The United Kingdom will hold a global artificial intelligence (AI) summit this autumn to assess the technology's "most significant risks." A number of alarming warnings have been issued concerning the possibly existential threat that AI poses to humans, reports BBC. Regulators throughout the world are trying to create new laws to mitigate that danger. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated that he wants the United Kingdom to lead efforts to guarantee that the advantages of artificial intelligence are "harnessed for the good of humanity." Also read: Regulation must to control AI for surveillance, disinformation: rights experts "AI has an incredible potential to transform our lives for the better, but we need to make sure it is developed and used in a way that is safe and secure," he said. The summit's attendees are currently unknown, but the UK government stated that it will "bring together key countries, leading tech companies, and researchers to agree on safety measures to evaluate and monitor the most significant risks from AI." Speaking to reporters in Washington, DC, where Sunak is meeting with President Biden on the matter, the prime minister stated that the UK was the "natural place" to lead the discourse on AI. Downing Street pointed to the prime minister's recent talks with the CEOs of key AI businesses as proof of this. It also mentioned the 50,000 individuals engaged in the sector, which is worth £3.7 billion to the UK. Also read: UNESCO reveals new AI roadmap for classrooms 'Too ambitious' Some have questioned the UK's ability to lead in this sector. According to Yasmin Afina, a research fellow at Chatham House's Digital Society Initiative, the UK "could realistically be too ambitious." She stated that the EU and US had "stark differences in governance and regulatory approaches" that the UK would struggle to reconcile, as well as a number of existing global efforts, such as the UN's Global Digital Compact, that had "stronger foundational bases already." Afina went on to say that the UK was home to none of the world's most innovative AI startups. Also read: How to Use AI Tools to Get Your Dream Job "Instead of trying to play a role that would be too ambitious for the UK and risks alienating it, the UK should perhaps focus on promoting responsible behaviour in the research, development and deployment of these technologies," she told the BBC. Deep unease Since the chatbot ChatGPT first came on the scene in November, astounding people with its ability to answer complicated queries in a human-sounding manner, interest in AI has skyrocketed. It can do so because of the enormous processing capacity of AI systems, which has sparked widespread concern, the report said. Geoffrey Hinton and Prof Yoshua Bengio, two of the three so-called godfathers of AI, have been among those to issue concerns about how the technology they helped design has a high potential for disaster. Read more: China warns of artificial intelligence risks, calls for beefed-up national security measures These concerns have fueled calls for effective AI legislation, while many uncertainties remain about what that would include and how it would be implemented. Regulatory race The European Union is drafting an Artificial Intelligence Act, but even in the best-case scenario, it will take two and a half years to become law. Last month, EU technology head Margrethe Vestager said it would be "way too late" and that the EU was working on a voluntary code for the industry with the US, which they anticipated would be completed within weeks. China has also taken the lead in developing AI rules, including ideas requiring corporations to notify users anytime an AI algorithm is employed, the report added. Read more: ChatGPT's chief to testify before US Congress as concerns grow about artificial intelligence's risks The UK government published their opinions in a White Paper in March, which was criticized for having "significant gaps." However, Marc Warner, a member of the government's AI Council, has suggested a stricter approach, telling the BBC that some of the most powerful kinds of AI may eventually have to be outlawed. According to Matt O'Shaughnessy, visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, there was nothing the UK could do about the fact that others were leading the charge on AI legislation - but it could still play an essential role. "The EU and China are both large markets that have proposed consequential regulatory schemes for AI - without either of those factors, the UK will struggle to be as influential," he said. Read more: AI & Future of Jobs: Will Artificial Intelligence or Robots Take Your Job? But he added the UK was an "academic and commercial hub", with institutions that were "well-known for their work on responsible AI". "Those all make it a serious player in the global discussion about AI," he told the BBC.
Queen Elizabeth II has been likened to the invisible glue holding the United Kingdom together. Some think the reign of King Charles III will see those bonds come unstuck, giving new momentum to Scotland’s push for independence. But the fact the queen died last week at her beloved Highland retreat, Balmoral Castle, has made Scotland the focus of commemorations watched around the globe in the first days after her death. That has served as a reminder of the monarchy’s deep ties to Scotland — and could provide a boost for the union. Scottish historian Tom Devine said because by “extraordinary serendipity” the queen died in Scotland, “it was possible for the world to see the relationship between the queen and this country.” Also read: Public can pay respects to Queen Elizabeth at Edinburgh cathedral “It was a fitting end to a life of service and a life of concern for the four nations — not simply one nation — of the U.K.,” he said. In a touching display of respect, thousands of people on Sunday lined the 175-mile (280 kilometer) route from Balmoral to Edinburgh as the queen’s coffin was driven in a slow procession to the Scottish capital. On Monday, the coffin was carried along Edinburgh’s medieval Royal Mile to St. Giles’ Cathedral, where thousands more are expected to pay their respects over the next day. The queen had deep ties to Scotland. Besides spending her summer months at Balmoral, her mother, the late Queen Mother, was Scottish and as a child the queen grew up playing on her grandparents' estate of Glamis Castle in central Scotland. So far there have been only tiny protests by anti-monarchist demonstrators. One woman was arrested in Edinburgh on Sunday for breaching the peace after brandishing a profane sign calling for the abolition of the monarchy. King Charles III has moved quickly to stress that he will be a monarch for the whole of the U.K., undertaking a national tour during his first days on the throne. He was in Scotland on Monday accompanying his mother’s coffin, and he plans to visit Northern Ireland and Wales later in the week, attending memorial services in Belfast and Cardiff. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all part of the U.K. but have distinct histories — and complex ties with England, which dominates the U.K. in both population and politics. Some Welsh nationalists have objected to Prince William being recently given the title of Prince of Wales — a title first given to the heir to the throne after the English conquest of Wales in the 14th century. Also read: Rules issued for paying respects to the queen The status of the monarchy has always been fraught in Northern Ireland, where there are two main communities: unionists who consider themselves British and nationalists who see themselves as Irish. That split fueled decades of violence known as “The Troubles,” and remains a deep divide. But in a sign of how far Northern Ireland has come on the road to peace, representatives of the Irish Republican Army-linked party Sinn Fein are attending commemorative events for the queen in Belfast. Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O’Neill praised “the significant contribution Queen Elizabeth made to the advancement of peace and reconciliation between the different traditions on our island, and between Ireland and Britain during the years of the peace process.” Scotland and England have been governed under the same monarch since 1603, and formally unified in 1707. But Scotland has distinct educational and legal systems and, since 1999, its own parliament. Relations now between the Conservative U.K. government in London and the pro-independence Scottish administration in Edinburgh are tense. Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who left office last week, was unpopular in Scotland, where a majority opposed his pet project: Brexit. Johnson led the U.K. out of the European Union after a 2016 referendum in which the country as a whole backed leaving — but Scotland voted to stay in the bloc. Devine said Johnson’s government had displayed “a reduction in respect for Scotland as an historic nation.” “That attitude of disrespect considerably annoyed the Scottish electorate over the last few years,” he said. “But there is a still a very strong sense here that the monarchy — especially in the person of the queen — maintains that respect.” In 2014, Scotland held a referendum on whether to remain part of the U.K. Voters rejected independence by 55% to 45% in what was billed as a once-in-a-generation choice. But the Scottish National Party government in Edinburgh is pushing for a new independence referendum, arguing that Brexit has radically changed the political and economic landscape. Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to hold such a vote in October 2023. But new Prime Minister Liz Truss, like Johnson, says her government will not agree, and without its approval a referendum would not be binding. Amid the political deadlock, Sturgeon has appealed to the courts for the power to call a referendum on her own. The U.K. Supreme Court is to start hearing the case next month. As monarch, Charles is required to remain politically neutral. His mother caused a stir in 2014 when she remarked that Scots should “think very carefully” before voting — a remark widely seen as opposing independence. Even after that comment, the queen remained widely respected by people on both sides of Scotland’s independence debate. Sturgeon, the pro-independence first minister, praised Elizabeth on Monday as “the Queen of Scots” and “the great constant -- the anchor of our nation.” Pauline Maclaran, an expert on royal culture at Royal Holloway University of London, said “it will remain to be seen if Charles can command the same loyalty” as his mother. “There will be a honeymoon period for Charles, I think, where everybody — out of respect, but also their own feelings — will lay off the usual demands for independence,” she said. But Maclaran felt that period would not last. “I think they (demands for Scottish independence) will come back. And I think the whole question will be how much can Charles build his bonds with them? What bonds does he have? That will then be one of his tests, that’s for sure,” she said.
The United Kingdom today (September 7, 2022) expressed deep concern over the recent political violence between police and BNP activists, especially in Bhola and Narayanganj that left three people killed. In a brief statement on the verified Facebook page of the British High Commission in Bangladesh, the UK called on all parties to exercise calm and restraint, choosing dialogue over violence. “The UK is gravely concerned about recent violence between political parties and law enforcement, particularly after the deaths of BNP activists in Bhola and Narayanganj,” the statement reads. The statement was issued following a meeting between a four-member BNP delegation and British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson. BNP delegation included party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, standing committee member Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, organising secretary Shama Obayed and executive committee member Tabith Awal. Read: Jubo Dal activist killed in N’ganj; BNP activists-police clash in parts of country Stating that engagement with political parties is a key part of the UK’s diplomatic presence in Bangladesh, the statement said Dickson was pleased to meet Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leaders at the British High Commission today (Wednesday), discussing the current political situation. Contacted, Amir Khosru Mahmud told UNB that they met Dickson at the invitation of the High Commission at 2pm. “We had around one and a half hour meeting and discussed the latest political issues in Bangladesh, including the recent incidents of police firing at our peaceful programmes,” he said. As the high commissioner wanted to know from them, Khosru said, “We narrated what actually happened and how law forcers and political goons attacked our peaceful programmes across the country, leaving our three leaders dead and injured many others.” He said they also talked about false cases filed against thousands of leaders and activists of BNP and its associate bodies across the country by law enforcers. “We think it’s the beginning of the end of democracy and electoral process. If it continues a level-playing field will never be created and a credible election won't be held in Bangladesh."
On 6th February this year The Queen became the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth. The Queen has ruled for longer than any other Monarch in British history, becoming a much loved and respected figure across the globe. Her extraordinary reign has seen her travel more widely than any other monarch, undertaking many historic overseas visits. Known for her sense of duty and her devotion to a life of service, she has been an important figurehead for the UK and the Commonwealth during times of enormous social change. Also read: Queen’s birthday celebrated in city pledging to boost girls’ life chances To celebrate this unprecedented 70th anniversary, events and initiatives will take place throughout the year, culminating in a four day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June. Facts about Queen Elizabeth II The Queen was born at 2.40am on 21st April 1926 at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London, and was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The Queen succeeded to the Throne on the 6 February, 1952 on the death of her father, King George VI. She was in Kenya at the time and became the first Sovereign in over 200 years to accede while abroad. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on 2 June, 1953 in Westminster Abbey. Her Majesty was the thirty-ninth Sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey. Queen Elizabeth II is the sixth Queen to have been crowned in Westminster Abbey in her own right. The first was Queen Mary I, who was crowned on 1 October, 1553. Coronations have been held at Westminster Abbey for 900 years and The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was to follow suit. But the Coronation of 1953 was ground-breaking in its own right – the first ever to be televised, it was watched by 27 million people in the UK alone and millions more audiences around the world. Windsor Castle, currently Her Majesty’s main residence, is the oldest and largest occupied palace in the world. Her Majesty is Head of the Commonwealth, which has grown from 8 to 54 members in the last 70 years.
The United Kingdom has expressed its keenness to work on alternative energy with Bangladesh. UK Minister of State for South Asia, the United Nations and the Commonwealth Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon expressed the desire when he called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganobhaban. Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed the reporters after the call-on. He said that during the meeting both also discussed various issues like climate, British-Bangladesh trade and the Rohingya issue. Emphasizing on green energy, the UK state minister said that the region has a great potential of green energy as Nepal and Bhutan have hydroelectricity. He also said hydroelectricity can be distributed through establishing a regional grid. “We are working on it,” the Prime Minister replied. As Tariq Ahmad stressed the need for solar energy, Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh has so far given 6.5 million solar connections. About the Rohingya issue, Ahmad said that they want the Rohingyas to return to their homeland in Myanmar from Bangladesh. He mentioned that he met many Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar and said they highly lauded Bangladesh’s Prime Minister and the present government. The UK minister said that Rohingyas blamed their men for causing trouble in their camps, quoting them as saying he added: “No Bangladeshi is responsible for causing trouble in the camps." Sheikh Hasina told the UK minister that some Rohingyas have been shifted to Bhasan Char. The Prime Minister said that her government has taken measures to give them jobs, proper education and training to make them skilled as they will not be considered a burden when they are sent back to their homeland. READ: Bangladesh assumes IORA chairmanship; eyes inclusive development She called upon the international agencies to work for the Rohingyas upon taking them back to Myanmar. Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus and the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson, were present. READ: Fuel prices hiked in line with global market: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave Dhaka on Sunday for the United Kingdom and France on a two-week visit. During the visit, she will attend the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), Bangladesh Investment Summit and hand over ‘Unesco-Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Prize for the Creative Economy’. The Prime Minister will also hold bilateral meetings with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron apart from other heads of state and government during her visit. The Prime Minister will also hold a meeting with the UK's Prince Charles. A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, carrying the Prime Minister and her entourage, will depart Hazrat Shajalal International Airport at 9pm. It will land at Glasgow International Airport in Scotland at 2:45pm (local time) where Bangladeshi High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem will welcome her. Hasina will address the key segment of the COP26 on November 1 apart from joining the opening ceremony. The same day, the Prime Minister will attend a joint meeting of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF)- Commonwealth High Level Panel Discussion on Climate Prosperity Partnership. Hasina will also attend a meeting titled “Action and Solidarity-the critical decade” at the invitation of her British counterpart Boris Johnson on November 1. She will have a meeting with Commonwealth secretary general Particia Scotland, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Bill Gates, the founder of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She will attend a civic reception virtually arranged by the Bangladeshi Community living in Scotland. Read: South Asian nations should work together: Hasina On November 2, the Prime Minister will attend meetings titled “Women and Climate Change” and “Forging a CVF COP 26 Climate Emergency Pact”. She will hold a bilateral meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. She will have meetings with UK’s Prince Charles, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, speaker of Scottish Parliament Alison Johnstone. Later, she will address “A Bangladesh Vision for Global Climate Prosperity”. On November 3, she will leave Scotland for London by a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight. It will take off at 12pm (local time) from Glasgow International Airport and land at Heathrow International Airport at 1:30pm. Bangladeshi High Commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem will welcome her at the airport. On the same day, she will go to Westminster where Rushanara Ali MP and Lord Gadhia will welcome her. She will have a courtesy call with British Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle. On November 4, the Prime Minister will inaugurate the “Bangladesh Investment Summit 2021: Building Sustainable Growth Partnerships”. She will also unveil the cover of two publications titled ‘Secret Documents’ (Vol i-ix) and ‘Mujib & Introduction’ and inaugurate an art exhibition titled “Bangabandhu and Britain: A Centenary Collection”. On November 7, she will inaugurate the newly-expanded portion of Bangladesh High Commission and Bangabandhu Lounge there. She will also attend a civic reception to be accorded to her by Bangladeshi expatriates living in the UK. On November 9, she will leave London for Paris at 8am (local time) by a VVIP flight of Biman. It will land at De Gaulle International Airport at 11:15am (local time). Read: Identify new market trends to diversify export: Hasina Bangladesh Ambassador Khandaker Mohammad Talha will welcome her at the airport. She will have a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at Elysee Palace and witness the signing of three MoUs/TCA/TA, and attend a joint press conference before joining lunch to be hosted by the French President. She will be given guard of honour there. The Prime Minister will also have a bilateral meeting with French Prime Minister Jean Castex. On November 10, Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury and Dassault Aviation president Eric Trappier, Thales president Patrice Caine will meet her at her place. She will have a meeting with a delegation of French business organisation MEDEF. French Minister Florence Parly will also meet her. Later in the afternoon, she will visit the French Senate where she will receive official reception during the ongoing Senate Session. On November 11, Sheikh Hasina will attend the Paris Peace Forum. Later, she will go to attend the “Unesco-Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Prize for the Creative Economy” awarding ceremony at the Unesco Headquarters. From there she will go to Elysee Palace to attend the dinner to be hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in honour of her. On November 12, Sheikh Hasina will go to the Paris Peace Forum and attend a high-level panel discussion on South-South and Triangular Cooperation. Later, she will go to the Unesco Headquarters to attend the inaugural session of the 75th Founding anniversary of Unesco where she will deliver her speech. She will participate in the dinner to be hosted by Unesco Director General Audrey Azoulay in honour of heads of government and state. On November 13, Sheikh Hasina will attend a civic reception to be accorded to her by the expatriate Bangladeshis living there. In the afternoon, she will depart De Gaulle International Airport by a VVIP flight of Biman and land at Hazrat Shahjalal Airport at 10 am (local time) on November 14.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday sounded hopeful regarding collection of Covid-19 jabs, saying Bangladesh is on track to get 24 crore vaccines either in March or April next year. "Vaccine doses are coming under the COVAX facility, as gifts and from other sources," the Foreign Minister told reporters on the sidelines of the 'Fifth International Conference on Inclusive Business' organised by the Dutch-Bangla Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DBCCI) in Dhaka. Read: UK OKs vaccines for 12 year olds, aims to avoid lockdowns Dr Momen said that Bangladesh needs 26 crore vaccine doses and some jabs would be produced at home too. "However, there is no update on vaccine cooperation with Russia due to the Covid-19 situation in the country." Dr Momen said that half of the 16 crore people are young, while 2.22 crore people have already been vaccinated. "Despite significant vaccination in Bangladesh, the United Kingdom kept Bangladesh in the red list which is very unfortunate," he said.
Bangladesh and the United Kingdom have agreed on the importance of "free and fair elections" and vibrant civil society to promote accountable governance and institutions ensuring freedom of expression and religion. The UK raised concerns reflected in the FCDO Annual Human Rights Report, including the “impact” of the Digital Security Act, political space, and extrajudicial killings, said the British High Commission in Dhaka on Friday. The two countries held their fourth annual Strategic Dialogue on Thursday at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in London and discussed the issues. The dialogue was led by FCDO Permanent Under-Secretary Sir Philip Barton and Foreign Secretary (Senior Secretary) Masud Bin Momen. Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, FCDO Minister of State for South Asia and the Commonwealth, welcomed Ambassador Momen to the UK. Lord Ahmad said they spoke about the strong links between the UK and Bangladesh. "We’re both committed to tackling climate change and looking for future opportunities to strengthen trade between our countries," he said. The UK commended Bangladesh for hosting the Rohingyas who, in August 2017, fled atrocities by the Myanmar military. The UK and Bangladesh reiterated their commitment to the goal of enabling the Rohingya to return home in a safe, voluntary and dignified way as soon as the situation allows. The UK stressed the need to focus on the Rohingyas’ wellbeing, and noted that access to education and livelihoods would help prepare the Rohingya for eventual return to Myanmar and to live dignified lives while in Bangladesh. Both countries committed to working with the international community, including Asean and the UN, to resolve the crisis. The two countries expressed their deepest condolences to those who had lost loved ones during the pandemic. The UK congratulated Bangladesh on its nationwide vaccination campaign including through COVAX vaccines. Read: Indo-Pacific: UK sees Bangladesh as "critical stability provider"
Bangladesh and the United Kingdom will hold the fourth Strategic Dialogue in London on Thursday to review all aspects of the relations between the two countries with a focus on post-Brexit and post-Covid new strategic partnership. The two sides will discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations covering political relations, economic and development partnership, security and defence cooperation, and exchanges on current global issues including Afghanistan and Rohingya crisis. Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen will lead the Bangladesh delegation while Sir Philip Robert Barton KCMG OBE, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) will lead the UK side at the dialogue, said an official. The Bangladesh-UK Strategic Dialogue was launched in Dhaka in 2017 while the second Strategic Dialogue took place at the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office in March 2018 and the third one was held in Dhaka on April 24, 2019. The issues related to joint celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, trade and investment, climate change (COP26), education and skills, good governance, human rights and migration issues will also be discussed. Bangladesh is likely to reiterate its call to review the travel restrictions on Bangladesh and remove it from the red-list. Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen already raised the issue during a recent virtual meeting with his British counterpart Dominic Raab. “Given Bangladesh's robust vaccine roll-out and significant reductions in Covid infection to 9.82% and sufferings of more than 7000 British-Bangladeshis currently stranded in Bangladesh, the UK should consider removing Bangladesh from the Covid red-list countries," Dr Momen said. However, such decisions are reviewed by the Public Health Experts on a regular basis, according to the UK government. "I would like to assure that given the long standing friendship between our two countries, and based on more frequent genomic sequencing data-uploading by Bangladesh, the British Government will review Bangladesh red list," Raab was quoted as saying.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen will have a meeting with his British counterpart Dominic Raab in London in between his visit to Switzerland and the Netherlands, and discuss ways to further strengthen the relations between the two Commonwealth countries -- Bangladesh and the United Kingdom. Dr Momen said Bangladesh High Commissioner in London Saida Muna Tasneem informed him that there has been no meeting with the British Foreign Minister for a long time and Dominic Raab has already given an appointment to sit in a meeting in London. “I’ll also have a separate meeting with Alok Sharma (President of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in London,” the Foreign Minister told UNB. “Things are being finalized,” he said, mentioning that he will visit London in between his visit to Switzerland and the Netherlands. Dr Momen will also attend programmes like a meeting with businesspeople during his busy stay in London, a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told UNB. He will leave here on Sunday morning beginning his tri-nation visit, said the official. The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on October 31 to November 12. Apart from the bilateral issues, vaccine cooperation and removing Bangladesh from the red list (for entering England amid the pandemic) are likely to be discussed, said a diplomatic source. Read: See your own face in mirror before advising Bangladesh: Dhaka to London Bangladesh finds no justified reason to see it on the red list as the Covid-19 situation is not that much bad compared to other countries which are not on the red list, said an official. If anyone from a red listed country enters the UK, he or she must book a quarantine hotel and coronavirus (Covid-19) tests which is quite expensive.