Ambassador Rabab Fatima, Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative (PR) to the United Nations, has been unanimously elected President of the UNICEF Executive Board at elections held Tuesday at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Serving alongside her as Vice-Presidents will be the PRs of Lithuania and Morocco, and DPRs of Brazil and Switzerland, according to a message from the Bangladesh Permanent Mission at the UN.
With this election, Bangladesh will be able to contribute further to the work of the United Nations, this time in providing strategic guidance to its agency specializing in children’s causes.
Bangladesh was earlier elected to the Executive Board for the term 2019-2021 representing the group of Asia-Pacific Sates.
Ambassador Fatima recently joined as the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York.
She succeeded Ambassador Masud Bin Momen as Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative who served as the Vice President of UNICEF Executive Board in 2019.
In her acceptance speech, Ambassador Rabab Fatima thanked the Board members for electing her, and for their confidence in Bangladesh’s leadership to address the challenges that continue to affect children across the globe, and for meaningful and impactful 2020 for UNICEF.
Ambassador Fatima assured UNICEF that the new Executive Board will work hard to bring new ideas to uplift the wellbeing of children and fight for their rights.
I am honoured to have been elected as President of the UNICEF executive board. Look forward to working closely with other members of the bureau and the board and with UNICEF in keeping our promise to the children of the world. @UNICEF @unicefchief @AudraPlepyte @Morocco_UN pic.twitter.com/eQvCglTJW7— Rabab Fatima (@rababfh2016) January 14, 2020
She applauded UNICEF’s persistent endeavor to improve the wellbeing of children, and emphasized that Bangladesh would help ensure, among other things that UNICEF activities are responsive to the needs and priorities of the recipient countries.
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore welcomed the new President and said that UNICEF looked forward to benefiting from her experience and wisdom.
Fore expressed optimism that Ambassador Fatima would spearhead the bureau’s guidance to the work of UNICEF.
In a tweet, Fatima said she was honoured to have been elected as President of the UNICEF executive board.
“Look forward to working closely with other members of the bureau and the board and with UNICEF in keeping our promise to the children of the world,” she tweeted.
Bangladesh and India signed key agreements in the field of information and broadcasting at the Information and Broadcasting Ministers’ meet 2020 in New Delhi on Tuesday.
In the presence of Indian Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar and his Bangladeshi counterpart Dr Hasan Mahmud, a formal co-production agreement was signed on the biopic of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, which will be released during the birth centenary year of Bangabandhu.
Bangladesh has decided to celebrate the ‘Mujib Year’ from March 17, 2020 to March 17, 2021 to mark the centenary year of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the first President of Bangladesh, according to Press Information Bureau of India.
Deepening India’s engagement with Bangladesh, an airtime exchange programme between Prasar Bharati and Bangladesh Betar was also launched.
With today’s launch content from Maitree service has started airing in Dhaka and reciprocally content from Bangladesh Betar has started airing on All India Radio in Kolkata.
Terming Indo-Bangladesh friendship as organic, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said both the countries share a great legacy.
“We look forward to engage further with Bangladesh TV and Betar in co-production of content. Also India will extend all possible cooperation to Bangladesh in setting up the Bangabandhu Film City,” said Javadekar.
The film, to be directed by eminent director/producer Shyam Benegal, will be completed on time and released as part of centenary celebrations of Bangabandhu.
Information Minister Hasan Mahmud said the relationship between New Delhi and Dhaka has reached new heights under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee will carry out her final mission from Wednesday which will end on January 23.
Despite her last request to visit Myanmar being denied by the government, Lee will visit Thailand and Bangladesh to speak to interlocutors and receive information about the situation in Myanmar from both sides of the border.
“Myanmar’s denial of access has not dissuaded me from doing everything I can to impartially report to the international community accurate first-hand information that has been provided to me during my visits to the region,” Lee said.
She said her mission and the end of her tenure come at a critical time for human rights in Myanmar. "I will continue to strive to do my utmost to improve the situation.”
Lee has held the mandate of Special Rapporteur since 2014 and enjoyed biannual visits to the country until she was denied entry from December 2017, according to a message received from Geneva.
She will report to the Human Rights Council session in March 2020.
Lee will hold a press conference at 3pm on January 23 in Dhaka.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed Bangladeshi envoys to work for expanding export to import-dependent Middle East countries alongside attracting investment to Bangladesh.
“In the case of investment and export, you’ll have to assess which country has what kind of demand. You’ll have to decide and proceed accordingly,” she said pointing at the envoys deployed in nine Middle East countries.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the Envoys’ Conference at Shangri-la Hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE on Monday.
The envoys are Golam Moshi (Saudi Arabia), Muhammad Imran (United Arab Emirates-UAE), Maj Gen (retd) KM Mominur Rahman (Bahrain), AFM Gousal Azam Sarker (Iran), AMM Forhad (Iraq), SM Abul Kalam (Kuwait), Abdul Motaleb Sarker (Lebanon), Md Golam Sarwar (Oman) and Ashud Ahmed (Qatar).
PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the conference.
Noting that Bangladesh receives the largest share of remittance from the Middle East countries, the Prime Minister asked the diplomats to work in a way so that Bangladeshi workers do not fall in trouble in foreign lands.
She emphasised carrying out campaign in villages so that overseas jobseekers do not fall victims to deception of middlemen and no one has to give additional money for going abroad. “We all will have to work for that,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina asked the envoys to strengthen the relations of Bangladesh with the Muslim countries.
Once Bangladesh had to take loans from donors, but the country has come out from that situation now. “So, they (the donors) are now our development partners,” she said.
Mentioning that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman adopted the foreign policy that friendship to all, malice to none, she said it creates misunderstanding between friendly countries in some cases, but it will have to be settled through discussions.
About the ongoing drive against terrorism and militancy, the PM said Bangladesh curbed the menace with its own mechanism. “It (the drive) will continue,” she added.
Hasina said Bangladesh has added new aircraft to the fleet of Biman Bangladesh Airlines as the country’s economy has become strong thanks to the contribution made by the expatriates, particularly those staying in the Middle East.
Talking about poverty, she said her government brought down the poverty rate to 20 percent and now wants to reduce it by three percent further.
Turning to the celebrations of Mujib Borsho (from March 17, 2020 to March 26, 2021), Hasina said many programmes have been chalked out to celebrate it in the country.
She asked the envoys to take programmes to observe the Mujib Borsho in foreign lands and contact the foreign governments to this end.
The Prime Minister also focused on different issues, including women empowerment and blue economy.
Hasina said another book authored by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is going to be published with title “Amar Dekha Naya Chin” ( The New China as I Saw).
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Minister Imran Ahmad, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen were present.
A four-day workshop titled ‘Dialogue on the Use of Digital Evidence in Court’ began in the city on Monday for updating the Evidence Act of 1872 and the future use of digital evidence in Bangladeshi courtrooms.
Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain attended the opening ceremony as the chief guest.
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller and British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson jointly opened the workshop with the Chief Justice that will end on January 16, according to the US Embassy in Dhaka.
The jointly sponsored US-UK workshop, organised by the US Embassy through the US Department of Justice, will be conducted by two US Federal Judges and three Federal Prosecutors, a UK Criminal Justice Advisor and a Dhaka University law professor.
Participants have been invited from tribunals where digital evidence is currently permitted under certain circumstances, including Anti-Terrorism Tribunals, the Cyber Crimes Tribunal, Speedy Trial Tribunals, and the planned human trafficking tribunals.
Representatives of the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs were also invited to better understand the challenges judges and prosecutors face under the Evidence Act of 1872 as it relates to the use of digital evidence in court.
Ambassador Miller noted there is widespread support in the Bangladeshi justice sector for using digital evidence as it would significantly increase the credible evidence available to prosecutors and judges, help solve crimes more quickly, and reduce the backlog of cases.
High Commissioner Chatterton Dickson expressed his support for the enhanced use of digital evidence in the Bangladesh justice system, noting that if used properly it can play a major role in increasing the efficiency and integrity of the administration of justice.
The interactive workshop is providing Bangladeshi judges and prosecutors with fundamental information on authenticating digital evidence for use in courts, and address concerns and identify common ground among stakeholders to lay the groundwork for introducing digital evidence in Bangladesh courtrooms in the future.
Topics to be covered include the current status of the admissibility of digital evidence in Bangladeshi courts; establishing rules for the collection and introduction of digital evidence in court; appellate concerns regarding digital evidence; and identifying and presenting the testimony of expert digital forensic experts.