Dhaka, Sept 28 (UNB) - World leaders joined United Nations entities on Thursday to reaffirm their continued personal commitment to support efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse across the Organisation.
In 2017, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched a new strategy to prevent and end sexual exploitation and abuse by UN personnel.
A major element of this new approach was the creation of a ‘Circle of Leadership’ for Heads of State and Government to demonstrate resolve and commitment, at the highest political level, to eradicate the scourge.
“We at the United Nations are mobilising to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse in our ranks and ensure that the rights and dignity of victims are front and centre,” Guterres said in a recent video message on the issue.
Nearly 100 countries have signed voluntary compacts with the UN to tackle sexual exploitation and abuse.
The Secretary-General has appointed a UN Victims’ Rights Advocate and a Special Coordinator to align efforts across the system.
In addition, the UN has stepped up training for civilian, military and police personnel; improved and harmonised investigations; strengthened screening of personnel; and made sure that staff who are guilty of sexual exploitation and abuse can never find a job elsewhere in the system.
It is also improving links with communities and civil society organisations, so that victims and survivors know how to respond, reporting these crimes and finding support.
“The era of silence and taboos is over. Everyone, including our own staff, must feel confident to report allegations of abuses,” said Guterres. “Above all, we must protect those we are mandated to serve.”
As of September 26 last, 69 sitting and former heads of State and Government are members of the Circle of Leadership.
On Thursday, 49 of them along with 21 UN entities joined the Secretary-General in issuing a “Collective Statement” to reaffirm their continued personal commitment as global leaders, to support efforts to combat sexual exploitation and abuse.
“We recognise the unique responsibility of the United Nations to set the standard for preventing, responding to, and eradicating sexual exploitation and abuse within the United Nations system, address its impact effectively and humanely, and safeguard and empower victims,” UN news reported quoting them as saying.
They also recognised the shared responsibility of the UN and its Member States to protect victims and whistle-blowers and take appropriate action against perpetrators.
Jashore, Sept 28 (UNB)- Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB)arrested a young man along with 5 gold bars weighing around 500 grams from Barpotabazar area under Benapole Port Police Station on Friday.
The arrestee was identified as Shafiqul Islam, 27, son of Noor-Islam, hailing from Putkhali village under the same police station, said a BGB press release.
Tipped-off, a patrol team of 49-Border Guard Battalion arrested Shafiqul from the place around 9:15 am while he was trying to smuggle the gold bars worth TK 21,50,000 to India, the release said.
Munshiganj, Sept 28 (UNB) – Police recovered the floating body of an unidentified young man from Dhaleshwar iriver in Noyagaon area of Sadar upazila on Friday morning.
Mohammad Hasan, sub-inspector of Muktarpur Police outpost, said that locals spotted the body in the river around 10am and informed police.
Later, police recovered the body.
Habiganj, Sept 28 (UNB) – A case was filed against 50 leaders and activists of BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami, including Bahubal upazila BNP unit president, on Thursday night in connection with recovery of crude and Molotov bombs.
Abdur Rahim, sub-inspector of Babubal Model Police Station, filed the case on Thursday night mentioning 16 named people including BNP president Akoddos Ali Bablu and Jamaat Amir Kazi Abdul and 34 unnamed people under the Explosive Substances Act, said Masuk Ali, officer-in-charge of the police station.
A joint team of police and members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in a drive seized 6 crude bombs and 6 Molotov bombs from an open place in front of an under-construction building adjacent to Mirpur union parishad.
Dhaka, Sept 28 (UNB) - Bangladesh has laid emphasis on engaging the largest sections of society - young men and women - in peace building efforts.
“Serious consideration is critical if we want to fully realize the potential of our young men and women. We have to equip them with knowledge, attitude, skills and competences,” said State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam.
He mentioned that global events continue to remind all of the urgent need to engage the young men and women in peace building efforts. “It is time, for us-the adults- to go to them and partner them in the peace making and peace building.”
The State Minister was addressing a high-level meeting of the friends of mediation on ‘Engaging Youth in Mediation: A step towards lasting peace’ at the UN headquarters on Thursday.
The Group of Friends of Mediation has gathered already eight times during UNGA to discuss different aspects of mediation.
Given increasing interest and need for wide support for UN mediation efforts, they decided to open the discussion this year to the whole membership of the United Nations.
The State Minister shared four ideas as to how they can engage young people in conflict prevention and mediation process.
“We can develop community projects to train and equip young women and men in mediation, ICTs, life skills, and entrepreneurship. With these new skills they can become peace leaders who work within their communities to cultivate peace,” he said sharing first idea.
Sharing his second idea, he said cultural context is also important while mediating for conflict resolution.
Shahriar said the intergenerational gap that they see in today’s world make the difference in the way they view a conflict situation and the post-conflict implications attached to it.
“Young men and women have their own view in their cultural milieu. They focus more on their interests in a post-conflict situation, not on the sources of conflict. This world view could have the potential to innovate new mediation technique,” he said.
The State Minister said there could be initiatives at regional and global level and all actors at sub-regional and regional level can also be motivated to play their roles.
“The international community should work to create opportunity for the young people from different regions to meet and share their ideas and exchange evidence and lessons learned,” he said.
Shahriar said they can build awareness in nations to reach out to the young people and the idea of mediation can be included in the academic curricula. “The curricula may include ownership, leadership and accountability of the youth in peace building. The national plan of actions can incorporate this idea.”
He said the call for inclusion in mediation processes should not be limited to the conflicting adults, it should include each sections of the society including the youth.
The United Nations has been in the forefront for many decades in keeping and building peace.
However, Shahriar said, the role of mediation has not been tried innovatively and the UN Secretary General has recently urged all to commit more to effective mediation.
“Now, the role of youth being recognized, we need to explore ideas on how we can engage this vast resource,” he said