Dhaka, Sept 11 (UNB) - Permanent Representative (PR) of Bangladesh to the United Nations Ambassador Masud Bin Momen has shared some specific proposals for defining international rules of the road and capacity building in cyber space.
He emphasised public-private partnership to tackle cyber issues.
Masud was speaking at the first substantive session of the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) on developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security at the UNHQs in New York on Tuesday.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, at a side-event during the high-level week of the UNGA in September 2018, pledged “Bangladesh’s support for promoting a culture of cyber security at the UN and beyond ... [and] demonstrate strong political resolve to create a secure, stable, peaceful, inclusive and accessible cyber space for our future generations”.
Highlighting that Bangladesh targets to have at least 1,000 cyber security experts by 2021, Masud said: “We need enhanced capacities in areas of defending cyber-attacks, creating awareness, and developing reliable early-warning systems through information sharing across governments and major tech firms.”
He stressed the need for constant engagements for sharing best practices in those areas.
The ambassador said ICT is playing a critical role in Bangladesh’s journey towards sustainable development and fulfilling Prime Minister Hasina’s dream to turn Bangladesh into a digitally advanced middle-income country by 2021 and a developed country by 2041.
He said Bangladesh is now offering over a hundred important public services to its citizens through One-stop Digital Centres in the rural areas.
Earlier, in a side event jointly organised by Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Ghana, Singapore and Bangladesh on UN’s efforts to promote stability in cyberspace at the Permanent Mission of Germany, Ambassador Masud elaborated on some of the key priorities of Bangladesh in the works of the OEWG.
The General Assembly approved the OEWG on Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security on December 5 last year under its resolution 73/27.
Dhaka, Sept 9 (UNB) - Bangladesh and Switzerland will hold bilateral talks here on matters regarding migration on Wednesday, the first of its kind between the two countries.
A Swiss delegation led by Ambassador Vincenzo Mascioli, Director International Cooperation, State Secretariat for Migration, Federal Department of Justice and Police of Switzerland, will visit Bangladesh on September 10 - 12 to attend the meeting.
The meeting will discuss bilateral cooperation in the area of migration as well as to exchange views on the regional and multilateral processes related to labour migration, said the Swiss Embassy in Dhaka.
Labour migration (particularly to the Gulf region) is an important instrument for Bangladesh to address the growing needs for employment and job creation, it said.
The migrant workers sometimes are faced with complex challenges both at home and in their countries of destination.
Switzerland is working with Bangladesh at local, national and global levels to facilitate a safer migration experience for the migrant workers.
The Swiss delegation will travel to Narsingdi district on September 12 to visit the Return and Reintegration Project of Migrant Workers in Bangladesh, which is implemented by BRAC and co-funded by Switzerland and Denmark.
The project aims to make reintegration economically and socially sustainable for returnee migrants, so that they do not feel obliged to re-migrate.
The Swiss delegation will also meet with the representatives of the Bangladeshi civil society, diplomatic community and development agencies during their visit to Bangladesh.
Aboard The Ocean Viking, Sept 9 (AP/UNB) — A charity ship run by humanitarian groups in the Mediterranean spent a rainy Sunday searching open waters for a fragile rubber boat overloaded with migrants before finally plucking 50 people to safety not far off Libya's coast.
The Norwegian-flagged Ocean Viking, which is operated jointly by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders, sent its own boats to pick up a pregnant woman close to full term, 12 minors and 37 men, all from sub-Saharan Africa.
"God bless you!" one of the men told the rescuers as they passed life vests to the wet and barefoot passengers.
At least two people feeling ill collapsed upon arrival on the Ocean Viking, while three others were soaked in fuel and two were suffering from mild hypothermia. The operation was witnessed by an Associated Press journalist aboard the ship, which found the migrant boat some 14 nautical miles (16 statute miles) from Libya.
The rescue occurred 14 hours after the Ocean Viking as well as Libyan, Italian and Maltese authorities, the United Nations' refugee agency and Moonbird, a humanitarian observation plane, received an email by Alarm Phone, a hotline for migrants. It was an urgent call seeking help for the rubber boat carrying 50 people without a working engine.
The Ocean Viking, which was already in the Libyan search and rescue zone of the central Mediterranean, informed all authorities that it was beginning an active search for the migrant boat. Throughout the morning, the charity ship chased several objects spotted on the horizon, including what turned out to be a floating palm leaf tangled with fishing gear and an empty small fishing boat.
Throughout the morning, the ship tried to contact Libyan officials without success. The AP journalist witnessed at least three phone calls to the Libyan Joint Rescue and Coordination Center that went unanswered.
The blue rubber boat jammed with the migrants was finally spotted on the horizon near a fishing boat at 1:30 p.m. The fishing boat did not respond to radio contact by the Ocean Viking, which then launched its rescue boats.
At 2:30 p.m., the Libyan Coastguard finally answered the phone and the Ocean Viking reported that its crew was in the process of rescuing the migrants.
A European Union plane taking part in the Operation Sophia anti-human trafficking operation flew over the Ocean Viking, the migrant boat and the fishing boat multiple times shortly before the people were rescued.
As required by maritime law, the ship asked Libyan authorities responsible for rescue coordination in that part of the Mediterranean to provide a place of safety to disembark the rescued migrants, but it also made the same request to Italian and Maltese officials. There was no immediate response.
International migration and human rights bodies say Libya is not a place of safety, and Doctors Without Borders does not consider any North African country safe for disembarkation of the migrants.
But for more than a year, migrant rescues performed by non-governmental groups have frequently led to sometimes weeks-long standoffs trying to get European authorities to allow migrants to be landed.
Dhaka, Sept 9 (UNB) - Masud Bin Momen, the current Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, is likely to become the next Foreign Secretary.
He previously served as Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan and Italy.
The longest-serving Foreign Secretary of the country - M Shahidul Haque - goes on retirement in December, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.
Meanwhile, current Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan Rabab Fatima is going to be the next Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, a diplomat told UNB.
As a diplomat, she has extensive experiences and specialisation in human rights and humanitarian issues.
Things will be finalised after the upcoming UN General Assembly to be held at the UN headquarters in the last week of the current month, he said.
Masud Momen obtained a bachelor's degree in economics from Dhaka University.
He holds MSS in Economics from the Dhaka University and a master's degree in International Relations from Tufts University in the United States, and belongs to the 1985 batch of BCS (FA) cadre.
From 1998 to 2001, he was Director in charge of the Foreign Ministry's United Nations Wing and Foreign Secretary's Office in Dhaka.
He served as Director of Poverty Alleviation at Saarc Secretariat in Kathmandu, Nepal, from 2001 to 2004.
After that, he was Deputy Commissioner at the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi, India, from 2004 to 2006.
From 2006 to 2008, he was Director-General for Bangladesh's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for matters related to South Asia, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc), the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation.
Masud Momen had served as Permanent Representative to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Besides, he served in Bangladesh Permanent Mission in New York and Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad in different capacities.
On November 3, 2015, the government appointed Masud Momen as the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations.
On the other hand, Fatima, a career diplomat, belonging to the 1986 batch of BCS (FA) cadre, returned to the Foreign Ministry after long 10 years as she served on lien with the Commonwealth Secretariat in London and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) from 2006-15.
Earlier, she served in Bangladesh Permanent Mission to UN in New York, Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata, Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UNOG in Geneva and Bangladesh embassy in Beijing in different capacities.
Fatima received her Master’s in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA.
In July last year, Foreign Secretery Haque was promoted to senior secretary of the government. He has been serving as Foreign Secretary of the government of Bangladesh since January 10, 2013.
He was the chair of the 9th Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD).
Dhaka, Sept 8 (UNB) - Bangladesh pavilions drew a large crowd in the Netherlands flagship “Embassy Festival” in The Hague held on Saturday.
Beautifully decorated with Bangladesh’s diverse cultural motifs, artifacts, flags, festoons, and displayable exportable, the pavilions were found crowded most of the time.
Along with cultural presentations, huge culinary diversities were also on display throughout the day. Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal and his spouse were busy in receiving Ambassadors, diplomats as well as leading Dutch dignitaries in the Bangladesh pavilions.
The Embassy Festival in The Hague is an annual flagship cultural bonanza of the Netherlands, said the Bangladesh Embassy in The Hague.
This year, Bangladesh’s participation was expanded into two pavilions displaying glimpses of Bangladesh’s cultural and culinary diversity.
A total of 67 Embassies put up their pavilions turning The Hague into a huge montage of global cultural festival. This is the fourth successive time Bangladesh Pavilion was there in the mosaic of diverse diplomatic community in the Netherlands.
Thousands of people, along with family and friends, joined this Festival with fanfare and enthusiasm.
Local Municipal Council made this event almost a "must" visit item with round the year preparation and publicity.
As it was a sunny day, there was no end to the stream of visitors to this festival.
The highlight of the day was a musical rendering of a typical Bangladeshi wedding by a group of women from Bangladesh community.
Bangladesh musical group was among the selected few who were allowed to perform at the Embassy Festivals central stage.
The show was enjoyed by hundreds of people. By popular demand, Bangladesh’s musical group repeated their show few times to the rousing cheers from crowd.
Bangladesh pavilions were decorated in green-blue theme with nakshi-kantha and other traditional motifs. Bangladeshi food items were much in demand to both international visitors and expatriate Bangladeshis.
A pavilion was added this year to put on display Bangladeshi handicrafts, hand-embroidered items, jamdani saree, crafted clay items, brassware, jute and leather products and other traditional items typically made by the rural women etc.
The visitors appreciated the handicrafts and some of them picked up the items of their choice.
Some traditional Bangladeshi toys were distributed among children for free.
Clad in traditional saree and other accessories the young Bangladeshi students attracted huge attention.
Many people were seen requesting the children to pose for photos.
Bangladesh Ambassador to the Netherlands Sheikh Mohammed Belal and his spouse Dr Dilruba Nasrin were present at alternatively at both the pavilions throughout the day and welcomed the guests.
They also responded to various queries from the keen visitors and exchanged their views.
Embassy officials, along with members of their families, were also busy in attending the visitors.
Taking advantage of the crowd, Bangladesh pavilion distributed tourism related posters and brochures, pamphlets, booklets etc among the visitors highlighting ongoing development spree in the country as well as highlighting secular cultural tradition of Bangladesh.
Embassy festival is a very successful flagship event of the Municipality of the Hague where hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the Netherlands and tourists from different part of the world participates.
Taking advantage of such a huge crowd, the Embassy made elaborate preparations to beam out Bangladesh’s image to both the visiting foreigners as well as to our expatriate community.
Overall, the visitors were found very keen to know about Bangladeshi culture and culinary diversity.
Proceeds from the pavilion shall go towards charity.
As the festival is extensively covered in the Dutch media, it is also an opportunity for Bangladesh to beam out its culture to the Dutch people, said the Embassy.