Dhaka, Mar 1 (UNB) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appreciated Bangladesh’s socio-economic development under the leadership of the current government.
He also appreciated the generosity shown by Bangladesh and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by sheltering huge Rohingyas on humanitarian ground.
The issues came up for discussion when Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque met the UN chief in New York on Thursday.
They discussed various issues of mutual interests apart from Rohingya issue, according to Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations.
The Foreign Secretary thanked the UN Secretary General for his efforts towards finding a solution to Rohingya crisis.
He informed the UN chief about active and productive participation of Bangladesh in the upcoming high-level conference on climate change in September next.
The Foreign Secretary assured the UN chief of Bangladesh’s continued support to take forward his reform agenda.
United Nations, Mar 1 (AP/UNB) — Bangladesh's foreign secretary said Thursday his country will need to stop accepting more refugees from Myanmar and accused its government of being "obstructionist" about bringing back more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims who have fled violence.
Myanmar, meanwhile, continued to insist it is taking steps toward their return. Its ambassador appealed for patience from the U.N. Security Council, but several members complained about what they saw as lagging progress nearly a year after a council delegation traveled to see the crisis firsthand.
After a renewed flare-up in violence in Myanmar's northern Rakhine State, new refugees are still crossing the border to Bangladesh, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque said.
"As far as repatriation is concerned, the situation has gone far from bad to worse," he told the council, adding that his country "would no longer be in a position to accommodate more people from Myanmar."
He didn't say when that might occur.
More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since August 2017, when Rohingya militants attacked Myanmar security forces in Rakhine, triggering a massive military retaliation that U.N. investigators have called genocide. The exodus came after hundreds of thousands of other Rohingya escaped previous bouts of violence and persecution.
Most people in Buddhist-majority Myanmar don't accept the Rohingya Muslims as a native ethnic group. They are, instead, viewed as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, though generations of Rohingya have lived in Myanmar.
Nearly all have been denied citizenship since 1982 and lack access to education and hospitals.
The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution in December strongly condemning "gross human rights violations and abuses" committed against Myanmar's Rohingya.
Myanmar's government denies claims of genocide and ethnic cleansing. The country rejects the U.N. investigators' work and the General Assembly resolution as biased.
Myanmar has made agreements with Bangladesh and U.N. agencies to repatriate the Rohingya, but it hasn't happened.
A plan for refugees to begin returning last November was scrapped because officials couldn't find anyone willing to go. Myanmar had said it was ready to receive them, but U.N. officials, human rights activists and others had called for waiting until the refugees' safety in Myanmar could be assured.
The Bangladeshi foreign secretary said Thursday his country had "tried everything" with Myanmar but met with "hollow promises and various obstructionist approaches."
He urged the Security Council to visit the Rohingya refugee camps again and set up "safe zones" for people of all backgrounds in conflict-torn parts of Myanmar.
Myanmar's U.N. ambassador said his country was taking steps to facilitate the Rohingya's return. The envoy, Hau Do Suan, pointed to three dozen small-scale community projects planned "as soon as the security condition permits" and to a recent investment fair meant to generate development in Rakhine.
"We seek your understanding of the practicality and possibilities on the ground," Hau told the council, adding that building trust in Rakhine "takes time and patience, as well as courage."
The Rohingya crisis has been a sensitive subject in the council, where Myanmar's close ally China is among members with veto power. The council did visit Myanmar and Bangladesh last April and May, and members last summer urged stepping up efforts to enable the Rohingya to return.
Several countries on the council vented frustrations Thursday.
"The time has come for the government of Myanmar to assume its responsibility to protect its citizens" and for the council "to use all means at its disposal to make tangible progress," said the Dominican Republic's envoy, Jose Singer.
But Russia and China advised the group not to be strident.
"The international community should keep its patience," Chinese Deputy Ambassador Wu Haitao said.
Dhaka, Feb 28 (UNB) - The 'Order of the Sacred Treasure, Silver Rays' has recently been conferred upon Ritsuko Abedin, a former employee at the Embassy of Japan in Bangladesh.
The conferral ceremony was held at the official residence of Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Hiroyasu Izumi on February 26, said the embassy on Thursday.
On November 3, 2018, the government of Japan decided to confer the decoration on Abedin in recognition of her longstanding and dedicated contribution to the bilateral relationship between Bangladesh and Japan.
At the ceremony, Ambassador Izumi expressed his sincere appreciation to Abedin for supporting the embassy’s activities as the staff of administration section for about 25 years.
She helped not only the administration work but also political affairs using her fluent Bangla and extensive contacts in Bangladesh, said the embassy.
Abedin also served as an advisor for both Japanese and Bangladeshi staffs.
As one of Japanese people who have lived in Bangladesh since before the independence, she has introduced her experience and the history of Bangladesh in the last 50 years to many Japanese people.
Dhaka, Feb 28 (UNB) - Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has directed all Bangladesh missions abroad to provide consular services for its citizens round the clock.
Minister Momen has already written a letter outlining necessary measures to all the heads of missions abroad with much focus on building stronger relations with Bangladeshi expatriates.
In the letter, he directed the mission heads to keep the consular services line open for 24 hours with immediate effect, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Thursday.
The Foreign Minister said it is urgent to improve consular services making it friendly for Bangladeshi expatriates through bringing necessary changes.
He said the flow of investment and remittance into Bangladesh will increase if the Bangladeshi expatriates can be involved in Bangladesh's overall development process.
The desired success depends on friendly relations with expatriates with required services in place, said the Foreign Minister.
He also directed them to make a database on expatriates as per their professions.
Dhaka, Feb 28 (UNB) – As in the past, an Indian Army contingent comprising 170 personnel will participate in a joint training exercise ‘SAMPRITI-8’ in Bangladesh on March 2-15.
The Indian Army team will arrive at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday by an Indian Air Force special aircraft, IL-76.
This is the 8th edition of the joint training exercise which will be conducted at Bangabandhu Senanibas (BBS) in Tangail, according to Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka.
The exercise is aimed to strengthen and broaden the aspects of interoperability and cooperation between Bangladesh and Indian armies and enrich from each other’s experience while carrying out counter-insurgency or counter-terrorism operations.
For the first time in the history of "Exercise SAMPRITI" series, both the armies will undertake exercise related to relief/response operations related to natural disasters -- earthquake, flood etc.
The joint exercise was first held in Assam, India in 2011 and since then both the countries have been hosting the exercise alternatively.
Last year, the training exercise was conducted at Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Vairengte in Mizoram.
On completion of the exercise, the Indian Army contingent will depart for India on March 16 from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in an Indian Air Force special IL-76 aircraft.
The holding of such joint exercises is symbolic of the strong defence cooperation between the two countries.