Vikram Doraiswami, Additional Secretary in charge of International Organisations and Summits at the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is likely to be the next Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, reports Hindustan Times.
However, there has been no official announcement yet.
Vikram Doraiswami, the Additional Secretary in charge of International Organisations and Summits at the MEA, is a 1992 batch officer.
If finalised, Doraiswami will replace Riva Ganguly Das, the 1986 batch IFS officer, who is likely to take over as Secretary East at the MEA when the incumbent Vijai Thakur Singh retires in September, according to the report.
The current Indian High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das arrived here on March 1, 2019 to take up her assignment.
A total of 21 Bangladeshi Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), who work on migration and development, expressed deep concern over harassment of journalists and migrants’ by Malaysian government following a documentary broadcast by Al Jazeera on mistreatment of migrant workers in Malaysia.
“Summoning the journalists and the reported manhunt for the Bangladeshi migrant worker interviewed by Al Jazeera for the documentary, is a blatant attempt to muzzle the freedom of press and human rights abuse by the Malaysian authorities,” said a joint statement by 21 CSOs.
The CSOs called on the Malaysian government not to harass journalists and expatriates, and instead investigate and take action against those who have been treating the migrants unjustly.
They also urged the Bangladesh High Commission of Malaysia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment (MoEWOE) in Dhaka and international organizations to take necessary actions in this regard.
The investigative documentary titled ‘Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown’ was broadcasted on July 3 2020 as part of Al Jazeera’s “101 East” documentary strand.
It shows that the Malaysian government is discriminating against migrants during the epidemic through the Movement Control Order (MCO).
The CSOs noted with deep concern that six media workers of Al Jazeera were called to Malaysia Central Police Headquarters on July 10 for questioning.
They are also being investigated for alleged defamation and sedition by Malaysian police, said the statement by CSOs.
The Immigration Department of Malaysia has issued a search warrant for the young Bangladeshi migrant Raihan Kabir (25) who were interviewed in the documentary.
The CSOs said "We want to make it clear that giving an interview to the media is not a crime and Raihan Kabir did not commit any crime."
"He is staying there legally, although the Malaysian authority has launched a manhunt as if he is a big criminal. We've learned that several Bangladeshis are also being harassed during this unethical manhunt" they added.
The CSOs statement also said that "We're concerned about the safety of this young Bangladeshi migrant."
The Bangladeshi CSOs thanked human rights organizations in Malaysia who stood by the expatriates and urged the lawyers, journalists and human rights activists there to keep an eye on the issue.
They also called on the Malaysian government and law enforcement agencies to investigate the harassment of the expatriate workers in Malaysia which has been shown in the Report.
CSOs urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment and the Bangladesh High Commission of Malaysia to take appropriate measures to protect the rights and dignity of expatriates including the security Raihan Kabir and other Bangladeshi migrants.
The joint statement was made by Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), WARBE Development Foundation, Brac, Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Program (OKUP), Bangladesh Nari Sramik Kendro (BNSK), IID Migration Policy Unit, Human Rights Support Society (HRSS), Bangladeshi Ovhibashi Mohila Sramik Association (BOMSA), BASUG, INAFI Bangladesh, Karmojibi Nari, Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha (BNPS), Devcom, IMA, Awaj Foundation, Rights Jessore, BILS, Bastob, Film for Peace Foundation, and Migration News.
Dr Senjuti Saha, a scientist of the Child Health Research Foundation in Bangladesh, was appointed as a member of the Polio Transition Independent Monitoring Board (TIMB) of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative created the TIMB to monitor and guide the process of polio transition planning.
Dr Senjuti is the first Bangladeshi to be made a member of the board.
According to CHRF, the board will be advising the WHO at Director-General level on progress of the polio transition process.
This process is primarily concerned with how countries around the world will sustain the public health infrastructure- particularly essential immunisation, wider communicable disease surveillance, emergency response-once polio money which has been used for years or decades to pay for non-polio activity is withdrawn.
The WHO is implementing a plan for polio transition approved by the World Health Assembly in May 2018.
This board is chaired by Sir Liam Donaldson, former Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor of Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom.
A total of three board members have been appointed this year. The two other board members are Prof Sheila Leatherman of the USA and Dr Lola Dare of Nigeria.
Sheila Leatherman is a Global Health Policy soecialist at the Gillings School of Public Health of the University of North Carolina while Lola Dare is a community physician, epidemiologist, global health practitioner, development consultant, social entrepreneur, and health advocate of over 30 years.
Senjuti Saha is a microbiologist working at the intersection of Clinical Microbiology and Global Health as a scientist at the Child Health Research Foundation in Bangladesh.
Her work is grounded in advancing the cause of health and research equity, based on her vision that everyone across the world should have equal access to the practice and benefits of science.
The United Nations on World Population Day on Saturday showed in its world population trend that the number of global population stands at about 7.7 billion.
“It took hundreds of thousands of years for the world population to grow to 1 billion but in just another 200 years or so, the global population grew sevenfold,” the UN data shows.
According to the global population trend by the UN, in 2011, the global population reached 7 billion mark, and today it stands at about 7.7 billion.
The global population is expected to grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 10.9 billion in 2100, the UN predicts.
This dramatic growth has been driven largely by increasing numbers of people surviving to reproductive age, and has been accompanied by major changes in fertility rates, increasing urbanization and accelerating migration.
These trends will have far-reaching implications for generations to come. The recent past has seen enormous changes in fertility rates and life expectancy.
According to the Global Population Trend by the UN, in the early 1970s, women had on average 4.5 children each; by 2015, total fertility for the world had fallen to below 2.5 children per woman.
Meanwhile, average global life spans have risen, from 64.6 years in the early 1990s to 72.6 years in 2019.
In addition, the world is seeing high levels of urbanization and accelerating migration.
The year 2007 was the first year in which more people lived in urban areas than in rural areas, and by 2050 about 66 percent of the world population will be living in cities.
Megatrends & far-reaching implications
They affect economic development, employment, income distribution, poverty and social protections.
They also affect efforts to ensure universal access to health care, education, housing, sanitation, water, food and energy.
To more sustainably address the needs of individuals, policymakers must understand how many people are living on the planet, where they are, how old they are, and how many people will come after them.
COVID-19 pandemic is deepening existing inequalities and vulnerabilities, particularly for women and girls, said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in a message marking the World Population Day on Saturday,
“The pandemic affects everyone, everywhere, “but it does not affect everyone equally, said the UN Chief.
He also said that “With many countries on lockdown and health systems struggling to cope, sexual and reproductive health services are being sidelined and gender-based violence is on the rise”.
31mn gender-based violence may occur
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) predicts that if lockdown measures continue for six months with major disruptions to health services, 47 million women in low- and middle-income countries may not be able to access modern contraceptives.
This would result in seven million unintended pregnancies.
Some 31 million additional cases of gender-based violence can also be expected, the UN body predicted.
“Every year, millions of girls are subjected to practices that harm them physically and emotionally, robbing them of their right to reach their full potential”, said the UNB Secretary-General.
According to UNFPA’s State of World Population 2020, more than four million girls will be subjected to female genital mutilation and 12 million forced to marry this year.
Guterres acknowledged that “Lockdowns stemming from the pandemic are expected to make matters even worse.”
Grassroots approaches recommended
The top UN official said that decades of experience and research show that bottom-up, grassroots approaches can change gender-biased norms and attitudes.
Through international declarations and agreements, the world has committed to ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health care; eliminating the unmet need for contraception; and ending all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030.
Also Read - Sexual Violence: UN for holding perpetrators accountable
The UN chief emphasised that “We cannot allow the pandemic to reverse progress we’ve made towards these goals”.
“On this World Population Day, let us act to safeguard sexual and reproductive health care, protect the health and rights of women and girls, and end gender-based violence”, concluded the Secretary-General.
“The pandemic has made our jobs much harder, but we must prevail,” he added.
Long way to go
UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanem underscored that women have a right to make their own decisions about “whether, when and how often to become pregnant”.
That right was reaffirmed in 1994 in Cairo at the landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), where 179 governments agreed that sexual and reproductive health is the foundation for sustainable development.
Yet, despite considerable gains over the past 25 years, there is a long road ahead to live up to the promise of Cairo, with too many women still unable to enjoy their rights.
“More than 200 million women and girls want to delay or prevent pregnancy but don’t have the means”, explained Dr Kanem, noting that the most vulnerable and marginalized women and girls “who face the greatest gaps in services”.
Human rights can’t be quarantined!— UNFPA (@UNFPA) July 10, 2020
This #WorldPopulationDay, see how @UNFPA is protecting the rights of millions of people affected by the #COVID19 pandemic: https://t.co/hswtETDidx#StandUp4HumanRights pic.twitter.com/9XbBptPQ83