Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday called for not allowing geopolitical rivalries to weaken the United Nations as the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that both developed and developing nations need the UN more than ever.
“We must not allow our geopolitical rivalries to weaken the UN. We owe it to the founding fathers and future generations to make the UN a truly effective global body for humankind as a whole,” she said.
The Prime Minister said this while delivering her speech virtually in the early hours on Tuesday (Bangladesh Time) at the high-level event arranged to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations at its headquarters in New York.
She said the challenges of the present time, including the current pandemic, go beyond borders and the COVID-19 has made the achievement of the 2030 Agenda more challenging. “It has exposed the inadequacies of the current international order,” she added.
“At the same time, the pandemic (COVID-19) has shown that both developed and developing nations need the UN more than ever. It has shown us that multilateralism is the way forward,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina urged the United Nations to provide a credible and practical roadmap for delivering on commitments and responding decisively to global challenges.
“To take the UN on the right course towards its centenary and beyond, UN@75 should provide a credible and practical roadmap for delivering on commitments and responding decisively to global challenges,” she said.
Noting that the 75th anniversary celebration of the United Nations is a momentous occasion for all, the Prime Minister said the commemoration bears special significance in Bangladesh as it coincides with the Birth Centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
She mentioned that Bangabandhu at the UN assembly in 1974 had said, "……. the United Nations remains the focus of man's hope for the future."
“We have seen moments in history that made us re-group to change the course of human civilization. UN@75 presents another such moment. Let us seize this moment,” said Sheikh Hasina.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh owes a lot to the UN as it has benefitted from UN-led efforts for its development.
Referring to Bangladesh’s contribution to the UN peacekeeping missions, she said Bangladesh is contributing to the UN in fulfilling its mandates.
“We are committed to upholding peace across the world. Currently, Bangladesh is the leading troops and police contributing country in all peace operations,” she said adding that some 150 of Bangladeshi peacekeepers sacrificed their lives to secure peace in conflict-ravaged countries.
Sheikh Hasina in her speech commended the UN Secretary-General for keeping the flag of multilateralism high.
Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of United States for selling Flecainide Acetate, an antiarrhythmic drug in US market.
Flecainide Acetate medicine is used for treating irregular heartbeats in conditions such as tachycardia and atrial fibrillation, said a press release.
This is Beximco Pharma’s eighth Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) which has been successfully approved for the US market.
Nazmul Hassan MP, Managing Director of Beximco Pharmaceuticals, said "This approval is another important step in building and strengthening our presence in the US market.”
After what would be almost exactly 7 months of shutdown since March 18, the cinema halls in Bangladesh are set to welcome moviegoers again from October 16, Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud disclosed at a press conference Monday.
The minister announced this decision at the secretariat after a meeting between the ministry and Bangladesh Film Distributors' Association took place earlier in the day.
"If the current situation of COVID-19 in the country does not worsen in the near future, we can reopen the halls from October 16 if our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approves the decision," Dr Hasan Mahmud informed journalists at the press conference.
However, the halls will initially only be allowed to operate at half capacity and they also have to re-allocate the seating arrangements to assure proper maintenance of the health guidelines. "Also, if the COVID-19 situation deteriorates, the decision would have to be reversed," he added.
Explaining PM's special attention to the devastating state of the cinema industry, the minister said "We now have approximately 200-250 cinema halls and cineplexes still operating, from having approximately 1,200 cinema halls all over the country and our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is very keen to improve this industry. On August 25, she asked to create a special fund to provide financial support to the owners of cinema halls through a big project, in order to revive their business through grants and loans at the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) meeting."
The downfall of the industry was even propelled with the pandemic this year since the shut down of the halls was announced back in March. Major occasions like the Pahela Baishakh, Eid-Ul-Fitr, Eid-Ul-Adha in which the industry generally eyes big profit margins in the calendar year - have generated absolutely zero money this year because of COVID-19. The estimated loss during these occasions is around Tk 500 crore for the entire industry, according to the industry insiders.
Now with the decision of reopening, the industry is eyeing for a resurgence. Film shootings for upcoming projects have also been resumed in recent times since the lockdown was lifted.
Also read: The final countdown for cinema halls
South Korea will contribute US$5.86 million to International Organization of Migration (IOM) for a five-year project from 2020 to 2024 to address human trafficking in Bangladesh.
Through KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency), Korea has started its multi-year collaboration programme with IOM Bangladesh Office on "A Comprehensive Counter-Trafficking Programme to address Human Trafficking in Bangladesh."
In addition, Korea is providing US$500,000 to the IOM Bangladesh Office this year for the implementation of its programmes under the 2020 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya crisis.
The government of the Republic of Korea continues to provide financial assistance to the IOM office to support its humanitarian activities in Bangladesh, including its programs in Cox's Bazar under the Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya crisis, said the Korean Embassy in Dhaka on Monday.
Since Rohingya refugee crisis in 2017, South Korea has been working closely with the international community, including IOM, UNHCR, UNICEF, and IFRC, to address the common humanitarian challenges of Rohingya refugees.
KOICA, under the Government of the Republic of Korea, collaborated with IOM for the so-called "Digital Island Moheshkhali Project" - Bangladesh E-Commerce Project to enhance Agricultural Business Opportunities, from 2017 to 2020 by contributing total US$ 1.04 million including KT (Korea Telecom) contribution.
KT also participated in this project as an online network installation partner.
The High Court (HC) on Monday stayed a government order that had cancelled freedom fighters' certificates of 191 Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) members.
The bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam passed the order and issued a rule seeking explanation why cancellation of their FF certificates should not be declared illegal.
Advocate Md Abdul Kayum, who stood for the writ petitioner, said after hearing separate writ petitions the HC stayed the cancellation of 192 freedom fighters' gazettes of 191 BGB men and another member of Bangladesh Air Force.
On July 7, a virtual bench of the High Court stayed the cancellation order until the regular bench resumed its operation after the covid-19 pandemic, he said.
The government cancelled the Freedom Fighters' certificates of 1,134 BGB members on June 7.
Later, 191 of them filed writ petitions challenging the government order.