Dhaka, Jan 29 (UNB) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment have planned to work together in a coordinated way to protect the rights of Bangladeshi expatriates and address their difficulties.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen dropped the hint after a meeting with State Minister for Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Imran Ahmad at his office on Tuesday.
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin also attended the meeting while State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md Mahbub Ali joined it over phone.
“Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment and Ministry of Foreign Affairs - we’re two brothers,” Foreign Minister Dr Momen told reporters adding that they discussed how the two ministries can work as supplementary to each other.
State Minister Imran Ahmad said the issue of torture on female workers abroad what surfaced in media is “very much regrettable and this is no way acceptable.”
He said his ministry has already taken it up to find ways how they can handle the matter saying female workers are not facing tortures for only one reason but for various reasons.
The State Minister said they would come to a solution identifying how the Bangladesh Missions abroad and Labour wings there can work in a coordinated way. “We’ll reach a solution.”
He hoped that there would be a big change within the next six months in terms of addressing the problem of female workers. “This is my belief.”
Asked about any specific plan, the State Minister said, “We’re still formulating the plan that’s what I said.”
Foreign Minister Dr Momen said they had a discussion on how the implementation of the ongoing development projects is expedited.
“There was no specific issue,” he said adding that they discussed more than one issue focusing on coordination and how the work can be expedited.
Issues related to climate change, water, river communication, dredging of rivers and airports development were also discussed.
Dhaka, Jan 29 (UNB) - Bangladesh has said Myanmar could agree to create a safe zone under the direct supervision of Asean which may generate perception of safety and security for Rohingya people and make them willing to voluntarily return.
"We’re now committed to their voluntary repatriation to their homeland as soon as Myanmar will create the conducive environment for their safe return," said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday.
He conveyed this to Special Envoy of Prime Minister and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam Nguyen Quoc Dzung during a meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the afternoon.
With reference to the Rohingya crisis, the Foreign Minister informed the Deputy Foreign Minister that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had saved lives of thousands of Myanmar residents from the Rakhine State (Rohingyas) temporarily sheltering them within Bangladesh border.
Foreign Minister Dr Momen requested Viet Nam to play an active role to get ASEAN more seized with Rohingya issue and promote dialogue among their members vis-à-vis Myanmar to curb out an early resolution of the crisis.
Otherwise, he said, the whole region will have to face a threat of instability and insecurity causing deterrence to economic growth.
Quoc Dzung appreciated the kind gesture, generosity of Prime Minister for saving the lives of the 8,00,000 Rohingyas.
He then explained reasons of their voting against Rohingya issues at the UN as a policy of interference and not supporting any issues brought against any specific country.
He, however, indicated the possibility of revising their position on Rohingya issues in the future.
Quoc Dzung informed that the government of Viet Nam will contribute US$ 50,000 as the humanitarian assistance for the ill-fated Rohingya and US$ 50,000 for World Food Program in Bangladesh.
The Foreign Minister appreciated the revised position of Vietnam on Rohingya issues and expressed intention for a collaborative approach from now on.
The Deputy Foreign Minister of Vietnam congratulated Foreign Minister Dr Momen on behalf of his government.
He reaffirmed his government’s willingness to work closely with the new Bangladesh government.
The Foreign Minister recalled the historic and gallantry contribution of the two great leaders Ho Chi Minh and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman towards the freedom and prosperity of Vietnam and Bangladesh respectively.
He also mentioned that both the countries share similar history of struggle for independence.
The Foreign Minister praised Vietnam and its dynamic people for the tremendous economic success.
Mentioning trade between Bangladesh and Vietnam reaching close to US$ 1 (One) billion by the year 2018, he proposed Vietnam side to positively consider importing our pharmaceuticals, leather & leather products, and ships to fill the trade gap between two countries.
The Deputy Foreign Minister assured Bangladesh of conveying this message to the appropriate authorities in Vietnam.
He informed that Viet Nam is working with diligence to hold the 2nd Foreign Office Consultation and the 2nd meeting of the Joint Committee on Trade this year.
Recalling that China became member of the G77 group (G77+China) during the chairmanship of Bangladesh which brought about significant changes to the group, the Foreign Minister requested Vietnam to positively consider the intention of Bangladesh to become a member of Asean during their chairmanship in 2020.
Quoc Dzung invited the Foreign Minister to visit Vietnam at an earliest convenience.
Dhaka, Jan 29 (UNB) - Outgoing Malaysian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Nur Ashikin Binti Mohd Taib paid her farewell visit to President Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban on Tuesday.
Press secretary to the President Joynal Abedin briefed reporters after the meeting.
At the meeting, the President described Malaysia as one of the important development partners of Bangladesh, saying it attaches importance to boosting the bilateral relations.
Expressing satisfaction over the volume of the trade between the two countries, he said, "There’s huge potential to further strengthen the ties. Both the countries will benefit if the potential sectors can be utilised.”
Abdul Hamid noted that Malaysia can import Bangladeshi products like pharmaceuticals, leather goods and RMG, which maintain very high quality and are available at very reasonable prices, in a greater volume.
He also called upon Malaysia to increase investment in the physical infrastructure and manufacturing sectors of Bangladesh, including power and energy.
The Malaysian envoy said the relations between the two countries are increasing day by day. The Bangladeshi nationals working in Malaysia are playing a positive role in the development of their country, she said.
She also hoped that the existing relations will further be strengthened in the days to come.
Secretaries concerned to the President were also present on the occasion.
Dhaka, Jan 29 (UNB) - Bangladesh has strongly protested “irresponsible and false” allegations by the officials of the General Administration Department of Myanmar implicating Bangladesh into a terrorist attack on a police post in Maungdaw Township on January 24.
“The government of Bangladesh is utterly disgruntled. Bangladesh strongly protests such groundless and provocative accusations casting aspersions on Bangladesh,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) conveyed Myanmar Ambassador in Dhaka Lwin Oo in a strongly-worded protest note when he was summoned at the MoFA on Tuesday afternoon.
Myanmar did not provide Bangladesh with specific details and concrete evidence on the alleged terrorist elements and their activities.
The government of Bangladesh urged the government of Myanmar to take effective measures to prevent any attempt aiming to associate Bangladesh with the internal political and security conundrum of Myanmar.
When approached, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said Bangladesh has kept its border with Myanmar under “strict control” as Bangladesh maintains zero tolerance to any terrorism.
Referring to Prime Minister’s announcement and its subsequent implementation, he said Bangladesh cannot be the hub of any terrorist organisation and it never gives shelter to any terrorist organisation.
“It’s regrettable,” said the Foreign Minister mentioning Myanmar’s continuous fabricated and false information.
In its statement, MoFA also said the allegations brought by Myanmar are found to be absolutely fabricated and baseless.
“It’s affirmed that there was neither any border crossing by any group from Bangladesh nor any incident of firing from Bangladesh side towards any direction on that particular day. The allegation is fabricated and highly derogatory to the reputation of Bangladesh, a country that persistently strives for peace and stability all over the world,” the statement reads.
MoFA said the repetition of such serious and baseless allegations with varied versions could be construed as a deliberate attempt to malign Bangladesh and implicate a peace-loving country into the incessant internal conflicts of Myanmar.
The government of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is firmly committed not to allow any dissident groups to use its soil for any purpose.
The high level of alertness and effective preventive measures by the law enforcement agencies of Bangladesh in the line with “zero tolerance policy” of the government render it absolutely impossible to be present in the country or to launch any attack, said MoFA.
“We reaffirm that there’s no existence of any terrorist group within Bangladesh. The security forces of Bangladesh alongside the border remain always vigilant and prepared to address any untoward incident that may affect peace and stability,” reads the statement.
Bangladesh has taken all the possible measures, including comprehensive international engagements in counterterrorism, to fully implement its commitments, said MoFA.
It said Bangladesh’s comprehensive cooperation in counterterrorism with some of the neighboring countries proved to be highly effective and globally recognised.
Bangladesh has already proposed to engage in similar type of comprehensive bilateral cooperation mechanism with Myanmar to combat against terrorism.
The government of Bangladesh, on several instances, had proposed Myanmar to conduct joint operation in addressing terrorist activities along the border area. Myanmar is yet to respond to the proposal of Bangladesh.
MoFA said Bangladesh is acclaimed by international community for its unflinching commitment and bold actions in the combat of terrorism at national, regional, and global level.
It said the security forces of Bangladesh have not only secured every corner of the country but also earned high esteem at global level for their utmost professionalism, outstanding competence, and invaluable contributions in world peace since long.
“Bangladesh always stands ready to engage in comprehensive cooperation mechanism with any country, including Myanmar, in the combat of terrorism,” reads the statement.
Dhaka, Jan 29 (UNB) - Unicef is requesting US$ 152.5 million this year to meet the lifesaving and humanitarian-development needs of Rohingyas and Bangladeshi host communities, it said on Tuesday.
Millions of children living in countries affected by conflicts and disasters lack access to vital child protection services, putting their safety, wellbeing and futures at risk, Unicef warned as it appealed for $3.9 billion to support its work for children in humanitarian crises.
Unicef’s Humanitarian Action for Children sets out the agency’s 2019 appeal and its efforts to provide 41 million children with access to safe water, nutrition, education, health and protection in 59 countries across the globe.
Since August 2017, more than 730,000 Rohingya, including 400,000 children, have fled violence in Myanmar and settled in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, according to Unicef.
Despite the enormous challenges of the magnitude and extreme speed of the influx, Unicef extended life-saving services to over 1.2 million refugees and affected host communities.
Some 380,000 people were provided with access to safe drinking water; 145,209 Rohingya children got basic education, 20,000 children under five treated for severe acute malnutrition and 1,235,475 people over 1 year old received oral cholera vaccine. Thanks to the donors for their generous support.
Funding for child protection programmes accounts for $385 million of the overall appeal, including almost $121 million for protection services for children affected by the Syria crisis.
“Today, millions of children living through conflict or disaster are suffering horrific levels of violence, distress and trauma,” said Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
“The impact of our child protection work cannot be overstated. When children do not have safe places to play, when they cannot be reunited with their families, when they don’t receive psychosocial support, they won’t heal from the unseen scars of war.”
Unicef estimates that more than 34 million children living through conflict and disaster lack access to child protection services, including 6.6 million children in Yemen, 5.5 million children in Syria and 4 million children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Child protection services include all efforts to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation, trauma and violence.
Unicef also works to ensure that the protection of children is central to all other areas of the organisation’s humanitarian programmes, including water, sanitation and hygiene, education and other areas of work by identifying, mitigating and responding to potential dangers to children’s safety and wellbeing.
However, funding constraints, as well as other challenges, including warring parties’ growing disregard for international humanitarian law and the denial of humanitarian access, mean that aid agencies’ capacity to protect children is severely limited.
In the DRC, for example, Unicef received just a third of the $21 million required for child protection programmes in 2018, while around one-fifth of child protection funding for Syrian children remained unmet.
“Providing these children with the support they need is critical, but without significant and sustained international action, many will continue to fall through the cracks,” said Manuel Fontaine, Unicef Director of Emergency Programmes. “The international community should commit to supporting the protection of children in emergencies.”
This includes the provision of essential nutrition, health, WASH, protection and education services. Given the country’s high level of risk for natural hazards, the humanitarian system’s capacity to prepare for and respond to sudden-onset disasters/ epidemics will be supported throughout the country.
The year 2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the landmark Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions, yet today, more countries are embroiled in internal or international conflict than at any other time in the past three decades, threatening the safety and wellbeing of millions of children.
Unicef’s appeal comes one month after the children’s agency said that the world is failing to protect children living in conflict around the world, with catastrophic consequences.
The children who are continuously exposed to violence or conflict, especially at a young age, are at risk of living in a state of toxic stress – a condition that, without the right support can lead to negative life-long consequences for their cognitive, social and emotional development.
Some children impacted by war, displacement and other traumatic events – such as sexual and gender-based violence – require specialized care to help them cope and recover.
The five largest individual appeals are for Syrian refugees and host communities in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey (US$ 904 million); Yemen (US$ 542.3 million); The Democratic Republic of the Congo (US$ 326.1 million); Syria (US$ 319.8 million) and South Sudan (US$ 179.2 million).