Scotland is keen on hiring construction workers from Bangladesh, a visiting parliamentary delegation from the country told Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday (November 20, 2023). This was conveyed when a six member Cross-Party Parliamentary Group (CPG) led by first- ever Bangladeshi origin MP of the Scotland Parliament Foysol Choudhury met the prime minister at her official residence Ganabhaban. The other members of the delegation were Miles Briggs, Evelyn Tweed, Juned Hussain Chowdhury, Farhan Masud Khan and Md Lutfur Rahman. Germany, France, Denmark, Netherlands, UK, Canada file joint declaration of intervention in case against Myanmar at International Court of Justice PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed the reporters after the call on. Foysol Choudhury, however, said the workers' lack of skill in English language is seen as a barrier in hiring them. He said Scotland also wants to invest in Bangladesh's agro sector. Russian House in Dhaka hosts Geographical Dictation 2023 PM Hasina told the delegation that through various institutions her government is providing training in language, vocational work and computer language to enhance efficiency of the outgoing manpower of the country. The Scottish MPs highly appreciated the unprecedented development of Bangladesh in the last 15 years, said the press secretary. They mentioned that Bangladeshi diaspora is involved in mainstream politics of Scotland and currently there are some 200 elected councillors there. Release promised climate funds for developing nations: Momen Bangladesh Ambassador at Lagre M Ziauddin and Principal Secretary M. Tofazzel Hossain Miah were present during the meeting.
A delegation of the European Union (EU) arrived in Dhaka on Sunday to have discussions with relevant stakeholders on the country’s labour sector. "Freshly arrived in Dhaka for EU exchanges with Bangladesh stakeholders on labour rights and human rights," EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter after his arrival together with some of the delegation members from Brussels. Bangladesh: UN review on human rights in Geneva on Monday They visited a school for children with disabilities in Badda, Dhaka. "Very glad to be again in Dhaka," said Deputy Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific at the European External Action Service (EEAS) Paola Pampaloni who is leading the delegation. Situation in Gaza classic example of ethnic cleansing assisted by leaders of ‘the free world’ They will have meetings with labour, commerce and foreign secretaries of the government on Wednesday apart from their talks with other relevant stakeholders. The visit is aimed at taking "stock of progress" in implementing the National Action Plan for the labour sector, EU Ambassador to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley told UNB. Bangladesh adopted a National Action Plan (2021-2026) on the labour sector and the plan is closely linked to the roadmap submitted by the government of Bangladesh to the ILO Governing Body as the result of an Article 26 complaint. Delhi shared its perspective on Bangladesh with US 'very clearly': Kwatra The roadmap aims to improve the country’s observance of labour rights including freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining. Last month, Ambassador Whiteley said aligning labour law with international standards will be an “essential element” for the European Parliament and the Commission in considering Bangladesh’s application for market access, the GSP+. “Bangladesh has the option to accede to GSP+ which is the next most generous GSP programme after the Everything but Arms (EBA),” he said while speaking at a seminar in Dhaka.
US says it takes incidents of violence in Bangladesh very seriously, stresses importance of dialogue
The United States has said it is "closely monitoring" the electoral environment in Bangladesh leading up to January’s national election, and they take incidents of violence "very seriously". At a regular briefing at the US Department of State on Tuesday (October 31, 2023), Spokesperson Matthew Miller said they are engaging and will continue to engage with the government, opposition, civil society, and other stakeholders to urge them to work together for the benefit of the Bangladeshi people, and to ensure free and fair elections that are conducted in a peaceful manner. All political actors urged by UN rights body to shun violence "We do believe that dialogue is important to achieving those goals," he said. Miller said holding of free and fair elections is the responsibility of everyone - all political parties, voters, government, civil society, and the media. BAF delegation visits India’s Dimapur "And what we want in Bangladesh is the same thing the Bangladeshi people want, which are free and fair elections conducted in a peaceful manner," the US State Department spokesperson said. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Habibul Awal on Tuesday said the Election Commission has no option except to hold election on time as per the constitution. “The EC has to hold the election on time, no matter what the situation is,” the CEC told journalists after his meeting with US Ambassador Peter Haas. Responding to a question, US State Department Spokesperson Miller said, “Let me just say that we have made clear that we expect the Government of Bangladesh, as we expect every government, to comply with their obligations under the Vienna Conventions for the safe protection of diplomats.” British high commissioner discusses upcoming elections with AL leaders
Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh, Ramis Sen, has said that Bangladesh and Türkiye have strong and deep-rooted relations and they are committed to further enhance and diversify the bilateral relations in all fields. “We are aiming to further our bilateral trade volume, which is around USD 1.2 billion,” he said, adding that Turkish Airlines’ direct flights between Dhaka and Istanbul have been making great contributions to the promotion of the bilateral relations. The Turkish ambassador was speaking at a reception marking the National Day of Turkey on Sunday night. Law Minister Anisul Huq also spoke at the reception as the chief guest. US for country-driven action, looking for innovative solutions to plastic pollution: Ambassador Haas In February 2024, the two countries will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. “I am also pleased that relations between our private companies have been improving and there have been some important joint investments,” said the ambassador. At the outset, the envoy expressed gratitude and respect to Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Türkiye, his comrades-in-arms and the people who lost their lives during the Turkish War of Independence. “I wish Allah’s mercy upon them.” PM to hold press conference tomorrow on Belgium visit “On 6th of February, this year, my country experienced a devastating earthquake. I wish to pay my tribute to Turkish citizens who lost their lives during the earthquake. I wish Allah’s mercy upon them,” he said.
‘There are no right hands to handle these wrong weapons’: Momen calls for eliminating nuclear weapons at UN
Bangladesh has emphasized the urgent need for global efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons and ensure a safer world. “No one is safe as long as nuclear weapons exist,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said while speaking at a high-level plenary meeting of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly to commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Momen urged the world to stop investing in nuclear weapons proliferation and instead redirect these resources to preventing climate change, promoting sustainable development, and ensuring peace and stability. Bangladesh-US ties 'outstandingly cordial' but some trying to inject bitterness: Momen He said that death and destruction caused by nuclear weapons cut across borders, across generations. “The total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only absolute guarantee against this menace,” said the foreign minister. Dr Momen reiterated Bangladesh’s firm belief in the total elimination of nuclear weapons and its commitment to the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). He welcomed the first State Parties' meeting to the TPNW, its declaration, and a 50-point Action Plan, emphasizing the importance of full implementation by all nations, including nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-umbrella states. UN Assistant Secretary General visits Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar The Bangladeshi foreign minister also highlighted the risks of nuclear use, whether by intent or accident. “There are no right hands to handle these wrong weapons,” he said. Momen called upon the nuclear weapon states to take stringent measures to avoid the risk of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists or other unauthorized actors. He called for increased investment in research of nuclear technology and exploration of the potentials of the peaceful use of nuclear energy for the benefit of humankind. The foreign minister called for a global culture of peace, renewed efforts towards a nuclear-free world, and the resumption of disarmament negotiations. Bangladesh welcomes increased investment interest from Saudi Arabia The high-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons was held on September 26 at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Nepalese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ghanshyam Bhandari has underscored the need for promoting economic partnership as the centerpiece of Bangladesh-Nepal relations. He also shed light on the strong bilateral cooperation existing between Nepal and Bangladesh in areas including trade, transit, energy, tourism, connectivity, and education. The Nepalese Embassy hosted a reception on Wednesday evening to celebrate the National Day and Constitution Day of Nepal. Bangladesh keen to export readymade garments to Nepal, seeks collaboration to unlock opportunities The Ambassador highlighted that the day was a reminder of the moment in which political issues were settled and democratic gains institutionalized with the promulgation of the constitution in 2015.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has highlighted the imperative of tapping into unexplored trade opportunities between Bangladesh and African countries. He attended at an interaction session held on Thursday at the Commonwealth Trade and Investment Forum Bangladesh 2023 in Dhaka. Bangladesh sends humanitarian aid to flood-affected Libya Momen underscored the critical need to establish robust trade and investment relations with African countries, particularly in key sectors such as pharmaceuticals, textiles, energy, blue economy and information and communication technology (ICT). The session also shed light on Bangladesh's visionary 'Look Africa' policy, which represents a strategic commitment to bolster relations with African nations. This outlines various areas of cooperation, including trade and the economy, education, IT and ICT, air and maritime connectivity, healthcare, contract farming, people-to-people contact and visa waivers for diplomatic and official passport holders. This multifaceted approach demonstrates Bangladesh's dedication to fostering deeper connections with the African continent. CWEIC chairman applauds Bangladesh’s “incredible” economic success story The foreign minister also stated that Bangladesh is one of the world's fastest-growing economies. The country's focus on enhancing engagement with African nations aligns with its ambitious economic and social development trajectory, aimed at achieving Vision 2041 and creating a Smart Bangladesh. He also highlighted that new African markets have opened doors for Bangladeshi enterprises, leading to diversification in export destinations. Despite challenges, the potential for economic cooperation between Bangladesh and African nations remains promising, Momen said. Devastation in Libya: Bangladesh PM expresses deep shock He also stated that Bangladesh will welcome any election observers from African countries in our upcoming National Parliament Election scheduled to be held in early January 2024. Ministers from several African countries, High level government delegates and business entities attended this event.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said Bangladesh has been maintaining a friendly relationship equally with all for the sake of uplifting the socio-economic condition of the people. “We’ve a very good relationship with every country. Since we’re following the policy the Father of the Nation had given us, we’re maintaining a friendly relation equally with all. Because, our goal is to uplift the socio-economic condition of our country’s people,” she said. The premier was addressing the Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Air Force Selection Board-2023 at the Secretariat of Navy Chief here in the city. Hasina said her government has successfully been improving the socio-economic condition of the country’s people. She also extended her sincere thanks to the armed forces and all others concerned for their cooperation with the government’s goal to improve the life of the people. Read: Threat to remove govt or any sanctions will bring no gain: PM “We’ll not engage in a war with anyone. We’ll maintain a friendly relation with all,” she said, adding that her government has successfully been able to maintain such a relation as well. The PM said Bangladesh has been moving forward following the ‘Friendship to All Malice towards None’ policy, which was incorporated by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the Foreign Policy. “We don’t want war with anyone. We want to live in peace. But we’ll have to have all sorts of preparations to safeguard our independence and sovereignty,” she said, stressing the need for modernizing the country’s armed forces. Promote patriotic, competent officers in Navy and Air Force: PM to selection board The premier praised the tabulated record and comparative evaluation method followed in case of promotion of Navy and Air Force officers, describing it as a modern and logic-based system. She asked the selection board to carry out a prudent and neutral assessment to pick the officers who have high morality, morale, knowledge on practical aspects, patriotism, spirit of liberation war, sense of responsibility and instant decision-making power and prudence for the promotion in the two forces. Read: Stay awake like sentinels for progress of Bangladesh: PM Hasina urges BCL "You should choose the officers, who are good in taking decisions at any time and capable of gaining success by applying their prudence in any situation, for the leadership positions,” she said. She said the country’s armed forces stand beside the people in every disaster and tough time. “You have been able to earn the trust and confidence of the people, which is the biggest matter,” she said. The PM said her government has successfully taken the country forward and raised its dignity on the international stage after assuming power in 2009. “We’ve earned self-dependency economically. Not only that, a brightened image of Bangladesh has also been created before the entire world. Bangladesh has been able to emerge as a role model for development,” she said. Sheikh Hasina focused on her government’s various successes and steps taken for modernizing the armed forces.
Denmark committed to support Bangladesh’s aspirations for climate-oriented economic growth: Danish Minister
Danish Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy Dan Jannik Jørgensen on Wednesday signed an agreement in Bagerhat to extend the Local Government Initiative on Climate Change (LoGIC) project for two years from June 2023 to June 2025. Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh Winnie Estrup Petersen and UNDP Resident Representative Stefan Liller were present. With a funding support of 40m Danish Kroner (USD 5.6m approximately) from the Danish government, the extension phase of LoGIC will be implemented in two districts of the Chattogram Hill Tracts (CHT) – namely Rangamati and Bandarban. Also Read: Bangladesh, Denmark launch action plan to strengthen partnership on green transition The purpose is to strengthen communities’ resilience to the impact of climate change through locally-led adaptation strategies. The dignitaries from Denmark, along with representatives of UNDP and UNCDF, visited Mongla in Bagerhat to observe and understand the impact of climate change and how both agencies are building climate resilience through innovative and locally-led solutions. Minister Jannik Jørgensen, during his visit to climate-affected areas in Mongla took note of the adaptive measures taken by the affected communities to strengthen their resilience against climate change. Also Read: Bangladesh, Denmark joint action plan for 2023-2028 to be launched soon He said Denmark values the strong and longstanding bilateral relation with Bangladesh. "Recognising that Bangladesh is at the forefront of the climate crisis, Denmark is committed to supporting Bangladesh’s aspirations for climate-oriented economic growth and green transition in the years of graduation from the group of LDCs. Denmark is also one of the few development partners that have engaged long term in the CHT, most recently with a focus on climate resilience of communities.” Dan Jannik Jørgensen added. Also Read: Bangladesh, Denmark sign Tk 474 crore framework agreement to implement dev programme Winnie Estrup Petersen, Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh, said, “Given the significant climate vulnerability of the region, Denmark will continue to support UNDP and UNCDF in the CHT through LoGIC. This model strengthens the national fiscal transfer systems for the channelling of climate adaptation funding to local governments and ensures institutional and financial sustainability.” Bangladesh is often cited as one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable nations, and it is the poor who are disproportionately affected, said Stefan Liller, Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh. Also Read: Danish Minister Dan Jørgensen in Dhaka "As such, we must focus on increasing communities' resilience to the impact of climate change. To this end, we here at UNDP, Bangladesh continue to work on mainstreaming climate change into local level planning and financing processes by blending scientific knowledge with local expertise to identify climate risks and support effective adaptation measures,” Stefan Liller mentioned. In 2016, the government of Bangladesh (GoB), the European Union (EU), and the Government of Sweden, together with UNDP and UNCDF, jointly designed the ‘Local Government Initiative on Climate Change’ (LoGIC) project to develop a mechanism to deliver climate finance to the most vulnerable households and local government institutions for building resilience and promoting local action on climate change adaptation at scale.
Leveraging Bangladesh's strategic location: Foreign Secretary highlights scope of trilateral partnership with India, Japan
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen on Wednesday underscored the potential of a trilateral partnership among Bangladesh, India and Japan -- leveraging Bangladesh's strategic location. He said this partnership would focus on investment, market development, and enhanced connectivity, with India's growing economy and Japan's capital surplus playing crucial roles. Speaking at a policy colloquium, the Foreign Secretary also urged Japan to expand its BIG-B initiative for regional prosperity and sustainable development. Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Iwama Kiminori emphasized the rising geopolitical significance of Bangladesh in the global context. The policy colloquium titled ‘From the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal: New Possibilities in the Bangladesh, Japan, India Trilateral Partnership’ was held at the Syndicate Hall of North South University (NSU). The event was organized by the university's Center for Peace Studies (CPS) of the South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance (SIPG). The session was chaired by Professor Atiqul Islam, Vice-Chancellor of NSU. Former Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque; Dr. Selim Raihan, Executive Director of the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM); Sabyasachi Dutta, Executive Director of Asian Confluence, India; and Dr. M Jashim Uddin, Associate Professor of Political Science and Sociology at NSU, also spoke at the event. Dr. Selim Raihan observed that the Bangladesh, Japan, and India partnership could spur economic growth in Bangladesh through improved connectivity, trade efficiency, and infrastructure development. Highlighting the importance of greater transparency, digitization of customs, and removing non-tariff barriers, Dr. Raihan suggested unrestricted foreign direct investment from Bangladesh to India to stimulate economic integration and industry growth. Observing that India's northeast region (NER) is a crucial connector for Bangladesh with India and South and Southeast Asia, Dutta said that extensive connectivity in the region can foster a competitive business climate and stimulate regional trade and economic growth. The colloquium also focused on the challenges that need to be overcome to ensure the success of the trilateral partnership, with a particular focus on border stabilization. The historical links between Bangladesh and the North East Region (NER) of India and the role of Japan in rejuvenating these connections were also discussed. During the open dialogue, panelists answered questions from students, faculty, and journalists, moderated by Professor Dr. Tawfique M. Haque, Director, CPS, and SIPG. Professor Atiqul Islam hoped that the trilateral investment partnership would produce a positive impact for the entire region, encompassing India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan.