Wolfsburg (Germany), Nov 8 (UNB) – Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus has called upon all to feel the urgency of controlling 10 rivers in the world, including the Ganges, which are shockingly contributing 80 to 90 percent of plastic pollution to the world's oceans.
"Solution is very simple. Why don't we take control of these 10 rivers? Make sure plastic doesn't float around," he said while wrapping up the two-day Social Business Academia Conference.
The main Summit began here on Thursday morning with around 800 participants from 55 countries.
Mentioning the Ganges as one of the 10 rivers, the founder of Grameen Bank said, "You’ve to focus on where the problem is and how we can address it."
Prof Yunus said these rivers must see clean-up efforts though it is not the end to it as somebody is sending more plastic wastes.
"So, keep up cleaning," he said emphasising the need for stopping the flow of plastic into the rivers through creating awareness among all.
Prof Yunus said everybody is polluting the rivers. "I’m polluting, you’re polluting thinking that one more bottle will make no difference as there’re millions of bottles."
Mentioning plastic as one of the serious issues, Prof Yunus said this is going to kill all -- fish are eating plastic and we’re eating fish. "So, the plastic itself will be the killer."
Seeking a role from the people concerned to find a solution, he said it is a small group of people who make the difference. "You don't wait for the whole world to do it."
Prof Yunus also said the point here is urgency and they have to feel the urgency as a limited time is given to make the change happen.
Highlighting the crisis the world is facing today, he said, "We need to get out of the ship which is burning and get into the ship which is going to take us to shore to have a better life."
Prof Yunus said their job, being academicians, is to keep eyes on the front so that they do not hit the disaster path making sure that they can notice it and avoid that disaster path to have an alternative and better life.
Encouraging the Social Business around the world, he said they need to encourage the textbook writers to discuss Social Business in school textbooks to help students build their ideas.
"So, don't keep the primary schools, high schools and colleges outside your Social Business vision. Keep them very much in your vision," Prof Yunus said.
He also shared ideas how positively the governments and other actors can be encouraged on how some priorities are made over inclusion of social business though insertion of few lines on social business in company acts and other areas.
Head of Global Social Business Summit and co-founder of the Grameen Creative Lab Hans Reitz, Yunus Centre Executive Director Lamiya Morshed and Pro Vice Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University and Yunus Chair in Social Business & Health, Glasgow Caledonian University Prof Cam Donaldson, among others, spoke at the two-day Social Business Academia Conference.
The conference was a platform for networking of the growing network of Yunus Social Business Centres at universities around the world to share their experiences and future plans, she said.
There are currently 64 Yunus Social Business Centres (YSBCs) in 28 countries.
The countries include Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, India, Japan Malaysia, Nepal, Palestine, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Germany, Turkey, Poland, France, Spain, Switzerland, UK, Italy, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Bolivia, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.
At this conference, 37 papers were selected from among 52 papers submitted covering SDGs, health, education and training, technology, marketing, financing social business, wealth concentration and other issues.
There were also special plenaries on the topics of development of the academic research that are of a more practical nature.
Prof Yunus said plastic is pushing the very existence of human civilisation to the path of destruction and the danger of plastic is well known and even those who are doing business are also thinking about it.
Cox’s Bazar, Nov 8 (UNB) – Members of Bangladesh Coast Guard rescued 33 people including 29 Rohingyas from a trawler in the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday night.
Acting on a tip-off, a coast guard team intercepted a Malaysia-bound trawler in the sea and rescued the 33 people around 8:30 pm, said Lieutenant Foyejul Islam Mandal, commanding officer of Coast Guard Teknaf Station.
Among those, four were Bangladeshi nationals hailing from Tangail district while the Rohingya refuges were from different camps in Ukhia and Teknaf upazilas, he said.
The coast guard members also arrested six human traffickers from the same trawler, he added.
The traffickers are identified as Abdus Shukkur, son of Mozaher Mia, his brother Abdul Gafur, Rafiqul Alam, son of Hossain, Saikat, son of Sharif, Nasir Uddin, son of Abdul Hakim Sonamia and Jewel, son of Dabirul Islam.
They were handed over to Teknaf Police Station, the coast guard official said.
Dhaka, Nov 7 (UNB) – The newly appointed envoys of Iran and Denmark presented their credentials to President Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban on Wednesday.
The ambassadors are Winnie Estrup Petersen of Denmark and Mohammad Reza Nafar of Iran.
Welcoming the Danish envoy to Bangabhaban, the President said the relation between Bangladesh and Denmark in the fields of trade and investment is very excellent, hoping that it will further be expanded during his assignment here.
Terming Bangladesh a country of huge potentials, Abdul Hamid stressed the importance of availing all possibilities in the interest of both the countries to boost businesses and trade ties.
He said Bangladesh is interested to increase the strategic partnership in different sectors, including climate change, environment and energy.
Praising the socio-economic development in various sectors of Bangladesh, Winnie Estrup Petersen said Denmark is also interested to contribute to the journey of Bangladesh’s development.
He also said Denmark is keen to invest in different sectors, including shipbuilding and renewable energy, in Bangladesh.
The Danish envoy hoped that the ties between these countries will further be expanded.
Welcoming Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Reza Nafar to Bangabhaban, the President said the relation between the two countries in the fields of trade, investment, agriculture, transportation and tourism is very good.
He hoped that the new envoy will encourage their investors to invest in Bangladesh during his tenure here.
Secretaries concerned to the President and high officials of the Foreign Ministry were present.
Earlier, on their arrival at Bangabhaban, a smartly turned-out contingent of the horse-mounted President Guard Regiment (PGR) gave the envoys guards of honour as part of the ceremony.
Dhaka, Nov 6 (UNB) - A UN human rights expert has urged Bangladesh to shelve the plan to start repatriating Rohingya refugees to Rakhine this month, saying the Myanmar government has failed to provide guarantees they would not suffer the same persecution and horrific violence all over again.
“I haven’t seen any evidence of the government of Myanmar taking concrete and visible measures to create an environment where the Rohingya can return to their place of origin and live there safely with their fundamental rights guaranteed,” said Yanghee Lee, the Special Rapporteur on human rights situation in Myanmar.
The governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed on a repatriation plan in December 2017 and have said they will start the process of returning hundreds of Rohingya from Bangladesh refugee camps from the middle of November, according to a message UNB received from Geneva on Tuesday.
Lee has repeatedly said any return before the root causes of the crisis are dealt with is highly premature and unjust.
She has received credible information from the refugees in Cox’s Bazar that they are in deep fear of their names being on the list to be repatriated causing distress and anguish.
“Not only did the Rohingya face horrific violence at the hands of security forces in 2016 and 2017 with no accountability, they have been subjected to decades-long systematic discrimination and persecution in Myanmar,” the Special Rapporteur said.
Lee reiterated that the refugees must be given the opportunity to participate in the process, as it was their decision alone to return to Myanmar.
“Any return under the current conditions where there is high risk of persecution, may violate obligations under customary international law to uphold the principle of non-refoulment,” she added.
The government of Myanmar has reportedly been developing the area from which the Rohingya fled but building some physical infrastructure to house returnees does not resolve these issues, stressed the Special Rapporteur.
“Living safely and in a dignified manner includes a right to citizenship, freedom of movement, and access to services, health, education and livelihoods,” Lee said.
“I urge the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar to halt these rushed plans for repatriation, to ensure the protection of the Rohingya refugees and to adhere to their international human rights and refugee law obligations to ensure any returns are safe, sustainable, voluntary and dignified.”
Lee has held that mandate since 2014.
Wolfsburg (Germany), Nov 6 (UNB) – Experts from the private sector, civil society, governments and academia have started gathering here as the two-day 9th Global Social Business Summit (GSBS) begins on November 8 with the theme – ‘Building a new civilization’.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus and his creative adviser Hans Reitz are organising the annual event and the leading conference on social business or entrepreneurship.
Prior to the main Summit, the 7th Social Business Academia Conference and Young Challengers and Pioneers meeting are scheduled to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The main topics of the GSBS 2018 are plastic and circular economy, mobility, solidarity, sports and social business and food and its value.
The worldwide leading forum serves to spread awareness about social business, foster discussions and collaboration between practitioners and stakeholders, as well as present and conceive best practices.
Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus, Executive Director Yunus Centre Lamiya Morshed, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG; Human Resources and Organization Gunnar Kilian, former NASA Austronaut Ron Garan, CEO Autostadt Roland Clement, CEO The Grameen Creative Lab, Head of GSBS Hans Reitz, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Sing for Hope Monica Yunus, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Sing for Hope Camille Zamora, President and Founder of Jean Bernou Consulting Jean Bernou, Peter Schwarzenbauer, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dr Maria Flachsbarth, Impact Investor and Social Entrepreneur Ruben Vardanyan and adviser to Prof Yunus Nurjahan Begum and Board of Management Volkswagen AG, Integrity and Legal Affairs Hiltrud Werner are among the speakers of the GSBS 2018.
On November 8 and 9, the participants will experience outstanding Social Business entrepreneurs, great keynotes, master classes, workshops and networking sessions.
Hans Reitz said plastic does not belong to nature and they need a fundamental system change to address the problem. “What we need is a circular economy.”
“I always felt amazed at the limitless power of sport. It’s powerful because it is basic to human nature. Where there’s power there’s always a chance to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives,” said Prof Yunus.
The 9th edition, organisers said, represents an important step for the social business community they have fostered over the past years, as they are working concretely on action steps that will aim on building a new civilization.
In this spirit, the organisers will spread out in different hubs where they concentrate on the topics of plastic, sports, food, solidarity and mobility.