The Ministry of Foreign Affairs started its "Bangabandhu Lecture Series" on Tuesday morning, marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Former Finance Minister and freedom fighter AMA Muhith is delivering the keynote at the inaugural lecture on the first day of the month of Victory focusing on life and legacy of Bangabandhu.
The event is being held at the newly-built Foreign Service Academy at State guesthouse Sugandha.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen connected with it virtually from his residence and said, "Today, we have started a historic event in the month of Victory."
After the Independence of Bangladesh, Sugandha became Gonobhaban housing the first Prime Minister Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from 1972 to 1974.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated Bangabandhu Centre for Diplomatic Strategy and Research.
The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh is today a vibrant economy and a land of opportunity.
"We have to engage ourselves to achieve our goals in 2021, 2030 and 2041 and build a Sonar Bangla," Dr Momen said.
He said Bangladesh would like to tell its stories across the world.
The Foreign Minister said peace is essential for development and said what is happening in Myanmar must stop.
Prime Minister's International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi is attending it as a special discussant.
Diplomats from home and abroad, intellectuals, senior officials from public and private sectors are also connected with the event both in person and virtually.
There will be questions and answers session after the delivery of keynote speech.
The Lecture Series will continue till Mujib Borsho and 50 years celebrations of Independence, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Nobel laureate and Indian economist Amartya Kumar Sen will deliver keynote speech at the second lecture in January.
Prof Rehman Sobhan is expected to join too at that time.
At least one lecture will be delivered each month.
The Lecture Series will be held at Bangladesh Missions abroad too.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide have exceeded 63.1 million with over 1.4 million fatalities on Tuesday, according to the latest tally of Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
According to the data, 63,192,543 people were found infected with Covid-19 while the death toll from the virus climbed to 1,467,174 as of Tuesday morning.
The US, the worst-hit country, has recorded 13,536,217 cases while the deaths of 268,016 people were reported since the start of the pandemic.
The country on average is seeing more than 160,000 new cases per day and over 1,400 deaths — a toll on par with what the nation witnessed in mid-May, when New York City was the epicentre, reports AP.
Meanwhile, Brazil's hardest-hit area Sao Paulo reimposed some pandemic lockdown measures on Monday to halt the resurging infection and hospitalisation rates.
The move is aimed at improving "control of the pandemic," Sao Paulo State Governor Joao Doria said in his announcement.
Brazil has the world's second-highest COVID-19 death toll and the third-largest caseload. Its case number reached 6,335,878 on Tuesday.
India's COVID-19 tally reached 9,431,691 as 38,772 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours till Tuesday morning, according to the latest data from the health ministry.
According to it, the death toll mounted to 137,139 as 443 patients died during this period.
The countries with cases above one million are Russia with 2,275, 936, France with 2,275,016, Spain with 1,648, 187, UK with 1,633,733, and Italy with 1,601,554.
COVID-19 has hit 191 countries since the first cases were reported in China in December last year.
Situation in Bangladesh
Bangladesh saw a spike in daily COVID-19 deaths on Monday as health authorities recorded 35 more deaths in 24 hours, raising the fatalities to 6,644.
Besides, the health authorities detected 2,525 new cases across the country during the period, taking the total to 464,932.
The death rate stood at 1.43 percent, said the Directorate General of Health Services.
So far, 380,711 patients – 81.89 percent -- including 2,539 new ones in the last 24 hours have recovered.
Bangladesh reported its first cases on March 8. The infection number reached the 300,000-mark on August 26. The first death was reported on March 18 and the death toll exceeded 6,000 on November 4.
Read Also: Global Covid-19 cases top 62.6 million
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said health must be a top investment priority to achieve universal health coverage and described health a human right.
"On this World AIDS Day let us recognise that, to overcome COVID-19 and end AIDS, the world must stand in solidarity and share responsibility," he said in a message marking the World AIDS Day that falls on December 1.
With the world’s attention focused on the COVID-19 crisis, World AIDS Day is a reminder of the need to maintain focus on another global pandemic that is still with us nearly 40 years after it emerged, the UN chief said.
Despite significant successes, the AIDS emergency is not over.
HIV still infects 1.7 million people each year and kills some 690,000.
And inequalities mean that those who are the least able to stand up for their rights are still the most affected.
"COVID-19 has been a wake-up call to the world. Inequalities in health affect all of us. No one is safe unless we all are safe," Guterres said.
The HIV response has much to teach the fight against COVID-19.
"We know that to end AIDS and defeat COVID-19 we must eliminate stigma and discrimination, put people at the centre and ground our responses in human rights and gender-responsive approaches," said the UN chief.
He said wealth should not determine whether people get the health care they need.
"We need a COVID-19 vaccine and HIV treatments and care that are affordable and available to everyone, everywhere," he said.
Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of former general secretary of Shariatpur district unit of Awami League and former Jatiya Parishad member valiant Freedom Fighter Abul Fazal Master.
She prayed for the eternal salvation of the departed soul and expressed sympathy to the bereaved family.
Abul Fazal Master breathed his last on Monday. He was 78. He left behind his wife, two sons, one daughter and host of relatives and well wishers.
Meanwhile, Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader also expressed his profound sorrow and shock at the death of Abul Fazal Master.
BDCSO Process, a forum of around 700 local CSOs/NGOs, on Monday urged international agencies to ensure transparency in their all humanitarian and development activities, shunning the practice of ‘colonial dominance’ in partnership with NGOs.
The organisation made the call at a virtual press conference where it placed a declaration adopted in its virtual annual conference last month.
At the press conference, BDCSO leaders also called upon the international agencies to limit their role only to monitoring and technical assistance, and give the local actors the responsibility for implanting different projects.
BDCSO Process national coordinator Rezaul Karim Chowdhury moderated the press conference while COAST Trust executive director Mostafa Kamal Akanda delivered the welcome speech.
Speaking at the press meet, the platform’s divisional leader, Arifur Rahman, said all international agencies must use the Bangla language in the country. “I also urge them to ensure full transparency of their funding process and to make it free from conflict of interest.”
Another BDCSO divisional Asadazzaman Sheikh said the international agencies should take steps for the transfer of technology and knowledge to local ones.
He urged the international agencies to keep their management cost limited to a single digit.
Platform’s leader Masuda Faruque Ratna called upon the international agencies to adhere to aid-transparency principles and shun the luxury in activities of humanitarian and development assistance.
She also said the UN agencies should give much more focus on promoting human rights than fundraising and project implementation.