Dhaka, Feb 15 (UNB) - The new executives of Indian Media Correspondents Association,Bangladesh (IMCAB) have been elected unopposed for the year 2019-2020.
Bashudeb Dhar of the Daily Statesman (Kolkata), Quddus Afrad (Daily Anandabazar Patrika, Kolkata) and Rafiqul Islam Sabuj (Daily Desher Katha, Agartala) have been elected president, vice president and generalsecretary respectively.
The other elected office-bearers are: joint general secretary- Sahidul Hasan Khokon (The India Today), treasurer Masum Billah (Daily Jugashankha, Kolkata/Assam) and organizing secretary Mir Afroz Zaman(United News of India- UNI), said a press release on Friday.
Executive members are Anisur Rahman(Press Trust of India-PTI), Aminul Hoq Bhuiyan (Daily EiSomoy), Layek Uzzaman (Daily Din Darpon, Kolkata), Rajib Khan (Zee Akash Media) and Abu Ali (Daily Jagaran, Agartala).
Dip Azad, general secretary ofoutgoing committee of IMCAB will remain as member of the executivecommittee according to the constitution of the organization.
The election of the executive committee of IMCAB was scheduled to beheld on February 17 in the biennial general meeting.
According to election schedule the date of submission of nomination papers was on February 12.
But it was seen that eleven candidates submittednominations papers for eleven posts, one candidate for eachpost, said the press release.
On this ground, Haroon Habib, Chairman and Khairuzzaman Kamal,member of the committee formed to run the election declared the candidates elected unopposed.
Dhaka, Feb 15 (UNB) - United Nations aid agencies and NGO partners on Friday appealed to raise US$ 920 million to meet the massive needs of more than 900,000 Rohingyas from Myanmar and over 330,000 vulnerable Bangladeshis in host communities.
They, together, launched the 2019 Joint Response Plan (JRP), the third joint humanitarian appeal and builds on achievements made thus far in Geneva in order to further stabilize the situation of Rohingyas and address the humanitarian crisis.
Critical aid and services such as food, water, sanitation and shelter represent more than half of the funding needs this year, said the UN refugee agency – UNHCR.
Other key sectors of the appeal include health, site management, protection activities including child protection and addressing sexual and gender-based violence, education and nutrition, it said.
More than 745,000 Rohingya have fled from Myanmar’s Rakhine State to Bangladesh since August 2017, escaping violence in Myanmar and joining roughly 200,000 others already displaced in the Cox’s Bazar area by previous cycles of violence.
With the generosity and support of the Bangladeshi authorities and local communities, who were the first to respond to the emergency, critical needs were met and many lives were saved.
“The solidarity shown by the government of Bangladesh and the commitment of humanitarian partners ensured the successful implementation of the first Joint Response Plan in 2018. Moving forward, we reiterate our commitment to meeting the dire needs of this population and urge the international community to support these efforts,” said International Organization for Migration Director General António Vitorino.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said their humanitarian imperative today is to stabilise the situation of stateless Rohingyas and their Bangladesh hosts. “We are hoping for timely, predictable and flexible contributions in order to meet the goals of this year’s appeal.”
He said but while they tackle these immediate humanitarian needs they must not lose sight of solutions.
Grandi repeated his call to Myanmar to take urgent action to address the root causes of this crisis which have persisted for decades, so that people are no longer forced to flee and can eventually return home in safety and dignity.
“We encourage countries in this region and beyond to show solidarity with Bangladesh and to support Myanmar to start creating conditions for voluntary, safe and dignified return of Rohingya refugees,” Grandi continued.
The new JRP sets out a comprehensive humanitarian effort shaped around three strategic objectives.
By bringing together 132 partners - UN agencies, international and national NGOs and government bodies in a collective effort – the Plan aims to deliver protection to refugee women, men, girls and boys, provide life-saving assistance and foster social cohesion.
Over the past 12 months aid agencies have worked to improve the conditions across refugee settlements through the support provided under the 2018 JRP -– providing basic assistance, upgrading living conditions in the camps and putting in place disaster risk mitigation measures for monsoon and cyclone seasons.
The environmental impact of the influx has been reduced, through efforts such as reducing the demand for firewood through provision of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as an alternative cooking and heating fuel.
The prevalence of global acute malnutrition, at emergency levels in late 2017, has now dropped below the emergency threshold (from 19 per cent to 12 per cent), food security has improved, immunization coverage has grown to 89 per cent, and women delivering their babies in health facilities has risen from 22 per cent to 40 per cent.
Despite these and other achievements, the Rohingya remain in an extremely precarious situation, highlighting the importance of sustained support.
Until the root causes of displacement in Myanmar are addressed and refugees are able to voluntarily return in safety and dignity, support must be provided to the Bangladeshi authorities to meet the needs of refugees and the host communities.
For example, UNHCR said, the entire refugee population received basic emergency shelter kits to help them cope with the rainy season in 2018, but safer and more robust shelters are now required.
Around 860,000 Rohingyas regularly receive food assistance, yet only 240,000 are able to diversify their diet beyond the minimum package of rice, lentils and oil.
These resources must be expanded to ensure their nutrition and health. Similarly, continued investments into safe water and sanitation, health and protection services are vital, UNHCR said.
The 2018 JRP was funded at 69 per cent, or US$ 655 million received against US$ 950 million requested.
Dhaka, Feb 15 (UNB) - State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam has said the international community has a shared responsibility to help restore the Rohingyas’ fundamental rights and freedoms, including their right to return to Myanmar in safety and dignity.
“By opening our borders to the persecuted Rohingya, Bangladesh has not only saved lives but also stabilized the entire region," he said at an OIC meeting on Thursday.
He raised the possibility of creating a civilian “safe zone” for the returnee Rohingyas in Myanmar, to be monitored by the human rights and humanitarian outfits in the concerned regional context.
While briefing OIC Ambassadors and delegates about the evolving situation with the crisis, State Minister Alam sought OIC Member States’ support for creating a conducive situation in Myanmar for the Rohingyas’ safe and dignified return.
The State Minister also shared information on the government’s plans to relocate a portion of the Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar to the Bhashan Char island in consultation with all concerned stakeholders.
The OIC Ambassadors and delegates from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, State of Palestine and the Maldives reaffirmed their solidarity with the forcibly displaced Rohingya and commended Bangladesh for its generosity in hosting them.
The OIC Member States reiterated their commitment to help find a peaceful and lasting solution to the crisis through sustained engagement in the relevant human rights and humanitarian fora in Geneva, aaccording to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here.
State Minister Alam also had a bilateral meeting with Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, where they discussed the latest developments with the Rohingya crisis.
The High Commissioner conveyed her personal greetings to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and congratulated Bangladesh on her re-election to the Human Rights Council (HRC).
She assured of continued engagement of her Office in realizing the newly elected government’s commitments to promoting the rule of law, good governance and human rights.
The State Minister said that in course of its efforts to further consolidate democracy and sustainable development, the government of Bangladesh would make all possible efforts to deliver on the huge mandate given by the electorate.
High Commissioner Bachelet welcomed Bangladesh’s positive consideration of developing an Action Plan for implementing the recommendations from its 3rd cycle Universal Periodic Review in HRC last year.
The State Minister for Foreign Affairs earlier had a meeting with Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
The Secretary General congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her re-election, and recalled his previous visits to Dhaka to witness the progress with “Digital Bangladesh”.
He expressed his wish to visit places outside the capital next time to experience the real impact of the government’s broad-based digitization efforts.
The Secretary General said that the Bangladesh narrative is a good model for the ITU to promote among other developing countries.
He invited Bangladesh to actively engage in the development of international telecommunications standards.
State Minister Alam encouraged ITU to contribute further in Member States’ capacity building for cyber security, including through existing regional arrangements.
He assured the Secretary General of doing Bangladesh’s part in helping ITU achieve its strategic goals and targets till 2023.
Dhaka, Feb 14 (UNB) - The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) will review a report submitted on an exceptional basis by Myanmar on the situation of Rohingya women and girls in Northern Rakhine State on February 22.
The UN Committee is meeting in Geneva from February 18 to March 8 to review women’s rights in a number of countries, including Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Botswana, Colombia, Ethiopia, Serbia and the United Kingdom.
All the countries under review are party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and so are reviewed regularly on how they are implementing it, according to a message received here from Geneva on Thursday.
The Committee will also hold dialogues with delegations from the respective governments and be briefed by NGOs and national human rights institutions.
CEDAW’s recommendations, officially termed concluding observations, are scheduled to be published on March 11.
It monitors States parties’ adherence to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which to date has 189 States parties.
The Committee is made up of 23 members who are independent human rights experts drawn from around the world, who serve in their personal capacity and not as representatives of States parties.
Its concluding observations are an independent assessment of States’ compliance with their human rights obligations under the treaty.
Dhaka, Feb 14 (UNB) - Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Shixin Chen has said the main challenges ahead of Bangladesh are to increase investments—both public and private—to close infrastructure gaps and to invest in human capital with a focus on boosting skills of the labor force.
“Bangladesh has made huge strides in reducing poverty and sustained average growth of more than 6.5% over the last decade, achieving a record 7.9% last year,” Chen said.
He assured officials of ADB’s commitment to remain a dependable partner of Bangladesh, responding flexibly to the country’s evolving needs, according to an ADB press release issued on Thursday.
During the 3-day visit to Bangladesh, Chen met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and reaffirmed ADB’s plans to strengthen its partnership and boost assistance to the country.
He congratulated the Prime Minister on her election victory and acknowledged the country’s economic and social progress in recent years.
He also held discussions with Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister MashiurRahman, and Secretary of the Economic Relations Division and ADB Alternate Governor Monowar Ahmed.
ADB’s current Country Partnership Strategy for 2016–2020 aims at a program of more than $8 billion, compared with $5 billion during 2011–2015.
ADB said its operations will address infrastructure development (transport, energy, and urban services sectors), rural infrastructure, skills development, and climate and disaster resilience.
It will also continue to support Bangladesh’s regional cooperation and integration efforts, particularly in electricity sharing with neighbors, and developing regional transport corridors, it said.
In its 45-year-long partnership, ADB has mobilized more than $25.2 billion in loans and grants to help bring better infrastructure, public services, and social development outcomes to the people of Bangladesh.
In 2018 alone, ADB committed a record $2.15 billion in assistance to the country.
This included a grant of $100 million as the first phase of a projected $200 million support for the immediate needs of people sheltered in the camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar region.
The project is supporting the improvement of water supply and sanitation, disaster risk management, sustainable energy supply, and access roads.
It is being implemented in coordination with United Nations agencies, the World Bank, and other humanitarian donors.
Chen interacted with the people sheltered in the camps, visited the project sites and the site office under the ADB Emergency Assistance Project at Cox’s Bazar.
Chen also visited the National Load Dispatch Center under Southwest Transmission Expansion Project (STEP) and the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services under the Skills for Employment Investment Program (SEIP).
Both projects are funded by ADB loans. STEP, backed by a $350 million loan approved in September 2018, is building electricity transmission infrastructure to improve the operational performance of the power sector and contribute to the Government of Bangladesh’s target to achieve electricity for all by 2021.
The project introduces to Bangladesh a new type of high temperature conductor to allow more power transfer at lower energy losses.
Backed by ADB assistance totaling $200 million approved since May 2014, SEIP is expanding skills training in nine priority sectors—garments and textiles, leather and footwear, construction, light engineering, information technology, shipbuilding, agro-processing, motor driving, and hospitality/tourism.