Bangladesh’s resolution entitled “Natural Plant Fibres and Sustainable Development” has been adopted by consensus in the plenary of the second committee of the 74th session of the UNGA.
The resolution was tabled in September 2019 in this committee and adopted on Thursday, said the Bangladesh Mission at the UN.
After several rounds of exhilarating as well as contentious negotiations, the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh could achieve consensus of all member states of the UN for this resolution.
Along with India, China, Russia, Ireland, Canada, Indonesia, Singapore, Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria 68 countries have co-sponsored the resolution.
This is the first resolution in the UN General Assembly that features the challenges as well as the potential of Jute and other natural plant fibres as economically viable, socially beneficial and environmentally sustainable agricultural products.
The resolution primarily focuses on jute and other natural fibers such as Abaca, Coir, Kenaf, Sisal, Hemp and Ramie which are lesser known to the international community and reiterates that the promotion of these fibres would contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.
During the adoption of the resolution, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen said under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the current government of Bangladesh has been adopting bold policies aiming at transforming the agriculture sector, promoting rural development, empowering the marginalized people and protecting smallholder farmers and small- scale producers.
In continuation to that, he said, Bangladesh took the lead to highlight the potential economic, social and environmental benefits of the natural plant fibres such as jute which is fondly called the "Golden Fibre" in Bangladesh.
He hoped this resolution will pave the way for fostering scientific research, development and cooperation at national, regional and global levels to ensure, in addition to its traditional use, the high end, value-added and innovative use of all lesser known natural plant fibres.
Ambassador Masud thanked the member states across the region for their support in adopting the resolution.
After adoption of the resolution, in front of the UNHQs Building Ambassador Masud briefed the journalists about how this resolution will help Bangladesh.
He said this resolution will pave the way for a stronger, effective and efficient ‘global value chain’ for jute and other natural fibre products.
"If the demand of jute and jute products increase in the global market, Bangladesh’s jute growers and traders will get competitive price”.
In addition, he explained. “Our objective is primarily to promote Jute. To bring all the countries on board, we have broadened the scope of the resolution which includes other natural plant fibres also such as Abaca, Coir, Kenaf, Sisal, Hemp and Ramie. We needed the support of the international community in our first ever attempt to promote Jute”.
The PR also said that this resolution will help addressing the environmental degradation and climate change issues by creating awareness globally of the disadvantages of artificial fibres such as plastic and the benefits of using natural fibres.
It calls upon the governments to mainstream the promotion of the natural fibres into their policies, plans and laws.
From now on, the resolution will be discussed in the Second Committee of the General Assembly biennially.
Bangladesh has reaffirmed its unflinching support for Palestine and its territorial integrity as established through United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and the principle of ‘land for peace’.
“Bangladesh is convinced that there’s no ambiguity about illegal status of Israeli occupation and settlement activities in the Palestinian territories,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Thursday in a statement on recent declaration stating Israeli occupation in Palestine legal.
The Security Council, the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the HRC and the International Court of Justice have all confirmed that the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements and other settlement related activities in the Occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under international law, the statement reads.
Bangladesh reaffirmed its support towards the inalienable rights of the People of Palestine to their homeland and urges Israel to comply with the international law in this regard.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Saida Muna Tasneem has presented her letter of credence to Irish President Michael Daniel Higgins as a non-resident ambassador of Bangladesh to Ireland.
The ceremony was held at the President's residence called Áras an Uachtaráin in Dublin on Wednesday, the High Commission said Thursday.
The Bangladesh Ambassador was accompanied by her spouse Tauhidul I Chaudhury.
On her arrival at the President's residence, the Bangladesh Ambassador was accorded a guard of honour, witnessed by the Irish President along with his spouse, Irish Minister for the Diaspora and International Development and high officials of Ireland's foreign ministry.
At the ceremony, Ambassador Tasneem conveyed the warm greetings of Bangladesh's President Md Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the Irish President and reaffirmed her commitment for further developing the excellent bilateral relations that have been existing since Bangladesh's recognition by Ireland in early 1972.
Recalling the moral support of the people of Ireland during Bangladesh's War of Liberation, Bangladesh Ambassador hoped that the two countries would jointly celebrate the 50th year of diplomatic relation in 2022.
She conveyed the Irish President that Bangladesh will celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from March 2020 to 2021 and looked forward to celebrating the birth centenary with the government of Ireland in 2020-2021.
The Ambassador gave President Higgins a brief account of Bangladesh's unprecedented development in different sectors, including GDP growth, education, healthcare and women empowerment during the decade-long leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
She thanked the Irish government and the people for providing all-out support to the flourishing Bangladeshi-Irish Diaspora living in Ireland and underlined the need for expediting the visa and work permit services for skilled Bangladeshi migrants recruited by multinational companies in Irish IT sector.
The Ambassador noted that Ireland is currently the European hub for IT sector's multinational companies (MNCs) and underlined the need for taking a fresh look by Irish companies at Bangladesh's software outsourcing capabilities, including its 600,000 freelance IT professionals.
The envoy also emphasised the need for further enhancing and diversifying of Bangladesh-Irish bilateral trade, including in the readymade garment (RMG) sector.
She invited the Irish government to open an Embassy in Dhaka and organise regular high-level bilateral visits that would take Bangladesh-Ireland relations to a new height.
President Higgins welcomed the Bangladesh Ambassador and conveyed his profound admiration of humanitarian gesture of Sheikh Hasina in sheltering 1.1 million Rohingyas.
The President expressed his interest in Bangladesh's efforts in combating the risks from climate changes and realising the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He also appreciated the fact that the birthday of Bangabandhu and St Patrick's Day fall on the same day of 17th March and look forward to celebrating Bangabandhu's birth centenary in Ireland.
Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development Ciaran Cannon TD, Secretary-General to President Art O Leary and Deputy Secretary-General of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Brenden Rogers were present at the ceremony. First Secretary of Bangladesh High Commission in London Md Shafiul Alam attended the event.
At the ceremony, the Bangladesh Ambassador and the Irish minister also exchanged views on bilateral issues and interests.
Besides, the Ambassador attended a reception hosted in her honour by the Bangladesh-Irish community and exchanged views with them on different issues.
The community leaders praised the regular and improved consular and visa services in Ireland provided by the Bangladesh High Commission in London.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Wednesday said the government will give priority to further expansion of small and medium enterprise (SME) sector considering its importance in the country’s national economy.
He was addressing a function as the chief guest at the Cirdap where a research paper on ‘Development of SMEs in Bangladesh: Lessons from German Experiences’ was presented.
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) extended supports in doing the research on SMEs.
Director General (International Organizations) Mohammad Khorshed Alam Khastagir and FES Country Representative Tina Marie Blohm also spoke at the event with SME Foundation Managing Director Md Shafiqul Islam in the chair.
Over 68 lakh business entities of the total 78 lakh are SMEs, according to the research finding.
The SMEs sector and the country’s overall economy will get further momentum if these SMEs are supported giving much importance, the research paper suggested.
Former teacher at Dhaka University Professor Dr M Baki Khalili led the research team, said a press release.
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG, founder and Chair Emeritus of BRAC, has been honored with the Order of Orange-Nassau for his longstanding, dedicated and successful work in alleviating poverty, especially of women and children.
The Order of Orange-Nassau is awarded for longstanding meritorious service to society, the State or the Royal House of the Kingdom of The Netherlands.
Sir Abed accepted the insignia of the Royal Knighthood bestowed upon him by Dutch Ambassador to Bangladesh Harry Verweij on behalf of King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands on Wednesday.
A brief ceremony took place at Abed's residence in the city. Abed’s family members along with representatives from the Netherlands embassy were present at the event.
"On behalf of His Majesty the King it is my great honour and privilege to present to you the insignia of Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau,” Ambassador Verweij said.
Sir Abed expressed his delight at the acknowledgement by the Dutch Crown. "Being named an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau is an immense honour.”
He said the Netherlands has been a great friend and supporter to BRAC over the decades and their connection with the country has deepened since establishing the base of international operations there 10 years ago.
“This recognition is a testament to that friendship. As BRAC expands globally, we look forward to working together to advance the causes of people living in situations of poverty and deprivation”.
The Dutch Ambassador highlighted Sir Abed’s holistic vision and entrepreneurial approach to poverty alleviation and women’s empowerment saying he has always strived to uphold human dignity, resilience, integrity and inclusion - these values have been at the heart of the successful development of BRAC.
“The fact that, for BRAC, the empowerment of women is not a secondary aim but a guiding principle of all of its programmes and enterprises, is greatly appreciated. BRAC’s anti-poverty work is recognized across the world, including in the Netherlands,” said the Ambassador.
He also mentioned the longstanding and close connection between BRAC and his country.