Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative (PR) to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima has said ensuring justice and accountability for the Rohingya is an important precondition for their safe, dignified and voluntary return to Rakhine State and eventual societal reconciliation.
She was addressing the UN Security Council open debate on “Peacebuilding and sustaining peace: transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict situation" held in New York recently.
Belgium organised the open debate as the President of the Security Council for the month of February, said the Bangladesh Mission at the UN on Saturday.
Highlighting the importance of internationally recognised criminal justice mechanisms in ensuring justice for countries coming out of conflict, Fatima welcomed the groundbreaking decision of the International Criminal Court about ensuring accountability of the egregious human rights violations and atrocity crimes by Myanmar against its Rohingya population.
She also exemplified the ICJ’s order of Jan 23 as a momentous development in this regard.
Bangladesh is currently hosting more than 1.1 million Rohingyas. Most of them fled their homeland in Myanmar’s Rakhine state since late August 2017 when the army launched a bloody offensive targeting the mainly-Muslim ethnic minority.
The UN later described the military offensive as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. State-sponsored discrimination against the Rohingyas stretch back decades. Myanmar denies them citizenship despite having lived in the country for generations.
In reiterating Bangladesh’s commitment to the Security Council’s Women Peace and Security (WPS), and Youth, Peace, and Security (YPS) agenda, she said they remain committed to supporting multi-pronged efforts of the UN to prevent and ensure accountability for violence against women and children during armed conflicts.
She also underscored Bangladesh’s contribution to the UN's peacekeeping operations as major troop and police contributing country in many conflicts affected parts of the world.
In post- conflict context, she stressed, “It is critically important to address impunity, ensure accountability and break the cycles of conflicts and atrocities of the past”.
She emphasised the importance of preventing a sense of inequality, discrimination, exclusion, and other root causes of violence and conflict in a society.
UK Election Commission Chair Sir John Holmes praised the digitised biometric voters’ identity card and the Electronic Voting Mechanism (EVM) of Bangladesh.
The praise came during a meeting with Bangladesh’s Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda in London on Wednesday, the Bangladesh High Commission in UK said a press release on Friday.
Bangladesh High Commissioner for the UK and Ireland Saida Muna Tasneem attended the meeting.
Holmes said the UK would be modernising and digitalising its electoral process, which is currently manual.
CEC Huda and Holmes exchanged views on the best practices, challenges and conduct of elections in their respective countries.
They also discussed various issues, including restrictions and financial accountability of electoral candidates, local council election system, voting of overseas citizen by postal balloting, commonwealth dual national voting system.
Bangladesh High Commission in London has started the formal registration of Bangladeshi expatriates in the United Kingdom and Ireland to provide them with the National Identity Card (NID).
The inaugural event was held at the Bangladesh High Commission in London on Wednesday in presence of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nural Huda, the High Commission said in a statement on Friday.
UK is the first among western countries from where Bangladeshi expatriates can have their registration done online to get NID cards, thanks to the special initiative of Bangladesh High Commissioner for UK and Ireland Saida Muna Tasneem.
“We had made a commitment last year to start NID registration in the UK and this commitment was fulfilled with launching of this process,” she said, thanking the CEC and the Election Commission (EC) for their support to bring this service to the doorsteps of the expatriate Bangladeshis in the UK.
CEC Huda said Bangladeshi-British nationals can now be registered online for NID cards from their homes. Upon verification of their information, the applicants will be advised to come to the Help Desk at the high commission or embassy to provide their finger prints and IRIS.
Subsequently, NID cards will be provided to eligible applicants through the Help Desk of their respective country, which will be opened in due course.
“NID cards will be given at the shortest possible time on completion of all necessary process by using the latest technology,” he said.
High Commissioner Tasneem said the registration was inaugurated in the UK in accordance with the Vision for the Digital Bangladesh of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“This is a gift from the Prime Minister to the Bangladeshi-British citizens at the beginning of the Birth Centenary Celebration of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” she said.
Tasneem said the High Commission in London will be observing a ‘Mujib Borsho Special Consular Week’ from March 23 when they are planning to handover the first batch of NID cards.
At the request of the High Commission, a delegation from the EC visited some major cities in the UK in July last year for a feasibility study on launching of the NID registration programme.
Election commissioners Rafiqul Islam, Kabita Khanam and Brig Gen (retd) Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury and EC Senior Secretary Md Alamgir also spoke on the occasion through a video conference from Dhaka.
Director-General of the National Identity Registration Brig General Saidul Islam made a PowerPoint presentation detailing the NID registration process and the importance and benefit of the NID.
To apply for NID, an applicant will need photocopy of passport, duplicate of citizenship certificate or home ministry approval if holding foreign passport; copy of passport of a Bangladeshi expatriate who identified the applicant as a Bangladeshi citizen; name, phone number and NID number and a declaration of a blood relative living in Bangladesh, declaration from the applicant that s/he has no NID card and certificate from respective embassy.
The 27th annual 'US Trade Show' will be held in the city on February 27-29 showcasing the high quality, cutting-edge American products and services US businesses can offer to Bangladeshi consumers.
The trade show will also highlight the US business community’s contributions to Bangladesh’s impressive economic growth story, and demonstrate US commitment to deepening and broadening US-Bangladesh economic and commercial relations, said the US Embassy in Dhaka on Thursday.
The US Embassy in Dhaka will host the event in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh.
The participation of the US Embassy in Dhaka in the annual US Trade Show in Dhaka "demonstrates" the US commitment to supporting Bangladesh’s continued economic growth and development and a strong partnership to help ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region based on market-based economics and free, fair, and reciprocal trade principles.
Over 50 US companies operating in Bangladesh, including in the energy, agro-mechanisation, and food and beverage sectors, and more will display their products and services.
During the trade show, the US Embassy will host four informational seminars.
On February 28, the embassy officials will discuss the visa process, including business, investor and work visas, at 4pm, followed by a session at 5:15pm on studying in the United States and the free consultative education services provided by the US Embassy through its EducationUSA Advising Centers.
On February 29, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will convene a discussion on “Private Sector Opportunities in Bangladesh” at 3pm and at 5pm, officials from the US government and representatives from the private sector will discuss “America’s Indo-Pacific Economic Vision.”
Celebrities and youth activists on Thursday met with UN officials, governments and civil society to launch Mission 1.5, a campaign that aims to bridge the gap between people and governments on ambitious climate action.
Mission 1.5 aims to give 20 million people around the world the opportunity to have their say on ways to limit climate change that they want to see adopted by government leaders.
The campaign, led by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), hopes to address the disconnect between citizens and governments that has seen a groundswell of public opinion by citizens around the world, including school strikes and mass protests.
The campaign is built around an internet and mobile-based video game, developed by UNDP alongside experts in game development, climate science and public polling, in which players take on the role of climate policymakers and make decisions to try to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to a media release received from UNDP.
After the game, players are asked to vote on key climate actions they want to see adopted.
This data will be analyzed and delivered to governments, who often lack access to reliable information on public opinion on climate action.
The previous biggest international survey of public opinion on climate change canvassed 10,000 people across 76 countries, and was conducted ahead of the 2015 Paris climate talks.
The Mission 1.5 game is available at www.mission1point5.org and can be played by people in every country in the world. It will launch initially in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, with further roll-out internationally throughout the year up to the UN climate talks to be held in the United Kingdom in November.
Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator, said: "Together with partners from across the private and public sectors, we have the ability with this campaign to connect millions of people with their governments in an innovative two-way discussion on solutions to the climate crisis, and increase ambition ahead of the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow later this year.”
Singer-Songwriter YemiAlade said, “I am so excited to hear what climate action matters to people around the world—especially my fellow Nigerians! Mission 1.5 is going to connect people globally on something that can’t be ignored anymore. The time to act is now!”
Cassie Flynn, UNDP Climate Change Advisor, said: ““People often feel disconnected from the leaders that must make urgent decisions on the climate crisis. Mission 1.5 is a way to help people understand climate solutions and make their voices heard. In many ways, it is the People’s Climate Vote.”
Jude Ower, Founder and CEO of Playmob, said: “Gaming is one of the most powerful mediums of our time to educate, raise awareness and encourage action on major global issues.
To work with UNDP to unlock the power of gaming for one of our planet's most pressing issues - climate change - has been incredibly exciting and the fact that people's voices will be heard through gaming, to have a real world outcome of being heard by world leaders, will really show that gaming can be a powerful force for change in the world today.”
About Mission 1.5
Mission 1.5 was developed by UNDP and partners as an online platform that educates people on climate action and connects them with their governments and policymakers.
The campaign is called Mission 1.5 because we must act now to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.