Ambassador of Palestine to Bangladesh, Yousef S. Y. Ramadan, on Thursday said the recent ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) gives a sense of optimism for the Palestinians to be independent after 75 years of struggle. "It's the first step on the way. We can build upon this," he said while speaking at the DCAB Talk at Jatiya Press Club. BNP and Jamaat still haven’t uttered a single word against genocide in Palestine: Foreign Minister Responding to a question, Ambassador Ramadan said they should not just stop there. "No. We wanted to wait and see. We want to provide ICJ with the evidence that Israel did commit genocide. This is our duty. This is the duty of everyone," he said. PM Hasina denounces Israeli attacks on Palestine, calls for ending the war The envoy added, "That's what we need ....to continue. And ICJ should continue the work to achieve its goal. It should not just relax." The ambassador said they are extremely grateful to Bangladesh and South Africa for their role. Bangladesh supported the genocide case filed by South Africa with the ICJ. Creation of Palestine state urgent; US key actor in bringing this to reality: Dr Yunus Lauding Bangladesh's position, he said this was a very courageous move from Bangladesh. In the ICJ proceedings, South Africa contended that Israel is violating its obligations under the Genocide Convention with its military assault on Gaza, which began on October 8, 2023, after the attack by Hamas in Israel, which killed 1,200 people and wounded many more. Around 240 people were also taken hostage in the attack. During oral hearings earlier this month, Israel sought to have the case dismissed by the ICJ judges — a motion that was rejected last Friday (January 26). The landmark ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) offers the first concrete hope to protect civilians in Gaza enduring apocalyptic humanitarian conditions, destruction, mass killing, wounding and irreparable trauma, UN experts said today. “The ruling is a significant milestone in the decades-long struggle for justice by the Palestinian people,” the experts said. The ICJ found it plausible that Israel’s acts could amount to genocide and issued six provisional measures, ordering Israel to take all measures within its power to prevent genocidal acts, including preventing and punishing incitement to genocide, ensuring aid and services reach Palestinians under siege in Gaza, and preserving evidence of crimes committed in Gaza. “We echo the sense of urgency demonstrated by the Court in its short, two-week deliberation, as hundreds of Palestinians, primarily women and children, are being killed by Israeli forces every day, resulting in a death toll of 26,751 people in Gaza over the past three months. This amounts to over 1% of the population,” they said. Ambassador Ramadan said that the international community is gradually abandoning Israel that has so far been enjoying impunity just because it is powerful. On January 30, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Britain is ready to bring forward the moment when it formally recognises a Palestinian state. He said Palestinians had to be given a political horizon to encourage peace in the Middle East, BBC reported. When his attention was brought to that, the ambassador said the UK should have been the first to recognise the Palestinian State because all the problems of Palestine were created because of British policy. He said US President Joe Biden is working very hard to find a solution but he should have done it much earlier. Ambassador Ramadan said the international community for long has ignored the Palestinians' issue just because Israel is powerful. "Israel is there fighting us. But who are the countries standing beside it? The powerful countries," he said. Ambassador Ramadan said he does not represent Hamas or Fattah but the Palestine Liberation Organization. “This is a very hot issue. Talk about this,” he said, expressing disappointment over the lack of unity among the Muslim countries while he referred to the unity in Europe. The ambassador said he never felt like a refugee during his nine-year stay in Bangladesh as he always received warmth and love from the people here. DCAB President Nurul Islam Hasib and its General Secretary Ashiqur Rahman Apu also spoke.
Bangladesh's Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today (July 08, 2023) said he is not aware that dialogue between political parties over election brought any results in the past. He said the government will not talk to “any terrorists.” The foreign minister said such dialogues are not held in other countries, including in the US, and referred to those as "useless" discussion. Momen was responding to questions on political dialogue at ‘DCAB Talk’ at the Foreign Service Academy. He said foreigners can come and observe the elections. "We remain transparent. We have nothing to hide." Momen displeased at ‘seeking solutions’ of Bangladesh's internal issues from foreigners Momen said the next election will be held as per the constitution. "We have a good track record of holding good elections. We are doing our best." Responding to a question on recent remarks by China and Russia, he said those are their remarks. "You may ask them." Momen said democracy is a dynamic process and it becomes mature through practice. He said the next election will be a model election in the world. "We want all parties, who are willing, to join the elections." Justice delayed is justice denied, resolve case involving Rohingyas as soon as possible: Momen tells ICC Prosecutor The foreign minister also said there is no problem if any “terrorist party” does not join the election. Foreign Minister Momen has said that he fears there are efforts of hindering the national elections. “We have indication some are trying to hinder the election process,” he said, without elaborating further whether they are from Bangladesh or outside the country. Asked who are those making such efforts to hinder elections, he sad, “You know it better. You are journalists." Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) hosted the event. DCAB President Rezaul Karim Lotus and General Secretary Emrul Kayesh also spoke on the occasion. Dev agencies should concentrate on development issues, not politics: Momen
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has expressed displeasure over “seeking solutions” of Bangladesh's internal issues from foreigners, especially from diplomats stationed in Dhaka. “I believe you (media) will not be playing a supportive role to that end,” he said while speaking at DCAB Talk at the Foreign Service Academy. Momen said diplomats come here to promote bilateral relations between their countries and Bangladesh. The foreign minister said the image of Bangladesh has undergone a complete change over the past decade. Read more: Dialogues between parties not held in other countries, including in the US: Momen “Bangladesh is not a country of terrorists and terrorism activities. That is a great achievement of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” Momen remarked. Regarding the next national election, the foreign minister said the government is committed to holding a fair election free of violence. It requires sincere commitment from all parties to make that happen, he said. The foreign minister highlighted the achievements of the government and its efforts to boost export through diversification. He said Bangladesh’s investment intention rate is very high but in some cases implementation gets slowed down. Read more: Not aware elections in Bangladesh connected to US State Dept or EU Parliament: Russian Foreign Ministry The foreign minister said Bangladesh is a peacebuilding nation. Referring to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Momen said peace is imperative for development. He said democracy, human rights and justice — these are in the DNA of Bangladesh. Momen recalled the sacrifices made by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, noting that her sacrifices go far beyond other global leaders. He said everyone will be affected if the democratic process, peace and stability are hampered. “We need to make peace and stability sustainable. You (media) have a role to play.” Read more: No pressure, no fear in Awami League’s dictionary: Shahriar Alam The foreign minister said the government is maintaining good relations with the neighbouring countries. He also said the government remains prudent in taking foreign loans. As far as countries are concerned, maximum loans came from Japan while major loans came from the ADB, IMF and World Bank, he added. Bangladesh does not want to tilt towards any specific country but maintains a balanced relations with all. Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) hosted the event. DCAB President Rezaul Karim Lotus and its General Secretary Emrul Kayesh spoke at the event. Senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were present on the occasion. Read more: Climate-impacted countries like Bangladesh need financial, tech support: UN Resident Coordinator
Bangladesh's State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam today (June 25, 2023) said, the narrative of Bangladesh being a “small country” has changed globally with its growing economy, wider engagement with partners, and political stability. “Bangladesh is seen as an example of good practice in multilateral forums,” he said while speaking at DCAB Talk. Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) hosted its flagship event at the Foreign Service Academy. Also read: UN officials praise Bangladeshi peacekeepers during meeting with PM Hasina DCAB President Rezaul Karim Lotus moderated the discussion. DCAB General Secretary Emrul Kayesh also spoke on the occasion. The state minister said that Bangladesh’s importance has increased significantly and its level of cooperation internationally has also been enhanced. He said Bangladesh has achieved continuity and stability, and this continuity will prevail. Responding to a question, Alam said, the government is “not feeling any pressure” ahead of the national election as the Election Commission will proceed as per the constitution. Also read: Discrimination, sexual abuse have no place in Peacekeeping Missions, Dhaka says Referring to events over 10 years ago, the state minister said that there is no word like “fear” in the dictionary of Awami League and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He also mentioned a diplomatic call for a fresh election before monsoon in the past, saying, “That sounds too ambitious.” The state minister said the government will not accept or welcome any interference in Bangladesh’s internal affairs but will welcome election observers. He said there has been conspiracy against Bangladesh in the past. Also read: Climate change: Foreign Minister highlights adaptation efforts Alam said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will not take any step that goes against the interest of the people and the country. Responding to a question, Alam said that there has been significant progress that leads to the need for withdrawing US sanctions on the elite force, RAB. "We will realise the demand (withdrawal of sanctions)." In his remarks, DCAB President Rezaul Karim said they understand Bangladesh has emerged as an important country in geopolitics with its growing economy. He said Bangladesh’s extraordinary development, democratic stability, and geopolitical significance are undeniably matters of discussion at home and abroad. Read more: UN officials praise Bangladeshi peacekeepers during meeting with PM Hasina
UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Gwyn Lewis on Tuesday (November 08, 2022) said loss and damages, and adaptation need to be on the table at COP27 and urgent steps need to be taken to provide financial and technological support to most impacted countries like Bangladesh. “Climate action is obviously on top of the agenda,” she said, touching on some of the areas of UN’s focus to support Bangladesh. Speaking at “DCAB Talk”, held at Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka, Lewis said climate change is also impacting Bangladesh’s economy. DCAB President Rezaul Karim Lotus and General Secretary AKM Moinuddin also spoke at the event. Read more: Political violence 'absolutely a concern', says UN Resident Coordinator The UNRC said COP27 comes at a time when South Asia is “impacted in unprecedented ways” by climate change, whether it is the floods in Sylhet and Sunamganj, Bangladesh or in Pakistan and repeated cyclones in India and Bangladesh in recent years. “Unfortunately, climate talks have been bogged down with politics and economic pressures, so we need to see more citizen action and listen to the voices of people living in Bangladesh, particularly young people and women who are often excluded,” she said. One of the recommendations following the recent visit of the Special Rapporteur on Climate Change and Human Rights to Bangladesh was to focus on inclusion and making sure the voices of the most marginalised were included in decision-making, said the UN official. “UN plans to further work on supporting the government to implement the national adaptation plan and the other policy frameworks such as the Delta Plan and the Mujib Climate Prosperity action plan,” she said, adding that the UN with their NGO and Red Crescent partners are also supporting disaster risk management and humanitarian efforts led by the ministry. Read more: 'Highway to climate hell with foot on accelerator': UN Chief warns at COP27 Lewis said there are also ongoing programmes to support migrants and displaced people who are forced to leave their homes due to the impact of climate change. By one estimate, up to 50% of those now living in Bangladesh’s urban slums may be there because they were forced to flee their rural homes as a result of riverbank erosion or flooding, she said. The data shows that from 2000 to 2019, Bangladesh suffered economic losses worth over $3.72 billion due to extreme weather events linked to climate change, said the UN official. This leads to another area of work that the UN is supporting in Bangladesh – economic growth and LDC graduation, she said. Read more: Honour COP26 commitments, double provisions for adaptation by 2025: PM Hasina writes “The growth of Bangladesh’s economy over the past 20 years has been extraordinary, as has been the reduction in poverty,” Lewis said. Before coronavirus hit the country, Bangladesh had been advancing fairly well to qualify for graduation. “Although the pandemic has been disruptive, the economy remained on a positive track. However, the current food and fuel crisis generated by the war is also creating pressures and uncertainty, including for the markets for Bangladeshi goods overseas,” Lewis said. In this global climate, she said, although there are benefits to LDC graduation, there are also risks. Read More: COP27: Bangladesh to reiterate call to materialize $100bn pledged for developing countries The UN official said graduation will enhance the confidence of the country in dealing with the international financial bodies, improve Bangladesh’s credit rating and attract higher foreign direct investment flow. However, she said, graduation will also affect certain preferential treatments in trade, subsidies to agriculture and access to some LDC-specific funds. “The risks need to be mitigated and this is where I hope that the UN’s technical support can be useful,” Lewis said, adding that further diversification and greater efforts are needed to attract foreign direct investment and meet the requirements for trade agreements when Bangladesh reaches middle income status. She said the UN is working to support the government in the development of a smooth transition strategy. Training of young people in IT and new technologies to make them better equipped for the future is one area where effort could be expanded. Read More: COP27: UN experts for complete integration of human rights standards, principles into negotiations Another is the creation of new industries and continuing to make Digital Bangladesh a reality, said the UN official. “I would also like to emphasize however, as important as LDC graduation is, middle income status is only a stepping stone,” Lewis said, adding that ultimately the objective is to achieve sustainable development goals and leave no one behind. The UN official said achieving the SDGs goes beyond economic growth and focuses on improving health, education, social protection and good governance. Bangladesh’s social indicators, such as gender equity, women’s empowerment, mortality rate, life expectancy, immunisation and access to water and sanitation have improved dramatically over the past 50 years, she said. Read What can COP27 do for climate vulnerable countries? Investments in social services, however, need to continue to grow with the growing population, and with the growing expectations of people who are living in a middle-income country, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Gwyn Lewis said.
UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) in Bangladesh Gwyn Lewis has made it clear that it is not for her or the UN to take decisions or engage in the election process of Bangladesh and laid emphasis on peaceful exercise of political activities. She said people have been injured and killed over the past months which is “obviously a concern” and called for “calm” and to find avenues for discussion. “It’s not for me or the UN to really decide and engage in election,” Lewis said, adding that there is no mandate for the UN to engage in election here unless they get a specific request from the Security Council or General Assembly or the country. Lewis made the remarks while responding to a question at “DCAB Talk” held at Jatiya Press Club. DCAB President Rezaul Karim Lotus and its General Secretary AKM Moinuddin also spoke. Read: Dhaka seeks proactive role from Thailand, ASEAN to repatriate Rohingya The UNRC said she is talking with the ministry of home affairs and also talking with various security forces to try and protect lives and find ways on how things can be done in a safe way. Lewis said despite other major developing crises in the world, the United Nations continues to focus on the Rohingya issue, and has been trying to find a political solution. “It’s incredibly challenging. The focus is there,” she said, adding that they are working on the ground for the safe and dignified return of the displaced Rohingyas – currently in Bangladesh – to Myanmar.
He sees promising outlook, brighter future for Dhaka-Beijing relations Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming on Wednesday said his country does not have any “strategic rivalry or hostility” to Bangladesh’s friendly neighbor India at all. The envoy said the two countries - India and China can "closely work together" to “resolve any economic, geopolitical and other issues” in this region and beyond. “We never view India as a strategic rival or strategic competitor of China,” he said while speaking at “DCAB Talk” held at Jatiya Press Club. Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) organised its flagship programme. DCAB President Rezaul Karim Lotus and General Secretary AKM Moinuddin also spoke at the programme. Energy Cooperation Media reported that India and China have been increasingly buying discounted Russian oil as global energy prices remain high. Responding to a question, Ambassador Jiming said China is an importer of LNG and other products and generally speaking China is not in a good position to export those kinds of products to Bangladesh. “If there is an emergency situation, I think, as always, China will not sit idle and keep watching,” he said, adding that both sides are in discussion on the possibility of any emergency supply. Rohingya Crisis On the Rohingya crisis, Ambassador Jiming said China keeps putting its efforts in pursuing early repatriation, and, at the same time, helps to improve settlement facilities to relieve local sufferings. “We also appreciate Bangladesh for coping well with the turbulence along the Myanmar border,” he said. “You need sincere support from the Myanmar side,” he said, adding that they have an Asian way of solving it. Asked then why the Rohingya issue is not being resolved, he said that China is seriously and sincerely working towards that end. "We are working silently.” The envoy also talked about debt management, global development initiative, trade and investment issues. “There is no Chinese debt trap in Bangladesh. There is no Chinese debt trap globally,” he said. The envoy also said China “never acts against Muslims in the country” and they have no particular reason to hate or discriminate against any group. “This is totally fake news (what you see in Uyghur). I can tell you with certainty,” he said. Read: ‘Some misunderstandings can hurt Bangladesh-China relations’ The Chinese envoy said he is personally a “big fan” of India, and he used to travel to many Indian places and made many friends. He also laid emphasis on resolving all the problems in the region in an “Asian way” and said that is the basic intention of China. Describing the situation in Europe as “miserable”, Ambassador Jiming said, “Do you want to see what happened in Europe to happen here in our region? I don’t think you want to see that. So, let’s solve all the problems in an Asian way.” The envoy said his country will continue to work closely with Bangladesh to ensure development, peace and stability in the region. “China-Bangladesh relations have grown healthily and steadily, and (I) foresee a promising outlook. We are ready to work with Bangladesh for a brighter future,” he said. The envoy said China wants a "peaceful and stable" Bangladesh as “peace and stability” are preconditions for development. Any problem, therefore, should be resolved in a democratic and peaceful way, he said, adding that China considers Bangladesh as a "very good strategic partner" and continues to improve the relations with it. The envoy said that China shares the same views like Bangladesh on the Ukraine issue and highlighted the importance of having dialogue and discussion to resolve problems peacefully. “We both stand with peace and call for appropriate settlement of the concerns of all through diplomatic channels,” he said. Read: “If China can excavate Teesta, people’s lives will improve a great deal"
German Ambassador to Bangladesh Achim Troster has expressed displeasure over what he says BNP misquoted him on Bangladesh’s democracy and human rights issues after his meeting with the party’s leaders last month. “I read that I had uttered concerns about the human rights situation and democracy in the country. This is not true. I was unhappy about this (misquoting),” he said. The German Ambassador made the remarks while responding to a question at "DCAB Talk" hosted by Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) at Jatiya Press Club. Also read:Quran burnings in Sweden: Freedom of religion must be respected, says Dhaka DCAB President Rezaul Karim Lotus and its General Secretary AKM Moinuddin also spoke. The ambassador said he and his deputy had a meeting with BNP leaders at BNP Chairperson's Gulshan office at the invitation of BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury which was attended by BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley on Monday said they will be following the next general election “very closely” because the international community is “very interested” in what happens in Bangladesh amid its growing engagement globally as a developing economic power house. “I think we’ll be following it very closely. Why we’ll be following it very closely is not because we want to interfere but the international community is very interested in what happens in Bangladesh,” he said. The Ambassador said everybody has a stake in what happens in that election in Bangladesh which is a strategic part of this region and a developing economic power house where ties are developing. The EU envoy made the remarks while responding to a question at “DCAB Talk” held in a city hotel. Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) President Pantho Rahaman and its General Secretary AKM Moinuddin also spoke at the event. Read: GSP-plus vulnerability criteria: BGMEA thanks EU for removing 7.4% import-share threshold Ambassador Whiteley said the key word around elections is exactly the “process” and elections are not events.
British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson on Wednesday said anything related to election should be a Bangladesh-driven and Bangladesh-led process, noting that it is not foreigners to say how the election should be held here. “It’s not for the foreigners to say how the election should be carried out,” he said, adding that it is a matter for the Bangladeshi people to decide. The High Commissioner said there is plenty of expertise and talent in Bangladesh to make the election a Bangladesh-driven process reflecting the values of the country’s constitution. The British envoy made the remarks while responding to a question at “DCAB Talk” held at Jatiya Press Club. Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) hosted the event. DCAB President Pantho Rahaman and its General Secretary AKM Moinuddin also spoke at the event. High Commissioner Dickson said it would be good to have an election that is transparent and openly contested. Read: Dickson lauds Bangladesh's efforts on climate front He thinks it is important that all the voices and all political parties are able to participate in the elections and are able to have confidence in the electoral process. The High Commissioner referred to the Bangladesh constitution and laid emphasis on fulfilling the constitutional ambition.