Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to arrive here on Friday on a brief visit which will be his second visit to Bangladesh this year after leaving the United Nations.
This time, the former UN chief is coming to attend the 13th convocation of Brac University which will be held at Army Stadium on Saturday afternoon, an official told UNB.
President Abdul Hamid is also scheduled to attend the convocation ceremony.
Ban will arrive at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 7am on Friday and l join lunch to be hosted by Brac in his honor on Saturday.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen will hold a meeting with the former UN chief, known as a very good friend of Bangladesh, at 11 am on Saturday.
Ban will leave Dhaka at 6:30 pm same day.
In July last, Moon attended the ‘Dhaka Meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation’ held in the capital.
During his first visit to Bangladesh after leaving the UN, Brac University President and Vice-Chancellor Prof Vincent Chang invited the former UN chief who is currently the chairman of the Global Commission on Adaptation, to visit Brac University and energise students to participate further in the global arena.
Six people, including a Bangladeshi national, were killed in an airstrike on a biscuit factory in Libya’s capital Tripoli on Monday, said the Bangladeshi envoy there.
The Bangladeshi victim was identified as Abul Hasan alias Babulal, hailing from Rajshahi.
Bangladeshi Ambassador to Libya Sk Sekander Ali said they contacted the authorities of Al-Sunbulah Biscuit Factory in Wadi Al-Rabie area after the drone attack when they informed that the victims were sent to different hospitals.
After visiting different hospitals, Babulal was identified as the Bangladeshi national, he said, adding that 15 other Bangladeshis were found taking treatment at the hospitals.
The ambassador also said the condition of M Emon of Cumilla and Mohabbat Ali of Jhenaidah was critical and they were undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit of Tripoli Medical College.
Of the rest deceased, two are Libyan citizens while three of different African countries, he said.
Talking to UNB, ASM Ashraful Islam, labour counsellor of Bangladesh Embassy in Tripoli, earlier said one of the victims is Bangladesh national.
Earlier, The Associated Press reported that five Bangladeshis among seven were killed in the airstrike.
Malek Merset, a spokesman with the ministry, told the AP that the dead included five workers from Bangladesh, and two Libyan nationals.
The airstrike also wounded at least 33 workers, mostly from Niger and Bangladesh, who were taken to nearby hospitals for urgent treatment, Merset said.
Tripoli has been the scene of fighting since April between the self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter, and an array of militias loosely allied with the U.N.-supported but weak government which holds the capital.
The Tripoli-based health ministry said the airstrike took place in the capital’s Wadi el-Rabie neighborhood, south of the city center where fighting has been raging for months.
Footage shared online showed wounded people with bandages and blood on their legs on stretchers before being taken by ambulances to hospitals.
Fighting for Tripoli has stalled in recent months, with both sides dug in and shelling one another along the city’s southern reaches. The months of combat have killed hundreds of people and displaced thousands.
Though there have been “historic gains” overall for the world’s children since the Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted 30 years ago, many of the poorest children are yet to feel the impact, according to a new Unicef report released on Monday.
The report titled ‘The Convention on the Rights of the Child at a Crossroads’ sought urgent action and a recommitment to child rights needed to address age-old and emerging threats.
Part of commemorations marking the 30th anniversary of the CRC, the report looks at the undeniable achievements of the past three decades, proof that where there is political will and determination, children’s lives improve.
“There have been impressive gains for children over the past three decades, as more and more are living longer, better and healthier lives. However, the odds continue to be stacked against the poorest and most vulnerable,” said Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore.
She said in addition to the persistent challenges of health, nutrition and education, children today have to contend with new threats like climate change, online abuse and cyberbullying. “Only with innovation, new technologies, political will and increased resources will we help translate the vision of the Convention on the Rights of the Child into a reality for all children everywhere.”
Citing progress in child rights over the past three decades, the report notes that the global under-five mortality rate has fallen by about 60 per cent and the proportion of primary-school-aged children not in school decreased from 18 per cent to 8 per cent.
The guiding principles of the CRC – non-discrimination; the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and the right to protection – have influenced numerous constitutions, laws, policies and practices globally.
However, the report notes this progress has not been even.
In low and middle-income countries children from the poorest households are twice as likely to die from preventable causes before their fifth birthday than children from the richest households.
Over the next 12 months Unicef plans to undertake a global dialogue on what it will take to make the promise of the convention a reality for every child.
The discourse will be inclusive, involving children and young people, parents and caregivers, education and social workers, communities and governments, civil society, academia, the private sector and the media, Unicef said adding that it will influence the way the organization does business in the future.
“The Convention stands at a crossroads between its illustrious past and its future potential. It is up to us to recommit, take decisive steps and hold ourselves accountable,” said Fore.
“We should take our lead from young people who are speaking up and speaking out for their rights as never before, we must act now – boldly and creatively.”
The number of students from Bangladesh studying in the United States increased to 8,249 during the most recent academic year - 2018/2019, according to the 2019 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange.
This is an all-time high for Bangladesh, reflecting a 10 percent increase over the 2018 report and more than tripling since 2009, said the US Embassy in Dhaka on Monday in celebration of International Education Week (IEW), a joint US Department of State and US Department of Education initiative from November 18-22.
The Embassy said Bangladesh is among the fastest-growing countries of origin for international students in the United States.
It now ranks 20th in the world for countries sending students to the United States for higher education, and the only country on the top 25 list to have a double-digit increase since the 2018 report.
Bangladesh’s increase is the highest in the South Asian region. Out of total 8,249 Bangladeshi students studying in the United States, 5,278 study at the graduate level; a 13.5 percent increase over 2017/2018 academic year.
Nearly 75 percent of Bangladeshi students currently on US campuses study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields.
Of them, over 40 percent (40.4 pc) study Engineering, nearly 18 percent (17.7 pc) Math/Computer Science, and over 15 percent (15.3 pc) Physical or Life Sciences.
Nearly eight percent (7.8 percent) study Business/Management.
For the past four years, US colleges and universities have hosted more than one million international students, reaching a record high of 1,095,299 this school year.
This also marks the 13th consecutive year of continued expansion of the total number of international students in the US higher education system.
Promoting educational exchanges between Bangladesh and the United States is a strategic priority for US Embassy Dhaka.
The Embassy said, “International education exchanges benefit both our nations and peoples, boosting intellectual and cross-cultural capital as well as business and professional networks, and helping prepare students to enter the global job markets and solve the world’s toughest challenges.”
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam on Monday indicated that Myanmar’s top 20 individuals, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, might face legal music and even arrest on foreign lands if the verdicts from two international courts –ICC and ICJ - demand so.
“This kind of incidents happened in the world,” he said apparently explaining why and how the Myanmar is not out of the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and International Court of Justice (ICJ) though it is not a party to the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the ICC.
Shahriar said though Myanmar is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, other countries which are parties to the ICC and ICJ have a responsibility to follow the verdicts that will come from these two top courts on Rohingya issue.
“If the verdicts name top 20 individuals of Myanmar – Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s senior general or ministers, if they visit countries like the UK and Japan and if verdicts say they’ve to be arrested, it’ll be their (foreign countries) responsibility to arrest them. This kind of incident happened in the world,” said the State Minister explaining the possible consequences.
Considering these aspects, he said, it is clearly understood where Myanmar’s position will ultimately land internationally.
That is why, Shahriar said, Myanmar in other words, is not out of the jurisdiction of the ICC and ICJ, no matter who says what.
Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingyas. File photo/AP
The State Minister was addressing as the chief guest a roundtable discussion titled ‘Necessity of Rohingya Repatriation in the Context of Regional and Global Situation’ held at the Jatiya Press Club.
The Institute of Conflict, Law and Development Studies (ICLDS) and the daily Bhorer Kagoj jointly arranged the event with ICLDS Chairman and former Ambassador Muhammad Zamir in the chair. Bhorer Kagaj Editor Shyamal Dutta moderated the discussion.
Brigadier General (retd) M Sakhawat Hossain, former Ambassador Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, former SC judge Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik, senior secretary at Disaster management and Relief Secretary Md Shah Kamal and Ukhiya Upazila chairman, among others, spoke at the event.
The State Minister said one thing is clear that the member countries of the ICC and ICJ who are still supporting Myanmar and will support it in the coming days will be under pressure afresh through the beginning of the processes at the ICC and ICJ on legal front against Myanmar.
“And this (progress on legal front), I think, will help Bangladesh find a solution to the Rohingya crisis in the coming days,” Shahriar said.
On November 14, pre-trial Chamber III of the International Criminal Court has authorised the Prosecutor to proceed with an investigation for the alleged crimes within the ICC’s jurisdiction committed against the Rohingya people from Myanmar.
ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said her investigation will seek to uncover the truth. “My Office will now focus on ensuring the success of its independent and impartial investigation."
Meanwhile, Suu Kyi is among several top Myanmar officials named in a case filed in Argentina for crimes against Rohingya Muslims and it shows the Nobel Laureate, for the first time, has been legally targeted over the crisis.
On November 11, Gambia filed a case at the United Nations’ highest court, accusing Myanmar of “genocide” in its campaign against its Rohingya Muslim minority.
Gambia, which filed the case on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), asked the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to urgently order measures “to stop Myanmar’s genocidal conduct immediately.”
On India and Japan’s more active role, Shahriar said the two countries over the last few of weeks directly conveyed Myanmar to resolve the Rohingya issue what they had never seen over the last two years.
Prime Minister Modi, during his meeting with Suu Kyi on the sidelines of the ASEAN-India Summit in Bangkok, conveyed the importance of speedy, safe, and sustainable” return of Rohingyas to their homes in Rakhine in the interest of people, and regions of the three countries -- India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.
Recently, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also had a meeting with State Counsellor Suu Kyi and urged Myanmar authorities to create an environment “conducive” to the repatriation of Rohingyas to their place of origin.
“I entirely leave it to you whether you’ll see these development as a significant achievement or not,” said the State Minister referring to some criticisms over not getting China, India and Japan fully beside Bangladesh.
Referring to bilateral engagement with Myanmar, the State Minister said the government wants to remain bilaterally engaged and mentioned that Bangladesh will remain a “responsible and responsive” nation as an active UN member.
He hoped that all will realise the ground reality of the sensitive issue that might hamper Bangladesh’s growth, security and progress, and keep faith on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s decision.
The State Minister also hoped that the civil society, think thanks and experts will play a stronger role to help find a solution to the crisis.
“Government’s eyes and ears remain open and we’re aware of the risks,” he said adding that there is no overnight solution to such a crisis.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Cox’s Bazar since August 25, 2017 amid military crackdown on Rohingyas in Rakhine State.
Not a single Rohingya was repatriated over the last two years due to Myanmar’s “failure” to build confidence among Rohingyas and lack of conducive environment in Rakhine State, officials here said.
Bangladesh has so far handed over names of over 1 lakh Rohingyas to the Myanmar authorities for verification and subsequently expediting their repatriation efforts but Myanmar is yet to take back its nationals from Bangladesh, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.