Dhaka, Apr 10 (UNB) - British Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field has said economic progress could be undermined in Bangladesh unless steps are taken to improve democratic governance and accountability.
He also laid emphasis on having an effective political opposition and a free press, according to a press release issued by the British High Commission here on Wednesday.
Field was the first UK Minister to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina since Bangladesh’s parliamentary elections in December last.
During his recent two-day visit, which included a roundtable with senior editors to discuss media freedom in Bangladesh, the Minister warmly praised Bangladesh on its continued economic growth, including its transition toward a middle-income country, with Britain playing a leading role in Bangladesh’s economic development as the second-largest foreign investor, and also supporting the country through the UK aid programme.
He thanked Prime Minister Hasina for her government’s efforts in dealing with the Rohingya crisis and discussed the potential options for dialogue with Myanmar that would allow the Rohingya to begin returning home.
Minister Field said Bangladesh has been making great strides and he was pleased to discuss with Prime Minister Hasina how the two countries can strengthen already deep links.
“As well as our enduring people-to-people links, we’re working together to combat human trafficking and through the Commonwealth on a variety of mutual issues from climate change to trade," he said.
“But as a true friend of Bangladesh, we stand ready to address issues around democratic governance and accountability, where we believe the government of Bangladesh must do more for its people to flourish and reach their full potential," Field was quoted as saying.
During the visit, the Minister also attended a British Council roundtable event and discussed how UK universities and local providers can increase the pace of co-operation to ensure UK degree programmes can be run in Bangladesh through branch campuses and provide greater choice to students in Bangladesh.
Dhaka, Apr 10 (UNB)— Bangladesh has made tremendous progress in youth empowerment, particularly in climate action under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership, State Minister for Youth Zahid Ahsan Russel said the UN on Tuesday.
“By strengthening resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters, we’ve tried to turn the energy, passion and inherent adaptability and mental strength of youth into a vital enabler to utilise them as an opportunity as well as agents of change in our climate action,” he said at an Interactive Roundtable on ‘Youth 2030: Working with and for Young People’.
He said Bangladesh is expected to reap the demographic dividend over the next couple of decades as one third of its population is youth.
“Youth are at the forefront of various efforts for implementation of various SDGs including SDGs goal 13: Climate Action,” Russel said, according to a press release of Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN.
The event was moderated by Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary–General’s Envoy on Youth.
“As a proponent of climate action, Bangladesh has been included in one of the coalitions of UNSG's Climate Action Summit 2019,” Russel added.
The State Minister highlighted the country’s efforts to tackle challenges of climate change, noting that the government has long been implementing homegrown adaptation and mitigation strategies with particular focus on women and youth.
He said the youth, especially the volunteers, have been instrumental in Bangladesh’s efforts on Disaster Risk Reduction in early warning of cyclone and emergency evacuation. “It has effectively reduced deaths and injuries from natural disasters,” he said.
The State Minister focused the leading role of youth in taking charge on-the-ground climate action and their roles on social media against climate change.
“Youth-based clubs, alliances, and organisations are also working on climate issues at the ground level. They are organising symposiums, rallies, and conferences to raise awareness on issues of reducing GHG emissions, green technologies and encouraging use of renewable energy like solar power use,” he said.
Russel is leading the Bangladesh delegation at 2019 ECOSOC Youth Forum of the UN.
Dhaka, Apr 10 (UNB) - Bangladesh has urged the US administration to solicit support on Rohingya issue from the countries who maintain close economic and commercial ties with Myanmar and together create pressure on Myanmar to take back its nationals from Bangladesh as per agreements signed.
Bangladesh also conveyed that it is extremely critical to create international pressure on Myanmar military so that they stop persecution on the Rohingyas and create conducive environment to facilitate the latter’s safe return.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen met with Senator Christopher Murphy and USAID Administrator Ambassador Mark Green in Washington DC on Tuesday and discussed the issue, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.
Senator Murphy assures FM Momen to remain beside Bangladesh
In his meeting with Senator Christopher Murphy, Minister Dr Momen suggested that it would be effective if both houses of the US Congress could pass resolution with clauses on sanctions to perpetrators and entities in Myanmar who persecuted the minority Rohingyas and grossly violated human rights.
He said the Myanmar authorities took back some Rohingyas in the 1990s when they were isolated internationally.
However this time they have not taken the required measures to implement the agreements to repatriate the Rohingyas to Myanmar, said the Foreign Minister.
Senator Murphy thanked Bangladesh Minister for his helpful briefings and assured to remain beside Bangladesh in dealing with this crisis.
USAID says will continue financial support to Rohingyas
At the meeting with the USAID Administrator, the Foreign Minister thanked the USA for standing beside the Rohingyas with material help as well as political support.
He said the problem was created by Myanmar and the solution lies with Myanmar too.
Green reassured Dr Momen that a peaceful resolution to the Rohingya issue is not just Bangladesh’s concern rather it is a responsibility of the global community.
He said USAID will continue financial support to the Rohingyas and the host community.
He thanked the government of Bangladesh for its generosity and compassion.
Dr Momen briefed Ambassador Green about relocation of one lac Rohingyas from Cox’s Bazar to Bhashanchar, an island which Bangladesh made habitable at own expense.
He said the Rohingyas will have livelihood opportunities in Bhashanchar.
Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA Mohammad Ziauddin accompanied the Foreign Minister during the meetings.
Dhaka, April 10 (UNB) - Bangladesh High Commission in London has awarded 86 Bangladeshi-British students who achieved highest grades in the UK’s GCSE and A levels examinations in 2018.
Many of these awarded students are now studying in UK’s top colleges and universities including Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics and Imperial College, said the High Commission on Wednesday.
Acclaimed highly by the Bangladeshi-British Community, the “Bangladesh High Commission Outstanding Education Achievement Award-2018” was hosted by Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK, Saida Muna Tasneem on Tuesday at the event in central London with Bangladesh Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, MP, as the chief guest.
The Finance Minister highlighted Bangladesh’s phenomenal growth rate of over 8 percent attained under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and projections of different International Financial Institutions and think tanks including the World Economic Forum about Bangladesh’s growth momentum that is expected to push Bangladesh amongst world’s top 30 economies within the next one and half decade.
He praised the contributions of the Bangladeshi Diaspora living in the UK and called upon the young Bangladeshi-British talents who were awarded to strengthen their ties with their roots in Bangladesh and be a part of Bangladesh’s prosperity transformation.
High Commissioner Tasneem said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government is championing education at the heart of our Sustainable Development Agenda and promoting girls education and digital skills for young people to accelerate Bangladesh’s growth and development successes.
Terming the outstanding education awardees as “young ambassadors" of both rge countries, the High Commissioner encouraged them to build bridges of connectivity in economy, trade, heritage and culture between the two friendly nations of Bangladesh and Great Britain.
She also reaffirmed High Commission’s wholehearted support in creating special projects for connecting these meritorious third generation youth leaders with their ancestral roots in Bangladesh and mainstreaming them into Bangladesh’s technology drives business and development initiatives.
The event was attended by British parliamentarians, senior UK government officials, academics, professionals, eminent community members and a large group of parents, teachers and guardians of the awardees.
They profoundly praised the Bangladesh High Commission for awarding the extraordinary meritorious students saying that this inspirational initiative can be replicated all over the world in Bangladesh missions.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal and High Commissioner Tasneem along with the distinguished guests handed over the crests and certificates to the awardees.
Artistes from Bangladesh-British community performed dances and songs portraying Bangladesh's history, heritage and culture.
Around 600 hundreds guests including parents of students and their teachers, academics, journalists, community leaders and cultural personality attended the programme with great joy and enthusiasm.
Dhaka, Apr 9 (UNB) - Outotec South East Asia Pacific (OSEAP), An Australian business entity, has shown its keen interest to invest in Bangladesh for constructing a sulphuric acid plant.
The interest was conveyed when OSEAP Vice-president Chris Ormston and Manager Indraneel Chakraborty met Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun at his office on Tuesday.
OSEAP wants to set up the sulphuric acid plant at TSP Complex in Patenga of Chattogram.
The industries minister said the government has taken various initiatives to attract local and foreign investment. “Bangladesh has been able to attract foreign investors as a congenial investment atmosphere is prevailing here.”
He also said if the plant is installed, it will be possible to meet the domestic demand of sulphuric acid from the local production.
Nurul Majid urged the delegation to visit the site and submit a comprehensive technical proposal, saying the government will consider it if the proposal is good.
Now, there is an annual demand for around 7 lakh metric tonnes of TSP in Bangladesh. Of them, 1 lakh metric tonne is produced in a unit of Chattogram TSP Complex under Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) every year and the rest is imported.