Dhaka, Sept 18 (UNB) - Bangladesh will seek expeditious global efforts to repatriate Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State as the Rohingya issue will come up for discussions during the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.
“Bangladesh’s stronger voice and participation in the UNGA is extremely essential to put international pressure on Myanmar to expedite the repatriation process,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told a media briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday afternoon.
Briefing about Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's participation in the UNGA and high-level meetings on various issues, he said the five-point and reiterated three-point proposals made by Prime Minister Hasina at the 72nd and 73rd UNGAs, are still relevant to find a solution to the Rohingya crisis.
The Prime Minister might place new proposals to find the solution to Rohingya crisis, he said adding that those proposals will come up in a stronger way.
The Foreign Minister also hinted holding a meeting with China and Myanmar on the repatriation of Rohingyas on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
The meeting might take place on September 24 or 25, officials said.
Dr Momen said China is supporting Bangladesh’s proposals over Rohingya repatriation process and their efforts are visible now. “We’re hopeful of a peaceful solution.”
The Prime Minister, according to her itinerary, will leave Dhaka for New York on Friday afternoon. The Foreign Minister, the ministers of relevant ministries and the State Minister for Foreign Affairs among others will accompany her.
A Biman Bangladesh Airlines special flight is scheduled to leave Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 3:25pm and land at Abu Dhabi International Airport in the UAE at 6:30pm (local time).
On September 22, the Prime Minister will depart from Abu Dhabi International Airport for John F Kennedy International Airport at 10:30am (local time) by Etihad Airways.
She will arrive at John F Kennedy International Airport at 4:25pm (local time). Mohammad Ziauddin, the Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA, and Masud Bin Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, will welcome her.
On September 23 (Monday), Sheikh Hasina will co-chair the multi-stakeholder panel to be held in parallel to the High-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage at ECOSOC Chamber. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will also attend as the co-chair.
The theme of the panel is UHC as driver of equity, inclusive development and prosperity for all.
She might deliver a national statement at the plenary session of the high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage at the Trusteeship Council, deliver a statement at the Climate Action Summit on the theme ‘Climate Action Summit 2019: A Race We Can Win: A Race We Must Win' at General Assembly Hall and attend Recognising Political Leadership for Immunisation in Bangladesh organised by GAVI at Conference Room 1 in the UNHQ.
On September 24, the Prime Minister will hold a bilateral meeting with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at the Kennedy Room, Lotte New York Palace Hotel.
She will have a meeting with Queen Maxima, UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, at UNHQ Booth, attend a side-event to be hosted by Global Commission on Adaptation at Conference Room 7, UNHQ, State Luncheon hosted by the UN Secretary General at North Delegate’s Lounge.
She will also attend the high-level side-event on the situation of Rohingya minority in Myanmar, organised by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh and the OIC Secretariat at Conference Room 11 at UN HQ, Leadership Matters- Relevance of Mahatma Gandhi in the Contemporary World at ECOSOC Chamber, UNHQ and the Reception by the President of the United States, Donald Trump at Lotte New York Palace Hotel.
On Wednesday, Sheikh Hasina will co-moderate leader’s dialogue 4 on “Localising the SDGs” at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (SDGs summit) at the Trusteeship Council and 'A conversation with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Interactive Dialogue at Council on Foreign Relations.
On the same day, she will likely hold a meeting with former Australian prime minister and Chair, Sanitation and Water for All Kevin Rudd at Bilateral Meeting Room, Lotte New York Palace Hotel. She will also attend the dinner at the Bangladesh House.
On September 26, the Prime Minister will have meetings with Alex V Volkov, Chairman, ExxonMobil LNG Market Development Inc at the Bilateral Meeting Room, Lotte New York Palace Hotel, Irina Bokova at the Bilateral Meeting Room, Lotte New York Palace Hotel, Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, at the Bilateral Meeting Room, Lotte New York Palace Hotel, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda at the Bilateral Meeting Room, Lotte New York Palace Hotel and attend Luncheon Roundtable Meeting, organised by the US Chamber of Commerce at the Holmes, Lotte New York Palace.
She will also be present in the event 'An evening with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina' organised by Unicef at the Labouisse Hall, Unicef House.
On Friday, Sheikh Hasina will attend the high-level side-event on “Sustainable Universal Health Coverage: Comprehensive Primary care inclusive of mental health and disabilities” organised by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh at the Conference Room 1, UNHQ and address the 74th Session of the General Assembly, General Debate.
She is scheduled to attend a press briefing at the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in New York on the morning of September 28.
The Prime Minister will attend a reception accorded to her by the Bangladesh community in New York at Hotel Marriott Marquis in the afternoon.
She will have a bilateral meeting with UN Secretary General António Guterres at the UN Secretariat in the evening.
On September 29, the Prime Minister will leave New York for Dhaka via Abu Dhabi by Etihad Airways at 9pm.
Bangladesh Ambassador to USA Ziauddin and Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to UN Masud Bin Momen will see her off at the JFK International Airport.
She will arrive at Abu Dhbai International Airport at 8pm (local time) on September 30. From there, she will leave for Dhaka at 10:45pm by Biman Bangladesh Airlines’ Special Flight.
The Prime Minister is scheduled to reach home at 5:35am on October 1.
Dhaka, Sept 18 (UNB) - Outgoing Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Hiroyasu Izumi has said Rohingya issue is not an isolated phenomenon, rather deeply related with growing nationalistic political trend and the world must find a solution for Rohingyas.
“It goes without saying that the Rohingyas are also victims of prevailing egocentric nationalism or populism. Of course, I believe the world can never be a jungle,” he said, adding that the civilised world
must find a sustainable solution to bring justice to Rohingyas.
The Japanese envoy was addressing his farewell reception at his residence on Tuesday evening. Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi also spoke at the programme.
The Japanese envoy recalled that he had an opportunity to join a diplomatic tour to Cox’s Bazar Rohingya camp just three days after his arrival here.
“It was a rainy day and the camp was so muddy, and the paintings that children drew were only in red, grey and black colors,” said the Ambassador who is scheduled to leave Dhaka on Thursday after completing his two-year tenure in Bangladesh.
Since then, he has visited the camp more than 10 times and witnessed a rapid growth and development in the camp.
The Ambassador said the camp still has to deal with old problems and new problems are waiting to be solved.
Despite various challenges, Ambassador Izumi said the drawings of the Rohingya children are now full of rainbow colors.
He deeply appreciated Bangladesh’s humanitarian response to the crisis.
“Bangladesh never built a fence on the border to block the Rohingyas, or never forcibly sent them back to the country where they came from, but on the contrary, willingly shared food with them and has tried to solve this difficult situation through diplomatic negotiations in a peaceful manner,” he said.
Observing the Rohingya crisis, he remembered the words of renowned British diplomat and author Edward Hallet Carr mentioned in his book “The Twenty Years Crisis”, in which he described the period between the World War One and Two.
“To sum up, he said that diplomacy must stand between realism and utopian thoughts (or idealism). In other words, neither idealism without understanding the reality of the world nor realism that forgets ideal vision of the world can be a ground for sound diplomacy,” said Ambassador Izumi.
Looking at the contemporary world, the envoy said, he cannot help but notice that the pendulum of the history has swayed to the extreme of the realist thoughts.
He said the word ‘globalism’ or ‘globalisation’ has sometime disappeared. “And the idealistic vision of the world order is somewhat dissolving. Political leaders of many countries start to say ‘Me First! My country is great!’ I am afraid that in such a world what awaits us.”
He said the strong always wins, and the weakest people are always suppressed. “Is this world a jungle? Bellum omnium contra omnes (a Latin phrase meaning the war of all against all)?”
And more than anything, the Ambassador said, it is important to give the light of hope for the future of Rohingya children by providing them with the opportunity of higher education.
“We should never create any lost generation among them. I would say our sympathy and support will be always with them,” he added.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas and most of them entered Bangladesh since August 25, 2017 amid military crackdown on them.
A recent report of UN fact-finding mission said the 600,00 Rohingya remaining in Myanmar’s Rakhine state face “serious risk of genocide” and that repatriation of the ones who have been driven out of the country by its military remain “impossible”.
The UN investigators further said Myanmar is confiscating and building on land of the displaced Rohingyas.
These alarming developments, foreign affairs experts say, might trigger further exodus of the Rohingyas into Bangladesh.
Veteran Awami League leader Tofail Ahmed, Prime Minister’s Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam, her Energy Affairs Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Energy Nasrul Hamid Bipu, ambassadors and high commissioners stationed in Dhaka, business leaders and opposition leaders, cultural personalities, senior journalists and Japanese societies were also present at the reception.
Dhaka, Sept 17 (UNB) – Outgoing Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Hiroyasu Izumi on Tuesday hoped that Bangladesh will become a developed and prosperous country as the centre of the “greater Bengal economy” and the two countries will enjoy stronger ties of friendship.
“I have the dream,” said Ambassador Izumi, who spent two years in Bangladesh, adding that it is time for Bangladesh to “bravely tackle with drastic structural reforms”.
“It is very much possible to realise the dream of Sonar Bangla,” he said.
The Japanese envoy was addressing his farewell reception at his residence in the evening. Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi also spoke at the programme.
“It’s very much possible (to achieve goals) if only Bangladesh can henceforth follow the path of sound development,” he said adding that Bangladesh can do it under the “strong and stable” leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Veteran Awami League leader Tofail Ahmed, Prime Minister’s Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam, her Energy Affairs Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Energy Nasrul Hamid Bipu, ambassadors and high commissioners stationed in Dhaka, business leaders and opposition leaders, cultural personalities, senior journalists and Japanese societies were also present.
Ambassador Izumi said Bangladesh is now on a historical stage of opportunity for development. “It’s recently reported that its GDP growth rate in the past 10 years marked as one of the highest in the world surpassing that of India and China,” he added.
He said Bangladesh must pursue both economic development and political democratisation hand in hand to attain Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Talking about Bangladesh-Japan growing relations, the Ambassador said, “I see the Bangladesh-Japan relationship as a cherry tree. You, me and all are the blossoms. And when we come together and work together, it is a glorious sight.”
He said the bilateral relations, during his tenure, has grown larger and become more significant. “Big infrastructure projects are now ongoing. A number of Japanese companies have become interested in investing in this country,” he noted.
“It was a great pleasure and a badge of honour for me to serve as an ambassador to Bangladesh,” said the Ambassador, adding that diplomatic ties between the two countries have further strengthened after reciprocal visits conducted by foreign ministers of Japan and Bangladesh.
Prime Minister Hasina’s visit to Japan has set an important milestone in our bilateral relations, he noted.
“I’d also like to thank the government of Bangladesh for providing substantial security for Japanese nationals and companies,” the outgoing ambassador said.
He hoped that amicable bilateral relations will reach new heights as he looks forward to the 50th anniversary of Japan-Bangladesh diplomatic relations in 2022.
Dr Gowher Rizvi said Japan stood by Bangladesh since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries and has been a tested friend of Bangladesh.
He said the friendship between the two countries has been “extraordinarily deep, strong” under the short tenure of the outgoing Japanese Ambassador.
“You’ve become such a part of our family, our country and people,” Dr Gowher said, adding that the bilateral relationship has now been “deepened and diversified”.
The Adviser said in the two years of Japanese ambassador’s tenure in Dhaka he pushed them really hard.
“Normally we run after our development partners. In your case, you came forward and pushed us,” he said mentioning progress of some mega projects making Bangladesh a part of Japan’s BIG B (Bay of Bengal Industrial Growth Belt) initiative.
Famous singer Farida Parveen, Ustad Abdul Hakim and two Japanese singers also performed at the reception. The ambassador himself sang a Bangla song.
Dhaka, Sept 17 (UNB) - UN human rights experts have called for an end to society’s addiction to fossil fuels ahead of the Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23.
“Burning coal, oil, and gas produce the vast majority of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in the global climate emergency that endangers human rights in every region of the planet,” said the experts in a joint statement issued from Geneva on Tuesday.
They said a safe climate is a vital element of the right to a healthy environment and is absolutely essential to human life and wellbeing.
“In today’s global climate emergency, meeting the obligations to respect, protect and fulfill human rights could help spur the transformative changes that are so urgently required,” the statement said.
The UN experts are David R Boyd, Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment; Hilal Elver, Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food; Léo Heller, Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation; Victoria Tauli Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples; Elżbieta Karska (Chairperson), Githu Muigai (Vice-Chairperson), Surya Deva, Dante Pesce, and Anita Ramasastry, Members of the UN Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises; Saad Alfarargi, Special Rapporteur on the right to development; Dainius Pῡras, Special Rapporteur on the right to physical and mental health; Philip ALSTON, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights; and Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
Twenty-seven years after all States committed to tackling the challenge of climate change through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the share of the world’s energy provided by fossil fuels remains unchanged at 81 percent.
Since 1990, global energy consumption has grown 57 percent, with coal consumption up 68 percent, oil use up 36 percent and natural gas use up 82 percent.
They said climate change is already causing increased frequency, intensity and duration of extreme weather events, melting of glaciers and ice sheets, rising sea levels, storm surges, saltwater intrusion, ocean acidification, changes in precipitation, flooding, heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, increased air pollution, desertification, water shortages, the destruction of ecosystems, biodiversity loss and the spread of water-borne and vector-borne disease.
“Among the human rights being threatened and violated by climate change are the rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation, a healthy environment, an adequate standard of living, housing, property, self-determination, development and culture,” the statement added.
They said to empower and protect vulnerable populations requires mobilizing at least $100 billion in annual adaptation funding to assist low-income countries, and establishing a new fund, financed by an air passenger travel levy, to support small island developing States and least developed countries in addressing loss and damage caused by climate change.
Wealthy countries and other large emitters must lead these efforts and provide the majority of the requisite financing, the UN experts said.
Dhaka, Sept 17 (UNB) - The United Nations Global Compact has announced 10 new SDG Pioneers - young business leaders including one from Bangladesh who are doing an exceptional job to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The young business leader selected from Bangladesh is Mashook Mujib Chowdhury, Sustainability Manager of DBL Group.
The 2019 SDG Pioneers will attend the UN Global Compact Leaders Week to be organized on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly from 23 to 26 September at the UN Headquarters in New York.
They will be speaking in the SDG Media Zone on September 25 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. (EDT). The session will be broadcast live.
The 2019 search for SDG Pioneers focused on professionals aged 35 and under, working at any level in a company participating in the UN Global Compact, according to UN Information Centre in Dhaka.
“These exceptional young professionals are demonstrating how breakthrough innovation can create the profitable business solutions needed to address today’s global challenges,” said Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.
“The 2019 SDG Pioneers are setting a clear example of the kind of personal leadership that is needed to make the Global Goals a reality by 2030 — and inspiring many others to join the movement towards a more sustainable future for all.”
The SDG Pioneers were judged by an expert panel comprised of representatives of Government, business and civil society.
The selection criteria included the individuals' commitment to embedding the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into their companies' core strategies, their efforts to advance the SDGs, as well as their engagement with the UN Global Compact and its Local Networks.
The SDG Pioneers programme is part of the UN Global Compact’s Making Global Goals Local Business campaign — a multi-year strategy to drive business awareness and action in support of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The other UN Global Compact SDG Pioneers are Regan Leahy, Assistant Citizenship Manager, Hogan Lovells, UK, Murtaza Ahmed, Managing Director, Artistic Milliners, Pakistan, Dylan McNeill, Director of Supplier Sustainability, Royal Philips, Netherlands, Muchtazar, Environment Sustainability Programme Officer, Unilever, Indonesia, SeoJia Han Alvin, Group Sustainability Manager, Singapore Telecommunications Limited, Singapore, Dr Joyce Sitonik, Head of Clinic Business Operations, AAR Health Care, Kenya, Lindsey Verhaeghe, Sustainability Initiatives and Reporting Manager, Nutrien, Canada, Meg Parker Young, Director of Impact Strategy and Development, Thomson Reuters, USA, Zaw Ye Naung, Founder, ShweTaungNyoGyi Co., Myanmar.