Dhaka, July 11 (UNB) - British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson on Thursday said it is important to ensure a strong partnership with the youth for attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
"We've got 2030 agenda for sustainable development....achieving those goals (SDGs) will demand a strong partnership between young people and all stakeholders," he said.
The British High Commissioner was speaking at the opening ceremony of the three-day 6th Youth Leadership Summit hosted by Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
UK aid and Manusher Jonno Foundation jointly sponsored the event. United News of Bangladesh (UNB) is its media partner.
The summit, themed 'Strength in Unity: Shaping the Future', brought together 370 university students and young professionals, competitively selected from over 1,800 applications.
"We think investing in the young people is the best contribution we can make to the development of this remarkable country. It’s the young people who have the potential for positive action," the High Commissioner said.
The British envoy said the summit focuses on building skills of the youth and instilling in them the values of tolerance and inclusiveness, both of which are critical for the practice of leadership.
“Strength in Unity as a theme is especially relevant in the current context when the world is fractured along ideological, religious, and cultural lines,” said Dickson.
Founder and President of BYLC Ejaj Ahmad said in a world where more than 42 percent of its population is below the age of 25, BYLC believes that it is critical to engage our youths in conversations around collaborative leadership and taking ownership of societal problems.
“Leadership is a learned skill; it can be exercised by anyone, regardless of age, position, gender, or socio-economic status. The only thing young people need to exercise leadership is the heart and ability,” he added.
Executive Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) Shaheen Anam said a society based on justice and acceptance is one that will thrive and not just survive.
“We should empower the youth and instill in them the values of inclusiveness and the ability to accept different opinions, as well as encourage them to promote tolerance and non-violence,” she added.
Parted in several breakout sessions and workshops, the summit will offer the delegates till July 13 the opportunity to network and share ideas on how youths can shape the future.
Dhaka, July 11 (UNB) - UK aid, through one of its programmes, will look at creative ways for independent media outlets in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone to develop better business models by helping them cut production costs and find new funding streams.
The UK aid through its new package will help media experts, charities, the private sector and academics, to pioneer new approaches to keeping media outlets free and independent.
International Development Minister Harriet Baldwin on Wednesday announced a new UK aid package to help promote media freedom in developing countries around the world.
The new UK aid package of up to £15 million will be provided by the Department for International Development, said the British High Commission on Thursday.
This includes up to £12 million for a consortium led by BBC Media Action to help existing media improve their business models.
Another programme, under the new aid package, will encourage community groups and journalists to work together to develop strong, independent media outlets in countries, where historically journalists have enjoyed less freedom.
Last year was the worst on record for violence and abuse against journalists. In more than half of such attacks over the year journalists were deliberately targeted, said the British High Commission.
There was also a 15 percent increase in the killing of journalists in 2018, compared to 2017, the High Commission said quoting Reporters without Borders.
In the last 15 years, over 1,000 professional journalists have been killed for doing their job around the world.
This, combined with political and commercial pressures, has led to a global crisis in independent media outlets in developing countries.
International Development Minister Harriett Baldwin said at a time when journalists are attacked in record numbers, and too many independent media organisations are collapsing or threatened by political interests, the aid package could not be more crucial.
“UK aid will help media experts, charities, the private sector and academics, to pioneer bold new approaches to keeping media outlets free and independent, and give them the power to report the truth,” said the UK Minister.
“This is in everyone’s interests. If people are able to hold their governments to account using reliable information, they can better understand their rights and demand better services, such as healthcare and education.”
Dhaka, July 11 (UNB) - UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) Queen Maxima on Thursday discussed how private sector in Bangladesh can create innovative solutions.
At a roundtable meeting with private sector representatives, she laid emphasis on knowledge sharing and introducing other countries’ experiences regarding digital financial inclusion.
“The meeting was all about digital financial inclusion of RMG (ready-made garment). She’s well aware of our e-wallet concept,” President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Rubana Huq told UNB after the meeting.
The BGMEA chief said the meeting was to align all stakeholders. “I requested her to support us with regard to knowledge sharing and she instantly agreed to introduce us to other countries’ experiences with digital inclusion.”
The meeting stressed bringing all the RMG workers into digital transaction system through establishing a system in the sector.
Queen Maxima also held a series of meetings with Governor of the Bangladesh Bank Fazle Kabir, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar and others.
On Wednesday, the Dutch queen said financial inclusion can empower women and accelerate Bangladesh’s progress and noted significant progress made so far in the country.
“Financial inclusion has increased from 31 percent in 2014 to 50 percent in 2017 and so this is actually very exciting,” said Queen Maxima mentioning that she is excited with Bangladesh’s progress during the two and half years from her last visit.
Queen Maxima, who is visiting Bangladesh at the invitation of the government, will leave Dhaka on Friday.
Queen Maxima arrived here on Tuesday evening to promote people’s access to financial services and see the financial inclusion progress in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is currently developing a national strategy to improve people's access to financial services.
Queen Maxima, who was appointed UNSGSA in 2009, visited Bangladesh in her capacity as UNSGSA in November 2015.
In her capacity, she advises the UN Secretary-General and works worldwide to make safe and affordable financial services available to all, including low-income groups and small and medium-sized enterprises.
She has been honorary patron of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) since 2011.
Dhaka, July 11 (UNB) - Marshall Island President Dr Hilda Heine and former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon left here on Thursday afternoon wrapping up their two-day visit.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen saw Marshal Island President Heine and Ban Ki-moon off at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, said an official.
They arrived here on Tuesday to attend the ‘Dhaka Meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation’ inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday at InterContinental Dhaka.
Ban Ki-moon, the current chair of Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), addressed a session titled ‘Way forward and next step towards climate change adaptation’ apart from delivering speech in the inaugural session.
Dr Heine and Ban Ki-moon also visited Cox’s Bazar district.
Dhaka, July 11 (UNB) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said sustainable development and climate change will increasingly depend on the successful management of urban growthas the world continues to urbanize, with 68 percent of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050.
“For many of the world’s least developed countries, the challenges to sustainable development are compounded by rapid population growth as well as vulnerability to climate change,” he said in a message marking the World Population Day that falls on July 11.
The UN chief said the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the world’s blueprint for a better future for all on a healthy planet.
“On World Population Day, we recognize that this mission is closely interrelated with demographic trends including population growth, ageing, migration and urbanization,” he said.
Guterres said other countries are facing the challenge of ageing populations, including the need to promote healthy active ageing and to provide adequate social protection.
“As the world continues to urbanize, with 68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, sustainable development and climate change will increasingly depend on the successful management of urban growth,” he said.
While managing these population trends, Guterres said they must also recognize the relationship between population, development and individual well-being.
Twenty-five years ago, at the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), world leaders first spelt out the links between population, development and human rights, including reproductive rights.
They also recognized that promoting gender equality is both the right thing to do and one of the most reliable pathways to sustainable development and improved well-being for all.
“This year's World Population Day calls for global attention to the unfinished business of the Cairo ICPD Conference,” Guterres said.
Despite progress in lowering maternal mortality and unintended pregnancies, many challenges remain, he said.
“Around the world, we are seeing pushback on women’s rights, including on essential health services,” said the UN chief.
In November, a summit marking the 25th anniversary of the Cairo Conference will take place in Nairobi.
“I encourage Member States to participate at the highest levels and to make firm political and financial commitments to realize the Programme of Action of the ICPD,” Guterres said.
He said carrying forward the vision of the ICPD will unlock opportunities for those left behind and help pave the way for sustainable, equitable and inclusive development for all.