Dhaka, Feb 14 (UNB) - Secretary of State of the United States of America Michael R Pompeo has expressed his hope to strengthen Bangladesh-US relations and cooperation.
While congratulating Dr AK Abdul Momen on his appointment as the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pimpeo also conveyed his conviction to make stronger the enduring ties between the two great nations, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Thursday.
The Secretary of State also appreciated the generosity of the Bangladesh government and people for continuing to host and shelter over one million Rohingyas.
Pompeo also shared Bangladesh’s commitment to the eventual return of the Rohingyas to their homeland.
He also praised the impressive diplomatic and academic background, skills and experience of the Foreign Minister.
Dhaka, Feb 14 (UNB) – Myanmar keeps distorting facts showing Bangladesh’s St Martin’s Island as part of its territory in Myanmar's government maps prompting Dhaka to react sharply and lodge a strong protest officially against the ‘deliberate’ attempt.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Thursday summoned acting Ambassador of Myanmar Aung Kyaw here and strongly protested the matter.
Director General (South East Asia wing) M DelwarHossain summoned the Myanmar envoy to his office in the afternoon and handed over a strongly-worded protest note to him.
"While the Saint Martin’s island of Bangladesh is being presented on the governmental websites of Myanmar as their territory, Myanmar cannot deny her responsibilities of this utter misrepresentation just adding a disclaimer. This is absolutely unacceptable," said a government source.
The Myanmar side earlier affirmed through a note verbale that they removed all links which falsely mentioned about the Saint Martin’s Island.
"However, with great concern, it has been noticed that the advanced interactive map section of the website of the Department of Population under the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population of Myanmar (www.dop.gov.mn) containing various Geographic Information System (GIS) data on Myanmar still shows the similar data gradients for the Saint Martin’s island of Bangladesh as those of Myanmar," said a government source.
Besides, the website of Myanmar Statistical Information Services (www.mmsis.gov.mm) shows the Saint Martin’s island of Bangladesh with the same colour as that of Rakhine state, while a different colour has been used for other parts of Bangladesh.
"The continuation of such misrepresentation, despite the assurances on the part of Myanmar for effective measures to permanently redress the issue, could therefore be construed as a deliberate attempt of Myanmar," according to a source at the MoFA.
All entities, particularly the government organisations, are supposed to publish only authentic information on their websites and official documents.
Owners of the websites/documents have to take all responsibilities of any contents reflected therein, regardless of its preliminary sources.
On October 6 last year, Maritime Affairs Unit Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry Rear Admiral (retd) M KhurshedAlam summoned Myanmar Ambassador in Dhaka U LwinOo on the same issue and handed over similar protest note to him.
On the day, Myanmar Ambassador Lwin acknowledged the matter saying that it was a ‘mistake’ to show the St. Martin’s Island as part of their territory.
The Island was never part of Myanmar if anyone looks back at the history since 1937 and Dhaka says there is an ‘ulterior motive’ behind drawing and sharing the map of Myanmar on websites.
It was part of British-India when Myanmar got separated back in 1937 and that means it was part of India. A clear line was drawn in between.
And in 1947, officials said, it was part of Pakistan, and after the Liberation War the Island became part of independent Bangladesh.
In 1974, it was clearly stated through a signed agreement that the Island is part of Bangladesh.
Even when Bangladesh won the maritime boundary dispute against Myanmar through International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in March 2012, it was clearly mentioned that the Island is part of Bangladesh, officials said.
The Myanmar reportedly spread the maps to two global websites showing St. Martin’s Island is part of Myanmar’s territory.
The Myanmar envoy promised to discuss the matter with his government and convey Dhaka’s concerns.
The 2014 Population and Housing Census – Myanmar’s first national census in 30 years – was undertaken by the Ministry of Immigration and Population with technical support from UNFPA between 30th March and 10th April 2014, according to Myanmar Information Management Unit.
Earlier, Myanmar circulated a picture showing ‘insurgent training’, which is actually a photograph of freedom fighters during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.
The Myanmar military later issued a rare apology acknowledging that two photographs it published in a book on the crisis over the Rohingya Muslim minority were ‘published incorrectly’.
Dhaka, Feb 14 (UNB) - Permanent Representative (PR) of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen has highlighted Bangladesh’s various initiatives on social protection which have been taken and implemented under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government.
He said the government has formulated a comprehensive National Social Security Strategy (NSSS) to consolidate all safety net programmes.
“We are providing regular allowances to 6.5 million elderly men and women, widows, destitute women and persons with disabilities. This is a strategy adopted to alleviate poverty in the country.”
Ambassador Momen was addressing a side event, as part of the ongoing 57th Commission for Social Development (CSocD), held at the UN Headquarters on “Social protection as a strategy for addressing inequalities and challenges to social inclusion” in New York on Wednesday.
Referring the Cooperatives which played a big role in our country’s development journey, the Ambassador said, “Immediately after our independence, the-then Prime Minister and the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman identified cooperatives as one of the tools to integrate people in the development of the country and rebuild its economy.”
A glaring example of a successful cooperative initiated at that time and still being run is Milk Vita- a national leading cooperative in Bangladesh, he said.
Following the development footprint of Father of the Nation, Ambassador Momen said, Sheikh Hasina’s government had also initiated agricultural, fisheries, and weavers' cooperatives as well as industrial cooperative societies for the poor people of their respective classes for their socio-economic development.
Mentioning Bangladesh as the role model of women empowerment, The Ambassador said the government has focused on skill development of the people particularly the women and has been creating job opportunities for them.
He emphasized on the need of resources, institutions, capacity, technology and most importantly political commitment to address the challenges of inequality and social exclusion.
The event was moderated by Winifred Doherty, NGO Representative while Daniela Bas, Director, DESA Division of Inclusive Social Development; Barry Herman, Professor, New School for Social Research, Dr Lovette Ego, Worldwide Network Nigeria; Andrew Allimadi, Coordinator Cooperative Issues, DESA DISD; Dr Ify Ofong, Worldwide Network Nigeria spoke as panelists.
Dhaka, Feb 13 (UNB) - The share of temporary work remains quite substantial in several countries, and in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan it affects between 70 and 80 percent of wage and salaried employees, says a new report released in Geneva on Wednesday.
This share is typically lower in the service sector, although it is still quite high in some market services, including accommodation and food, as well as transport, storage and communication, according to the report received from the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Thus, between 30 and 50 per cent of manufacturing workers in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar work over 48 hours per week, says the ILO report.
Poor quality employment is the main issue for global labour markets, with millions of people forced to accept inadequate working conditions, according to the report.
New data gathered for the World Employment and Social Outlook: Trends 2019 (WESO) show that a majority of the 3.3 billion people employed globally in 2018 had inadequate economic security, material well-being and equality of opportunity.
The highest incidence of temporary work is found, on average, in the construction sector, with the share ranging from 21 percent in Cambodia to over 89 percent in Indonesia and Viet Nam.
Overall, more than 22 per cent (or 410 million) of workers in Asia and the Pacific are in extreme or moderate working poverty, the report says.
Progress in reducing unemployment globally is not being reflected in improvements in the quality of work, the ILO says.
The report cites the persistence of a number of major deficits in decent work, warning that, at the current rate of progress, attaining the goal of decent work for all, as set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 8, seems unrealistic for many countries.
“SDG 8 is not just about full employment but the quality of that employment,” said Deborah Greenfield, ILO Deputy Director-General for Policy. “Equality and decent work are two of the pillars underpinning sustainable development.”
The report cautions that some new business models, including those enabled by new technologies, threaten to undermine existing labour market achievements – in areas such as improving employment formality and security, social protection and labour standards – unless policymakers meet the challenge.
“Being in employment does not always guarantee a decent living,” said Damian Grimshaw, ILO Director of Research. “For instance, a full 700 million people are living in extreme or moderate poverty despite having employment.”
Among the issues highlighted is the lack of progress in closing the gender gap in labour force participation.
Only 48 percent of women are in the labour force, compared to 75 percent of men. Women also make up far more of the potential, underutilized, labour force.
Another issue is the persistence of informal employment, with a staggering 2 billion workers – 61 per cent of the world’s workforce – categorized as such. Also of concern is that more than one in five young people (under 25) are not in employment, education or training, compromising their future employment prospects.
The annual report also highlights some pockets of progress. Should the world economy manage to avoid a significant downturn, unemployment is projected to decline further in many countries.
There has also been a great decrease in working poverty in the last 30 years, especially in middle-income countries, and a rise in the number of people in education or training.
In Asia and the Pacific, economic growth continues, albeit at a slower rate than in previous years, according to the ILO.
The regional unemployment rate is projected to remain at around 3.6 per cent until 2020, below the global average.
Structural transformation has moved workers out of agriculture, but this has not created significant improvements in job quality; a large proportion of workers lack job security, written contracts and income stability.
While social protection has been significantly extended in some countries, it remains extremely low in those countries with the highest poverty rates.
The share of temporary work in market services is smaller and more homogeneous across countries, though it is still rather large in some services such as transport, storage and communication, and accommodation and food.
The situation is similar across non-market services, where temporary work accounts for around 20 per cent of total employment. Education, and health and related social activities are the two sectors in which the use of temporary workers is most widespread.
This share is typically lower in the service sector, although it is still quite high in some market services, including accommodation and food, as well as transport, storage and communication.
In recent decades, high levels of economic growth, coupled with a declining share of agricultural employment, have led to a rapid decrease in poverty rates in the region, especially in Eastern Asia.
However, the prevalence of informality and widespread decent work deficits both hinder the further reduction of working poverty rates.
Dhaka, Feb 13 (UNB) - Teams of Médecins Sans Frontières or Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have provided one million medical consultations to Rohingyas and the local community in across Cox’s Bazar between August 2017 and December 2018.
MSF medical coordinator Jessica Patti said almost 9 percent (92,766) of their 1.05 million consultations were for acute watery diarrhoea, most of them children under five, who are particularly vulnerable to the condition, and who can die if it goes untreated.
While severe cases need to be admitted to hospital, most people can go home after being properly rehydrated, said the MSF on Wednesday.
Diarrhoea is related to the poor and overcrowded living conditions in the camps, MSF said adding that often Rohingyas live in small shelters built from bamboo and plastic sheeting and shared with many family members.
Clean drinking water and well-maintained latrines are key factors in preventing diarrhoea, and health promotion activities focusing on improving hygiene are crucial.
Today, accordingly to MSF, people in the camps are better protected from disease outbreaks, and their teams continue to do routine vaccinations, but the risk still exists.
In recent weeks, for example, they have treated several hundred cases of chicken pox, a disease that can have complications for pregnant women, or when the person who catches it is also suffering from other diseases.
Most of the Rohingyas, the MSF said, have experienced traumatic events and many have suffered or witnessed violence and lost close relatives and friends.
“A lot of people would like to go home, but that’s not possible. So, they feel hopeless. Since the very beginning, providing mental health services has been a priority. Mental health consultations represent 4.7% (49,401) of our total consultations so far.”
As at the beginning of the emergency, though now for different reasons, the MSF said sexual violence remains an important focus.
“A number of women arrive at our facilities with sexually transmitted infections that have gone untreated for a long time,” it said.
The MSF said their continued presence in Cox’s Bazar is also leading to an increase in consultations for members of the local Bangladeshi community, particularly in those health facilities that are not located in the middle of the camps.