Dhaka, Apr 17 (UNB) - Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi observed the historic Mujibnagar Day on Wednesday in a befitting manner.
On this day in 1971 the first government of independent Bangladesh was sworn in at Baidyanathtala (Mujibngar) in now-Meherpur district naming Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the president, Syed Nazrul Islam as vice-president and Tajuddin Ahmad as the prime minister.
Syed Nazrul was made acting president in absence of Bangabandhu who was arrested and jailed in a West Pakistan prison.
The significance of the role the provisional government of Bangladesh played in leading the nine-month War of Liberation and mobilising international opinion and support was discussed at a meeting held at the mission.
High Commissioner Syed Muazzem Ali, a freedom fighter diplomat, presided over the discussion meeting, said the High Commission.
“The Liberation War stands out as the most glorious chapter in the history of our independence struggle against Pakistan,” said the envoy.
“This has been our pride and I feel proud to be associated with this unforgettable part of our history,” he said.
Muazzem Ali paid tributes to Bangabandhu, the greatest Bangalee of all times, the four national leaders -- Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmad, Capt. Mansur Ali and AHM Kamruzzaman.
The discussion was addressed among others by Brig Gen AK Mohammad Ziaur Rahman, defence adviser, Selim Jahangir, minister (consular), Jamal Uddin Ahmed, counsellor and Zakir Ahmed, first secretary.
The messages issued by President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the occasion of the Mujibnagar Day were read out respectively by Dr AKM Atiqul Haque, counsellor (commerce) and Shahed bin Aziz, first secretary.
A special prayer was offered for the progress and development of the country.
Dhaka, April 17 (UNB) – Experts at a function here on Wednesday said it is high time for Bangladesh to pay attention to climate change mitigation along with adaptation as the country is heading towards higher middle income country.
They came up with the call at the ‘Third National Communication of Bangladesh to the UNFCCC’ report launching ceremony held at CIRRAP in the city.
The emission of the country is gradually increasing which portrays the trends of current economic growth.
The country’s per capita emission has increased from 0.85 metric tons CO2eq in 2005 to 0.98 metric tons CO2eq in 2012.
The launching ceremony organised by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), highlighted the process of creating the inventory of greenhouse gas sources and estimate through systematic data collection and proper analysis, described in the Third National Communication (TNC) report.
As a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Bangladesh prepared the “Third National Communication” with financial and technical assistance of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Earlier Bangladesh submitted its Initial National Communication (INC) to the UNFCCC in 2002 and Second National Communication (SNC) in 2012.
The Third National Communication, which is already submitted to the UNFCCC in 2018, reflects the firm commitment of the government of Bangladesh to the Convention.
“Compared to other countries, Bangladesh emits relatively little amount of the greenhouse gases due to anthropogenic factors,” said Environment Minister Md Shahabuddin at the launching ceremony as the chief guest.
He said, “Although we do not have any international obligation for climate change mitigation as per common but differentiated responsibilities principle under UNFCCC, we are taking measures to show solidarity with the international community.”
Climate Change Specialist and Chairman, PKSF Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, in his keynote said, “Although mitigation issue is not obligatory for us due to low pollution in comparison to developed countries, we can still reduce emissions by increasing energy efficiency in energy, transport and industries sector.”
Environment Secretary Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury underlined the process and importance of the report.
He said, “As a part of the global obligation under UNFCCCC, the government of Bangladesh has prepared the TNC in accordance with the guidelines adopted by the Conferences of Parties (COP).
The report provides an updated status of national circumstances along with greenhouse gas inventory for 2006-2012 of different sectors and measures to facilitate adequate adaptation and appropriate mitigation.”
Kyoko Yokosuka, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh in her remarks said, “The TNC has generated baseline data required for the assessment of greenhouse gas emission from five key sectors and mitigation options.”
She hoped that adaptation and mitigation measures proposed in the report would be useful for the government and development partners to promote the Sustainable Development Goals and green growth.
“Our capacity building support for climate resilient development and green growth to the government will continue,” Kyoko added.
The report covered national circumstances, inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in Bangladesh, programmes containing measures to mitigate GHG emissions, studies on vulnerability and impacts, programmes containing measures to facilitate adequate Climate Change adaptation and mitigation and other information relevant towards achieving the objective of the UNFCCC and the constraints and gaps in relation to financial, technical and capacity-wise needs.
Participants from various ministries, departments, development organisations, civil society, universities, NGOs and media were present in the launching ceremony, according to UNDP.
Dhaka, April 17 (UNB)- World Health Organization(WHO) on Wednesday released new recommendations on 10 ways that countries can use digital health technology, accessible via mobile phones, tablets and computers, to improve people’s health and essential services.
WHO Director-General DrTedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Ultimately, digital technologies are not ends in themselves; they are vital tools to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable.”
Over the past two years, WHO systematically examined evidence on digital technologies and consulted with experts to produce recommendations on some key ways for maximum impact on health systems and people’s health, said a press release.
One digital intervention already having positive effects in some areas is sending reminders to pregnant women to attend antenatal care appointments and having children return for vaccinations.
Other digital approaches reviewed include decision-support tools to guide health workers as they provide care; and enabling individuals and health workers to communicate and consult on health issues from across different locations.
WHO Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan said, “The use of digital technologies offers new opportunities to improve people’s health, but the evidence also highlights challenges in the impact of some interventions.”
“If digital technologies are to be sustained and integrated into health systems, they must be able to demonstrate long-term improvements over the traditional ways of delivering health services”, she added.
The guideline points to the potential to improve stock management. Digital technologies enable health workers to communicate more efficiently on the status of commodity stocks and gaps. However, notification alone is not enough to improve commodity management; health systems also must respond and take action in a timely manner for replenishing needed commodities.
“Digital interventions, depend heavily on the context and ensuring appropriate design,” warns Dr Garrett Mehl, WHO scientist in digital innovations and research. “This includes structural issues in the settings where they are being used, available infrastructure, the health needs they are trying to address, and the ease of use of the technology itself.”
Digital health interventions are not sufficient on their own
The guideline demonstrates that health systems need to respond to the increased visibility and availability of information. People also must be assured that their own data is safe and that they are not being put at risk because they have accessed information on sensitive health topics, such as sexual and reproductive health issues.
Health workers need adequate training to boost their motivation to transition to this new way of working and need to use the technology easily. The guideline stresses the importance of providing supportive environments for training, dealing with unstable infrastructure, as well as policies to protect privacy of individuals, and governance and coordination to ensure these tools are not fragmented across the health system.
The guideline encourages policy-makers and implementers to review and adapt to these conditions if they want digital tools to drive tangible changes and provides guidance on taking privacy considerations on access to patient data.
The guideline also makes recommendations about telemedicine, which allows people living in remote locations to obtain health services by using mobile phones, web portals, or other digital tools. WHO points out that this is a valuable complement to face-to-face-interactions, but it cannot replace them entirely. It is also important that consultations are conducted by qualified health workers and that the privacy of individuals’ health information is maintained.
The guideline emphasizes the importance of reaching vulnerable populations, and ensuring that digital health does not endanger them in any way.
Over the years, WHO has released a number of resources to strengthen digital health research and implementation, including the mHealth Assessment and Planning for Scale (MAPS) toolkit, a handbook for Monitoring and Evaluation of Digital Health, and mechanisms to harness digital health to end TB.
On 6 March 2019, DrTedros announced the creation of the Department of Digital Health to enhance WHO’s role in assessing digital technologies and support Member States in prioritizing, integrating and regulating them.
Dhaka, April 16 (UNB) - Avijatrik, a startup from Bangladesh, has won the social innovation award at the 2nd Youth Co:Lab summit held in Hanoi, Vietnam recently.
Youth Co:Lab is the largest youth social entrepreneurship movement in Asia, supported jointly by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Citi Foundation, said a press release on Tuesday.
The summit brought together over 500 delegates, including hundreds of youths, partners and government officials from 20 countries to exchange ideas, knowledge and experiences, to influence policy initiatives on youth entrepreneurship and encourage social innovation leading to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Thirty-two national winners from 20 countries in the Asia Pacific region presented their social enterprise ideas to a panel of judges, among them, Avijatrik from Bangladesh along with other six teams from different countries won the Social Innovation Challenge award in nine categories.
Established in 2015, Avijatrik won the Youth Co:Lab Social Innovation Challenge Award in Community Development category, initiated by UNDP and Citi Foundation for empowering local communities through tourism.
The enterprise has already empowered over 90 communities and served more than 3200 travellers by connecting with local communities using the online platform, avijatrik.org.
While sharing his experience, Avijatrik CEO Nazmul Islam said, “Youth Co:Lab is a great platform for young people who want to unlock their potentials for social enterprise and contribute to SDGs. This is also an opportunity for building networks across the region.”
“As I see the first generation of Youth Co:Lab social entrepreneurs flourish and carry their own initiatives forward, I’m reminded of the reason why this work is so important: young people really do hold the key to social change,” said Valerie Cliff, UNDP Deputy Regional Director for Asia & the Pacific.
“Youth Co:Lab’s approach of listening to the perspectives and ideas of young people, and empowering them to drive business solutions that address our world’s most pressing issues is how real change happens,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation.
Dhaka, April 16 (UNB) – Bangladesh on Tuesday invited the Slovenian businessmen to explore enhanced trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam extended the invitation mentioning the investment-friendly environment in Bangladesh.
When Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to Bangladesh with residence in New Delhi Jozef Drofenik met the State Minister at the latter's office in the morning, Shahriar also said there is an ample scope of cooperation in the field of agriculture, education, culture, trade and economic cooperation, science and technology.
Recalling the support of the then Yugoslavia in the Liberation War in 1971 and subsequent assistance for reconstruction of the war-torn economy of Bangladesh in the post-Liberation War period (early 70s), the State Minister expressed gratitude to the Slovenian people and stressed enhancing the existing bilateral relations between the two time-tested friendly countries in the days ahead.
He emphasised the importance of the high-level visits by recalling the visit of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to the former Yugoslavia in the early years of Bangladesh’s independence.
Ambassador Drofenik assured the State Minister of exploring all the possible areas of mutual cooperation between the countries to strengthen and deepen the bilateral engagements of the two countries.
During the discussion, the Ambassador mentioned that the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia would like to visit Bangladesh in the first week of July 2019 for Foreign Office Consultation.
Apart from bilateral issues, views on regional and international issues of mutual concern were exchanged during the meeting. Both sides agreed to maintain cooperation in different multilateral platforms.