it.
f) To encourage states, in both their receiving and sending capacities, to recognize and support Associations, Member Associations, and the Federation.