Wolfsburg (Germany), Nov 6 (UNB) – Experts from the private sector, civil society, governments and academia have started gathering here as the two-day 9th Global Social Business Summit (GSBS) begins on November 8 with the theme – ‘Building a new civilization’.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus and his creative adviser Hans Reitz are organising the annual event and the leading conference on social business or entrepreneurship.
Prior to the main Summit, the 7th Social Business Academia Conference and Young Challengers and Pioneers meeting are scheduled to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The main topics of the GSBS 2018 are plastic and circular economy, mobility, solidarity, sports and social business and food and its value.
The worldwide leading forum serves to spread awareness about social business, foster discussions and collaboration between practitioners and stakeholders, as well as present and conceive best practices.
Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus, Executive Director Yunus Centre Lamiya Morshed, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG; Human Resources and Organization Gunnar Kilian, former NASA Austronaut Ron Garan, CEO Autostadt Roland Clement, CEO The Grameen Creative Lab, Head of GSBS Hans Reitz, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Sing for Hope Monica Yunus, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Sing for Hope Camille Zamora, President and Founder of Jean Bernou Consulting Jean Bernou, Peter Schwarzenbauer, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dr Maria Flachsbarth, Impact Investor and Social Entrepreneur Ruben Vardanyan and adviser to Prof Yunus Nurjahan Begum and Board of Management Volkswagen AG, Integrity and Legal Affairs Hiltrud Werner are among the speakers of the GSBS 2018.
On November 8 and 9, the participants will experience outstanding Social Business entrepreneurs, great keynotes, master classes, workshops and networking sessions.
Hans Reitz said plastic does not belong to nature and they need a fundamental system change to address the problem. “What we need is a circular economy.”
“I always felt amazed at the limitless power of sport. It’s powerful because it is basic to human nature. Where there’s power there’s always a chance to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives,” said Prof Yunus.
The 9th edition, organisers said, represents an important step for the social business community they have fostered over the past years, as they are working concretely on action steps that will aim on building a new civilization.
In this spirit, the organisers will spread out in different hubs where they concentrate on the topics of plastic, sports, food, solidarity and mobility.
Dhaka, Nov 5 (UNB) - Facebook said Monday that an independent report it commissioned found the company hasn't always done enough to prevent its platform from being used to spread hate speech that has fueled deadly violence in Myanmar.
The report, conducted by the nonprofit Business for Social Responsibility, also offered Facebook recommendations for helping improve human rights in the country, including stricter enforcement of content policies and regular publishing of data related to human rights violations.
"The report concludes that, prior to this year, we weren't doing enough to help prevent our platform from being used to foment division and incite offline violence," Alex Warofka, Facebook product policy manager, wrote in a blog post.
"We agree that we can and should do more."
The report comes amid reports of widespread genocide being committed by the military in Myanmar.
In March, UN human rights experts investigating violence in the country concluded that Facebook played a "determining role" in the crisis, in which hundreds of thousands Rohingya Muslims have fled the country.
BSR recommended Facebook improve enforcement of its community standards, which describe what is and isn't allowed on the social network. Facebook said that central to achieving this is its near-complete development of a team that understands local Myanmar issues along with policy and operations expertise.
Facebook said it's using the social-listening tool CrowdTangle to analyze potentially harmful content and understand how it spreads in Myanmar. The company is also using artificial intelligence to identify and prevent the spread of posts that contain graphic violence or dehumanizing comments.
Preserving and sharing data that can be used to help evaluate human rights violations was also suggested, especially data specific to the situation in Myanmar so the international community can better evaluate the company's enforcement efforts.
"We are committed to working with and providing information to the relevant authorities as they investigate international human rights violations in Myanmar, and we are preserving data for this purpose," Warofka wrote, noting it took this approach with content and accounts associated with the Myanmar military it removed in August and October.
Another recommendation includes the establishment of a policy that defines Facebook's approach to content moderation with respect to human rights, a suggestion Warofka said Facebook is "looking into."
The UN's' top human rights officials recommended in August that Myanmar military leaders be prosecuted for genocide against Rohingya Muslims. More than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar's Rakhine state since rebel attacks sparked a military backlash in August 2017.
UN investigators have reportedly found numerous crimes committed against the minority in Myanmar, including gang rape, enslavement, torching villages and killing children. Roughly 10,000 people have reportedly been killed in the violence, and tens of thousands have fled the country.
Dhaka, Nov 5 (UNB) – Visiting Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Corporation Sigrid AM Kaag on Monday said the Netherlands will continue to support Bangladesh’s development efforts.
The Dutch minister came up with the remarks at a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganobhaban in the city.
PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
"We'll continue our support to Bangladesh's development efforts," Ihsanul Karim quoted the Dutch minister as saying at the meeting.
Kaag mentioned that cooperation between Bangladesh and the Netherlands has been enhanced to a great extent.
She said the Netherlands wants to further boost cooperation with Bangladesh in the fields of trade and development apart from the Delta Plan-2100.
The Dutch minister said they are keen to do more business here and also wants to work in the industries sector.
She highly praised Bangladesh's tremendous development under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. “The projects and plans that you are undertaking are the game changer," she said.
The Prime Minister said her government has adopted the Delta Plan-2100 considering interests of the future generations as Bangladesh has many rivers. The government wants to bring a big change in the country, she said.
She mentioned that the Delta Plan has been adopted keeping in mind the change of the people’s needs.
Noting that her government is setting up 100 economic zones and providing land for the investors, the Prime Minister said foreign investors, including the Dutch entrepreneurs, can build industries there for the mutual benefits.
At the meeting, Sheikh Hasina also recalled with gratitude that the Netherlands was one of the first European countries to recognise Bangladesh as an independent country.
The Prime Minister also highlighted her government’s achievements in the socio-economic front in the last 10 years, saying her main goal is to develop the country.
She mentioned her long struggle against the military dictators for restoration of democracy in the country.
PM's International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi, Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque, Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammad Belal, BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman and Dutch Ambassador in Dhaka Harry Verweji were, among others, present at the meeting.
Dhaka, Nov 5 (UNB) - The government on Monday signed two financing agreements totaling $200 million with the World Bank to improve the forest cover in the country’s coastal, hill and central districts, including Cox’s Bazar, and provide education to Rohingya children and youth.
The $175 million Sustainable Forests & Livelihoods Project will plant trees in about 79,000 hectares of forest through a collaborative forest management system.
The proportion to land under forests is only 11 percent in Bangladesh which is significantly lower than the Asian average of 26 percent. By increasing forest cover, the project will help the country become more climate resilient, said the Washington-based lending agency.
The sudden influx of over 725,000 Rohingya to Cox’s Bazar caused the loss of nearly 13,000 hectares of forest. The project will restore trees in 19,925 hectare of land in Cox’s Bazar.
It will also help about 40,000 poor, local households earn more money through alternative income generation activities.
It will also help the host communities through income generation activities, improving availability of wood for fuel in a sustainable way and reducing human-wild elephant conflict, which has increased due to loss of habitat.
“Despite its own challenges, Bangladesh generously provided shelter to about a million Rohingya refugees. The local people, many of whom are poor, welcomed the displaced Rohingya and shared food and resources. But the needs of both the Rohingya and the host community are huge,” said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.
“These financing with help the government improve resilience and livelihoods of the host community as well as address the learning and psycho-social needs of Rohingya children and adolescents.”
The $25 million Additional Financing to the existing Reaching Out of School Children Project II (ROSC II), also signed on Monday will help about 350,000 Rohingya children and adolescents get basic education and psychosocial support.
The grant will help recruit and train about 2,000 teachers and instructors. More than half of the teachers will be female, who will be trained to help girls manage safety concerns and if needed, guide them to safe locations.
The preparation of text books and learning materials will adhere to the government’s Learning Competency Framework.
The existing project is also being extended for two years, which will bring poor children from the host community in the area back to school in Cox’s Bazar, which has the lowest net education enrollment rate in the country.
The project extension will provide training to more than 17,000 local adolescents and help them with job placement.
Both agreements were signed by Monowar Ahmed and Qimiao Fan on behalf of the government and the World Bank, respectively, at the Economic Relations Division.
The credit to the Sustainable Forests & Livelihoods Project from the World Bank’s International Development Association has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period.
Of the $25 million financing to the ROSC II project, the World Bank will provide $21 million as a grant through the IDA18 Regional Sub-window for Refugees and Host Communities and the Government of Canada will provide a $4 million grant.
Dhaka, Nov 5 (UNB) - Singaporean Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan has said though Bangladesh and Myanmar are having detailed discussions on the commencement of repatriation the road ahead is long and arduous.
“The road ahead is long and arduous. Many details have to be sorted out first to ensure voluntary, safe, secure and dignified repatriation,” he said while wrapping up his two-day visit.
The Singaporean Minister is set to begin his Myanmar visit on Monday and will discuss the Rohingya repatriation issue with top officials in Nay Pyi Taw.
After his visit to Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar on Sunday, he said the current situation is not sustainable.
“The refugees I spoke to all want to return home to Myanmar. Their prime concern is for their children’s future,” said the Minister.
Minister Balakrishnan visited the Rohingya camps at the Kutupalong-Balukhali expansion site and the zero line with his Bangladesh counterpart AH Mahmood Ali.
There are some twenty camps, stretching across the horizon.
The Singaporean Minister in his verified Facebook page wrote that the government and people of Bangladesh have been “absolutely wonderful” in providing humanitarian support for a million of Rohingyas under very difficult conditions.
International agencies are also actively providing essential assistance, said the minister adding that Singapore has contributed financial and humanitarian aid too.
Before his visit to Cox's Bazar, he met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday.
They reaffirmed two countries’ close bilateral ties and economic cooperation, which have been expanding steadily since we established diplomatic relations in 1972.
Today, Singapore is Bangladesh’s fourth largest source of Foreign Direct Investment, and their companies are showing increasing interest in the growing Bangladeshi market, particularly in the power, connectivity and infrastructure sectors.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is a “courageous leader” who has made great sacrifices for her country.
The Singaporean Minister said Bangladesh has made great strides under her leadership. “I hope that our bilateral cooperation will continue to strengthen.”
During his meeting with Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali again, they reviewed the strong bilateral relations and close cooperation between two nations.
Minister Ali also briefed him on the status of Rohingyas and their repatriation process that will hopefully commence soon.
They both emphasised the need to do so in a voluntary, safe and dignified manner.
Meanwhile, the Singaporean Minister said ASEAN stands ready to support Bangladesh and Myanmar in finding a long-term solution.
ASEAN consists of ten ASEAN Member States (AMS), namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.