Dhaka, Oct 16 (UNB) - Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday began his visit to a number of European countries as Bangladesh is giving much importance to boosting its export to the European market with diversification of products as part of its economic diplomacy.
The minister, who left here for Berlin on Wednesday morning, will also visit France, Italy and Greece.
"We want to boost export and diversity it," he said adding that he will also raise the Rohingya issue everywhere in his meetings in the European countries.
Dr Momen will visit Germany until October 19 where he will also have a meeting with his German counterpart, a senior official said.
President of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) Dr Rubana Huq is also visiting Berlin.
"Germany happens to be the single biggest importer. So it’s important," she told UNB before her departure on Wednesday morning.
Bangladesh also seeks German and French companies to invest in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and High-tech Parks, being developed by the government.
Bangladesh is encouraging the investors to take advantage of Bangladesh’s strategic location, demographic dividend, special incentive package for foreign direct investment (FDI) and a huge domestic market, according to the officials.
From Berlin, the Foreign Minister will visit Paris, France from October 20-22, and attend an Economic Forum there apart from his other engagements.
The Economic Forum will be organised by the French Senate where representatives of the BEZA and BIDA are also expected to attend.
The Foreign Minister will visit Rome, Italy on October 27 and Athens, Greece on October 28-29, an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told UNB.
Meanwhile, Dr Momen will join the 18th NAM ministerial meeting on October 23-24 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The NAM Summit, to be attended by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, will be held on October 25-26.
The Foreign Minister will return home on October 30.
Dhaka, Oct 16 (UNB) - UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said success in leaving no one behind will remain "elusive" if they do not target the people who are farthest behind first.
“Let us recommit to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 1 (no poverty) and a fair globalisation that works for all children, their families and communities,” he said in a message marking the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty that falls on October 17.
This year’s observance focuses on ‘acting together to empower children, their families and communities to end poverty’.
Guterres said ending extreme poverty is at the heart of the world’s efforts to achieve the SDGs and build a sustainable future for all.
He said children are more than twice as likely to live in extreme poverty than adults.
“Poverty condemns many children to lifelong disadvantage and perpetuates an intergenerational transfer of deprivation. Today’s children will also live with the devastating consequences of climate change if we fail to raise ambition now,” Guterres said.
He said from conflict zones to cyberspace, from forced labour to sexual exploitation, girls are at particular risk, but they are also a force for change.
“For every additional year a girl remains in school, her average income over a lifetime increases, her chances of being married early decrease, and there are clear health and education benefits for her children, making it a key factor in breaking the cycle of poverty,” he said.
Guterres said one of the keys to ending child poverty is addressing poverty in the household, from which it often stems.
The UN chief mentioned that access to quality social services must be a priority, yet today, almost two-thirds of children lack social protection coverage.
“Family-oriented policies are also indispensable, including flexible working arrangements, parental leave and childcare support,” he said.
Dhaka, Oct 16 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the 18th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to be held on October 25-26 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has confirmed the Prime Minister's participation at the Summit of the Heads of State and Government.
The Summit will be preceded by the preparatory senior officials meeting on October 21-22 and the preparatory ministerial meeting on October 23-24.
Foreign Minister Dr Momen will attend the ministerial meeting.
Host Azerbaijan will formally take over the chairmanship of NAM for the next three years at the Baku Summit, said an official.
NAM was founded during the collapse of the colonial system and the independence struggles of the peoples of Africa, Asia, Latin America and other regions of the world and at the height of the Cold War.
Its actions were a key factor in the decolonisation process, which later led to the attainment of freedom and independence by many countries and people and to the founding of tens of new sovereign states.
Throughout its history, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries has played a fundamental role in the preservation of world peace and security.
The chairmanship of NAM will be built on three main priorities, among others increasing the effectiveness of the Movement to further enhance the reputation of the organisation on the global stage.
Other priorities are the promotion of the Bandung principles and the strengthening of the unity within the Movement.
NAM has 120 member countries, 17 observer countries and 10 observer organisations.
NAM had its first summit in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1961.
Azerbaijan, located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia and populated by 10 million people, is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country, where 96 percent of its citizens are Muslims.
Dhaka, Oct 15 (UNB) – Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said Bangladesh’s relations with China would in no way be affected due to the installation of coastal surveillance radar system saying it will help Bangladesh monitor pirates in a better way.
“No, no. Nothing will happen,” he told reporters adding that it (establishment of radar system) should not be a headache of someone else.
He said many pirates come and take away fisheries resources due to limitation of proper surveillance system. “Now we can have better surveillance in place.”
During Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s official visit to India on October 5, the two countries signed seven bilateral documents, including MoU for providing a ‘Coastal Surveillance System’.
Prime Minister Hasina and her India’s counterpart Narendra Modi welcomed the initiatives for development of closer ‘Maritime Security Partnership’.
Dhaka, Oct 15 (UNB) - Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday described foreign diplomats’ comments over Buet student Abrar Fahad murder as “unnecessary” which have apparently gone beyond their diplomatic norms.
“There has been an accident and the government has taken very strong actions immediately. This must be recognised. It seems to me that they (diplomats) go beyond their norms,” he told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Referring to recent shooting at New York City’s Brooklyn that claimed four lives, Dr Momen said no one could be nabbed there but they see no such statement there.
“Here (in Bangladesh), from day one, the government is saying that the mischievous persons (involved in Abrar killing) will be given the highest punishment.”
Abrar Fahad, 21, a second-year student of electrical and electronic engineering, was beaten to death on October 7 reportedly by Chhatra League leaders at Buet's Sher-e-Bangla Hall.
Abrar's father, Barkatullah, filed a case with Chawkbazar Police Station against 19 people. So far, 19 people, including 14 FIR-listed accused, have been arrested in the case.
The Foreign Minister also referred to the killings of schoolchildren in the US and other parts of the world where they see no such statement saying these (killings) are not carried out by the government. “Here (in Bangladesh), there’s a tendency of blaming. I think they (diplomats) should stop it.”
On Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called UN Resident Coordinator here Mia Seppo at the office Director General (UN Wing) Nahida Sobhan and also explained the government position and the "prompt actions" taken so far and being taken since the killing.
Following the murder of Abrar, the UN in a statement said it deplores the killing of a young Buet student, "allegedly for freely expressing his views."
US Ambassador in Dhaka Earl R Miller and British High Commission in Dhaka, among others, commented on Buet student Abrar killing.
On Thursday, Information Minister Hasan Mahmud said statements from foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka on Abrar Fahad murder are uncalled for terming the issue an internal matter of Bangladesh.