Dushanbe (Tajikstan), Jun 15 (UNB) – Stressing the importance of a peaceful solution to Rohingya crisis, President Abdul Hamid on Saturday said the crisis can destabilise the entire region if it is left unresolved.
“We seek a peaceful solution to the crisis and signed instruments on repatriation with Myanmar. If it’s left unresolved, the crisis can destabilise the entire region,“ he said.
The President said this while addressing the 5th Summit of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) held at Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan.
He also sought support and cooperation from our CICA partners so that the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals can return to their homeland with safety, security and dignity.
“The world knows Bangladesh hosts 1.1 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. You must be aware of the evidences of genocide and gross violation of human rights, which has been termed as a ‘textbook example of ethnic cleansing’ and humanitarian catastrophe of unmanageable magnitude,” said President Hamid.
These people were forcibly displaced from their ancestral homes and they took shelter in Bangladesh, he said adding, “We’ve opened the door and are still hosting them.”
Mentioning that Asia is facing issues like violent extremism, international terrorism, forced migration among others which go beyond borders, the President stressed the need for coordinating response among the states to tackle those.
“Asian security is vulnerable as irregular migration, drug trafficking, territorial claims, ethnic conflicts, separatism, economic problems and climate change are visible here. To address these crucial challenges, CICA needs to enhance its capacity through promoting the concept of indivisible security,” he said.
“We must work together so that the existing discords in the region should not impede the process of resolving issues related with security and cooperation in Asia,” he said.
Stability and security in Asia are imperative for economic development, Hamid said adding: “We can achieve that through dialogue and cooperation.”
During the conference, the Founder of Peace and National Unity and President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon held meetings with the leaders of a number of CICA Member States to discuss the condition and prospects of bilateral and multilateral relations.
The CICA is an intergovernmental forum and regional organisation established in 1992 with UN support.
Discussions on issues of security and cooperation in the Asia Pacific region and assistance in the global fight against terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and transnational crimes are the main objectives of this conference.
Dhaka, June 15 (UNB)- Bangladesh was elected a member of the prestigious Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations for the term 2020-2022 from the Asia-Pacific region by securing 181 votes out of 191.
The election was held at the UN General Assembly Hall on Friday, said a press release of Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN received on Saturday.
Thailand, South Korea and China were the other countries elected from the same region.
ECOSOC, one of the six principal organs of UN, is also the most important platform of the UN system and for that matter multilateral diplomacy when it comes to development.
Under the visionary and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh is marching forward with an indomitable speed to achieve the Vision 2021 and Agenda 2030 and is recognized as a ‘role model’ of development, said the release.
The election was conducted under the Presidency of María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, the President of 73rd United Nations General Assembly through secret ballot.
“This victory is a unique gift for the people of Bangladesh on the eve of centennial birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence” said the Permanent Representative (PR) of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen while speaking to journalists in front of the United Nations Building.
Referring to Bangladesh’s fulfillment of the LDC graduation criteria last year, Momen said, “This membership of ECOSOC will help us achieve sustainable graduation and accelerate progress in the implementation of Agenda 2030.”
“This victory is a reflection of the development trajectory of Bangladesh with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at its lead. Over the past years, under the guidance and supervision of the Government of Bangladesh specially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all diplomatic Missions of Bangladesh particularly the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN have worked relentlessly for this election, so this victory is the recognition of our teamwork,” he added.
Through the membership of ECOSOC, Bangladesh will be able to work more intensively in implementing the Agenda 2030 through various forums, commissions, committees, executive boards and regional forums such as UNESCAP under ECOSOC. This will also enable us to share our best developmental practices with the rest of the world, said the Ambassador.
Bangladesh will commence its ECOSOC membership from January 2020. In 2018, Bangladesh was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2019-2021 term.
New York, 14 June (UNB)— Bangladesh has put special emphasis for the development and inclusion of persons with disabilities towards inclusive socio-economic development.
Permanent Representative (PR) of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen passed the remarks at the 12th Conference of the State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at UNHQs on Thursday (local time).
He said that Bangladesh has not only put considerable efforts in increasing their access in day-to-day life but also updated the national legislations in line with the CRPD and Agenda 2030.
“Saima Wazed Hossain, the daughter of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has been an ardent advocate in this field and championing awareness-building on autism in particular and disabilities in general in the country, the region and beyond as the WHO SEARO Goodwill Ambassador and Chairperson of National Advisory Committee on Autism,” the ambassador added.
He said that the National Human Rights Commission, NGOs and private sector companies have joined the efforts of the Government.
Mentioning several development initiatives of government in this sector, the PR said, “The country shall provide allowances for all of the 1.4 million differently abled persons from July. Currently, 1 million of such people are getting allowance.”
Ambassador Momen focused on the success stories of the youth with disabilities in various fields such as sports and innovations.
Bangladeshi differently able youth won 22 gold medals in Special Olympics 2019 in Abu Dhabi, he added.
Drawing the example of Vashkar Bhattacharjee, a visually impaired Bangladeshi youth who was recognised by UNESCO for his innovative use of ICT for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities by developing Bangladesh’s first Accessible Dictionary in four forms for people with visual, print and learning disabilities, the PR said, “These examples are greatly inspirational for their peers to strive for empowerment.”
Ambassador Masud said, “Through ‘Digital Bangladesh’ campaign we are doing our bit but we need more partnerships to reach desired level of ‘disability inclusion’ for which our development partners should come forward.”
Bangladesh is one of the early signatories of the CRPD and its Optional Protocol. The CRPD was adopted by the UN General Assembly by its resolution 61/106.
Dhaka, June 14 (UNB) - Foreign Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (FICCI) on Friday said the GDP growth target of 8.2 percent is achievable provided that GDP-investment ratio increase to the expected level of 32 percent.
In a post-budget reaction, it said well-structured and transparent companies will require sufficient time to accommodate the provision of new VAT and SD Act, 2012 and Rules, 2016 in their business process.
Therefore, the Chamber said, it strongly recommends allowing at least six months for implementation of the same which has not been considered in the proposed Finance Bill, 2019.
The Chamber proposed reducing corporate tax rate to increase investment in the economy but this has not been considered in the proposed budget.
It recommends that the corporate tax rate should be reduced gradually taking into consideration the corporate tax rates prevailing in other countries.
The Chamber appreciated that the proposed budget retains the feature of continuity.
It also expects that the proposed changes should be implemented in a manner which will bring positive results and benefits to the people.
The Chamber feels that the proposed budget with the Chamber’s suggested amendments will accelerate investment, improve the business environment and socio-economic condition of the country.
The Chamber reviewed the 2019-20 National Budget, as proposed by the Finance Minister on Thursday and assessed its implications on the country’s business in general, and foreign investment in particular.
It said the proposed budget of Tk 5,23,190 crore, which is 18.22 percent higher than that of revised budget of last fiscal year, is challenging in comparison to 12.60 percent growth in the immediate preceding year.
The Chamber appreciated notable allocation for human resource development. It also expressed concern for bridging the deficit from banking sources which may tighten the liquidity situation.
The Chamber particularly appreciated the following proposals, made in the proposed budget - fixation of a time-limit for the issuance of certificates by NBR under double taxation treaty, withdrawal of tax on the dividend received from non-resident Bangladeshi Company, increase in the threshold of wealth surcharge, increase of dividend income exemption threshold, withdrawal of the restriction in taking input VAT rebate from certain services.
It said the Finance Act, 2017 had a bold provision of withdrawing withholding tax on the supply of direct materials.
tax has been proposed on direct materials which will be detrimental to industrial growth, said the Chamber.
The Chamber supported the vision of digitalisation of Bangladesh.
However, the proposed increase of SD (Supplementary Duty) minimum income tax and SIM tax on telecom services will contradict the said vision.
The inclusion of leave fare assistance under the purview of perquisites will increase tax on tax as opposed to Chamber’s proposal for withdrawal of the limit on the perquisites.
Historically, it said, the title of the schedule of SD on locally manufactured items was “SD at manufacturing stage” which has been changed to “SD at supply stage”.
Consequently, the Chamber added, the cost of locally-manufactured products will go up significantly and make them uncompetitive to imported ones and this will discourage local production.
The Chamber’s proposal for withdrawal of the existing ceiling on head office expense, royalty and technical assistance fees has not been considered. "This will adversely impact on the inflow of FDI in Bangladesh."
The Account Current balance under VAT Act, 1991 will be adjustable under the new VAT law only to the extent of 10% per month, it said.
provision should be withdrawn and the balance be adjustable immediately, said the Chamber.
Dhaka, June 13 (UNB) - Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said bilateral discussions between Bangladesh and Myanmar have been continuing to ensure safe, dignified and permanent repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland.
While placing the budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 on Thursday, he said discussions are going on as per the directions of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The displaced Rohingyas, who escaped from Myanmar to save their lives in the face of torture, oppression and ethnic cleansing, have been given shelter in Bangladesh as a humanitarian gesture, he said.
The Finance Minister said Bangladesh has been providing all necessary physical support services, including food, housing, health and other emergency services, to over 1.1 million Rohingyas.
He said Bangladesh has been efficiently doing massive work of providing health and other emergency services including provisioning of residential facilities, supply of drinking water, installation of sanitary latrines and building roads for the Rohingya refugee population.