Dhaka, Oct 1 (UNB) - Belarusian Literary and Artistic Publications has released a book titled “Young” devoted to Bangladeshi poetry.
Translated by talented Belarusian poetess Maria Kobets, a poem by legendary Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam “The Rebel”, was printed on it, said a press release issued by Belarusian Ministry of Information on Wednesday.
The interlinear translation of the work was prepared by Bangladesh Muzahidul Islam (Tussar) who lives and works in the Belarusian capital Minsk.
In August, the Belarusian literary and artistic newspaper “Literature and Art” published the same poem of Kazi Nazrul Islam translated into Belarusian by Mykola Metlitsky, it added.
“These publications are only the beginning of the development of literary relations between Belarus and Bangladesh,” said Belarusian Information Minister Ales Karlyukevich.
The minister also hoped that Belarusian literature will be the subject of attention of translators, poets and prose writers of Bangladesh in the near future.
“We believe that in the coming years the books of Belarusian writers - Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich, our classics Vasil Bykov, Vladimir Korotkevich, Yanka Kupala, Yakub Kolas, Maxim Bogdanovich will see the light in Bangladesh,” he added.
Also in the eighth issues of the magazine “Young”, the well-known poem of Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore “My golden Bengal”, which became the national anthem of Bangladesh, was also published.
Three translations of the work into Belarusian by the State Prize winners of the Republic of Belarus Mikola Metlitsky, poetess and translators Maria Kobets and Naum Galperovich were also published in the issue.
On the pages of the almanack, there is also an article about the work of Kazi Nazrul Islam, titled “Songs - crippled birds: Kazi Nazrul Islam, Bangladesh”.
Dhaka, Oct 10 (UNB) - The World Mental Health Day 2018 was observed on Dhaka University (DU) campus through different programmes including discussions on Wednesday.
This year's theme of the day is ‘Young people and mental health in a changing world’.
Marking the day, DU Educational and Counseling Psychology (ECP) department and Students Counseling and Guidance Service Office jointly set up a stall in front of Teacher-Student Center (TSC) to provide free mental services to the people.
DU Vice-chancellor Professor Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman inaugurated the stall while Students Counseling and Guidance Service Office director Mahjabeen Haque and Educational and Counseling Psychology department teachers, students and officials of the university, among others, were present at the programme.
“Around 25 percent people and 10 percent children of our country are suffering from mental disease. But we don’t give emphasis on it like other diseases,” said the VC.
Urging the youth, the VC also said, “We must increase awareness against mental disease among the people to ensure proper development of our country; otherwise the development would be hampered. The youth can play a vital role to raise awareness against it through social media.”
Dhaka, Oct 10 (UNB) - ILO and Unicef have called on the government, development partners, civil society organisations and the private sector to accelerate efforts to empower girls.
They came up with the call in a joint statement to mark International Day of the Girl 2018 on Wednesday.
International Day of the Girl Child 2018 will be observed on October 11 with a theme ‘With Her: A Skilled Girl Force’.
They also called for improving accessibility and preparing them with the 21st century skills and provide them the space to pursue their careers needed for lifelong success.
“To support a skilled girl force, we must go beyond providing access and completion of school. We must make efforts to advocate for, draw attention to and invest in the most pressing needs and opportunities for girls to attain skills for employability,” said the statement.
In Bangladesh, almost 40 percent of secondary-school age children are out-of-school, and vulnerable to child marriage and child labour.
The last Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics survey on Child Labour estimated that 745,690 girls from 5 to 17 years old are engaged in child labour and 1.2 million working girls are engaged in non-formal sectors in the country.
The dropout rate in secondary education for girls is 41.52 percent, which for boys is 33.43 percent.
The government of Bangladesh has developed a National Skills Development Policy (NSDP), with the provision of increasing girls’ enrolment in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), however the take up is low, said Unicef.
In 2016, girls made up less than 25 percent of total enrolled students, despite the increase in number of TVET institutes from 1,137 in 2000 to 5,897 in 2016.
ILO and Unicef in Bangladesh are working with the government and partners to expand the existing learning opportunities to prepare the girls for a successful transition into the world of work.
Unicef is supporting an Alternative Learning Program (ALP) through informal apprenticeship which is helping out-of-school adolescent girls in acquiring technical and transferable skills and linking them with employment and further education.
Besides, ILO is working on placing girls in non-traditional occupations, such as carpentry, tour guiding, electric appliances and mobile phone repair, which is helping challenge workplace gender stereotyping.
These alternative learning pathways are providing a second chance to girls for future employability.
Dhaka, Oct 10 (UNB) – Speakers at a symposium here on Wednesday laid emphasis on addressing two major concerns – water and Rohingya issues – and sought India’s genuine efforts to address those concerns and boost trust between Bangladesh and India at all levels.
Recognising the growing relations between the two South Asian neighbours, they noted much has been achieved over the past years but more needs to be done. The speakers said India made many declarations with lower deliveries.
Cosmos Foundation in collaboration with the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) at the National University of Singapore arranged the symposium titled ‘Bangladesh-India Relations: Prognosis for the Future’ at a city hotel.
ISAS Director C Raja Mohan delivered the keynote address while ISAS Principal Research Fellow and a former Advisor to Bangladesh’s previous caretaker government Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury chaired the inaugural session.
Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large and Chairman of the ISAS Gopinath Pillai, former Indian Foreign Secretary and Ambassador Krishnan Srinivasan, former professor of Jahangirnagar University Dilara Chowdhury, Chairman of Cosmos Foundation Enayetullah Khan, Cosmos Group Directors Nahar Khan and Masud Khan, former and current diplomats, scholars and editors spoke.
UNB Chairman Amanullah Khan was also present at the symposium.
Cosmos Foundation Chairman Enayetullah Khan speaks at a symposium titled ‘Bangladesh-India Relations: Prognosis for the Future’ at a hotel in Dhaka on Wednesday, October 10, 2018. Photo: UNB
“We want to be treated equally and candidly if they claim that we are friends. Our prosperity will be the prosperity of India as well,” said Prof Dilara Chowdhury.
She said Rohingya is a great security risk for Bangladesh and if these people do not go back Bangladesh will face all kind of security repercussions on the society, politics and economy of the country.
The expert said India has not given that kind of pressure on Myanmar that they should be taken back though Bangladesh took care of security interest of India.
She said India and China under the same footing want Bangladesh to solve the Rohingya problem bilaterally which has not been possible. “International support is needed and India should take the lead from its high moral ground to uphold that humanitarian causes of the subcontinent.”
Prof Dilara identified water as the second security concern and expressed displeasure for not seeing any role from the Indian civil society on water issues.
“Bangladesh is a riverine country. Rivers are dying in Bangladesh,” she said apparently putting blames on dams and barrages built by India that diverted water flows.
The analyst mentioned that Bangladesh has given transit and transshipment facilities to India that raised India’s physical presence in Bangladesh but Bangladesh did not gain much.
“Despite promises, only 1 percent of India’s total import is from Bangladesh whereas Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka have more trade shares with India,” she said adding that none of the symposium participants is anti-Indian but what all they want to see is a relation mutually beneficial.
Cosmos Group Director Nahar Khan speaks at the symposium. Photo: UNB
Prof Dilara said Bangladesh cannot prosper no matter how much investment it has if its rivers are dried up.
She, however, said after lot of ups and downs Bangladesh’s relations with India is now better as lot of development is taking place since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came to power in 2009. “We can say it has never been better than what it is today.”
Bridges between Delhi-Beijing
Raja Mohan said they are going to see construction of new geography and one of the most critical elements is the rise of Bangladesh itself and transformation of its economy.
He said the growing economy of Bangladesh is going to have significant implications for South Asia.
Raja Mohan said the change of geography around them will have at least five important consequences for bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India including the argument of Bangladesh is India-locked. “In fact Bangladesh can be land bridge between India and China.”
Dealing with govt of the day
Raja Mohan said the sovereignty is desired and Bangladesh is sovereign to do what it wants. “Choices have to be made. Choices are difficult and some of the choices will turn out to be bad while some will be good.”
Shedding light on politics, he said, “You are free to elect whom you want. Today in your country you can elect any one. I have been advocating with India to deal with whoever is in the government. You can’t do the management of somebody else’s domestic politics.”
He thinks large countries have no choice but to deal with whoever is in power across the border and across the world.
“Sometimes it comes with problems, sometimes it comes with no problem. Democracy is not a gift that somebody else will give you,” Raja Mohan said adding that “Let’s be pragmatic.”
Krishnan Srinivasan said “India will soon become the 5th largest global economy and Bangladesh will beat India to middle income status. Both are growing at almost 7.5 percent of GDP.”
“Together we are the giants in BBIN and Bimstec. We can dominate any sub-regional grouping,” he said.
The former Indian foreign secretary said through close coordination in all fields, Bangladesh and India can together transform the landscape of two countries, South and Southeast Asia.
Dr Iftekhar highlighted various aspects of relations and said it is always important to talk about the problems to take forward the relations.
He said India is most blessed in terms of size, population, and resources in the region and special responsibility, therefore, goes to her. “We are confident she will not shy away from it. As India grows, we all would like to grow with her. Let us assist one another towards progress and prosperity.”
Dr Iftekhar said they want to see India as an elder brother not just for its larger size but as a country with the largest heart.
Emphasizing on avoiding the risk of miscalculation, he said two countries need to work together though there will be differences.
Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large and ISAS Chairman Gopinath Pillai highlighted the activities of the ISAS and pledged to continue working together with Bangladesh including Cosmos Foundation on various important issues.
Enayetullah Khan said India is undoubtedly an emerging power and its importance as economic and strategic power is growing in the region and beyond.
He said Bangladesh is also gaining its importance as South Asian and global actor. “It has huge potentials.”
Khan said how Bangladesh and India relate to each other is extremely critical for the progress and prosperity of their people as well as peace and stability of the region and beyond.
Speakers highlighted growing Dhaka-Delhi relations, some irritants like disputes over sharing of waters from common rivers as the two countries are co-riparian ones.
They observed the bilateral trade has also been fantastic, though the export-import trade is heavily tilted in favour of India.
Experts noted that India can certainly help bring some much-needed balance in the trade with Bangladesh through elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers.
Cosmos Foundation has always recognised the ties between India and Bangladesh to be essential, not only in the field of foreign policy or geopolitics, but across a range of fields from art to business.
Dhaka, Oct 9 (UNB) - More than 5,000 participants from 160 countries will meet in Geneva to thrash out major new investment-for-development initiatives at UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum 2018 in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland from October 22–26.
Fourteen heads of state and government have confirmed they will attend, including those from Armenia, Bangladesh, Botswana, Cambodia, the Central African Republic, Kenya, Lesotho, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malawi, Mongolia, Montenegro, Namibia, Sierra Leone and Switzerland.
The high-level conference comes amid mounting disquiet about declining investment flows and their impact on efforts to meet the ambition of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the international community three years ago.
“Global flows of foreign direct investment fell by 23% in 2017,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.
“Cross-border investment in developed and transition economies dropped sharply, while growth was near zero in developing economies. With only a very modest recovery predicted for 2018, this negative trend is a long-term concern for policymakers worldwide, especially for developing countries.”
Private sector investment in developing countries totalling $3.9 trillion a year is needed to generate economic activity to meet the Sustainable Development Goals – the core of the 2030 Agenda –according to UNCTAD research.
Current levels leave an investment gap of some $2.5 trillion, according to a message UNB received from Geneva.
Marking its 10th anniversary, the biennial World Investment Forum remains the premier venue to forge partnerships between investment and development stakeholders to close this gap.
This year’s event comprises some 60 events, including three summits, five ministerial round tables, private-sector led sessions and several awards ceremonies.
Besides giving participants a chance to spotlight priorities for attracting and channelling investment that will drive sustainable development, the forum sessions will also focus on transformative actions and innovative financing modes for development, such as blockchain, sustainability bonds and blended finance.
The topicality of the forum for the international investment and development communities is reflected in the number and diversity of organizations that have partnered with UNCTAD for the event.
As well as United Nations entities, 50 other organizations will be at the event, including the Commonwealth, the International Labour Organization, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the International Olympic Committee, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, the International Telecommunication Union, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Economic Forum, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank Group.
These partnerships have generated exciting new content for this year’s participants, including an in-depth look at the relationship between sport and development, co-hosted with the International Olympic Committee and, on the annual United Nations Day, 24 October, a session on the role of investment in peace and security.
Five independent tracks will run in parallel with the main forum, with a special programme for parliamentarians, a multidisciplinary academic conference, an investment village, the 35th anniversary session of the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting (ISAR), and the 2018 UNCTAD Youth Forum, taking youth entrepreneurship as its theme.
Previous World Investment Forums took place in Accra, Ghana (2008), Xiamen, China (2010), Doha, Qatar (2012), Geneva, Switzerland (2014) and Nairobi, Kenya (2016).