Dhaka, Sept 14 (UNB) – Bangladesh has moved three notches up to the 136th place among 189 countries in the Global Human Development Index (HDI) 2017, according to the Human Development Report (HDR) of the United Nations Development Programme.
Bangladesh had also moved up three spots and ranked 139th in HDI 2015 due to the remarkable progress it has made in many socio-economic areas, including life expectancy and per capita income.
India also climbed one spot to 130th position among the countries in the latest report ‘Human Development Indices and Indicators’ released on September 14.
Human development data, analysis and reporting have been at the heart of that paradigm.
UNDP’s Human Development Index has captured human progress, combining information on people’s health, education and income in just one number.
Over the years, the HDI has served as a comparative tool of excellence, and as a reliable platform for vigorous public debates on national priorities.
UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said the Human Development Report will remain UNDP’s premier vehicle to advance development thinking. “Our mission to capture the state of global human development and inform development policy across the globe has never been more crucial.”
UNDP said still, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require new indicators for assessing the many faces of inequality, the impact of the global environmental crisis on people now and tomorrow, the importance of voice, and the ways in which communities rather than individuals are progressing.
Director, Human Development Report Office, Selim Jahan said while there is ground for optimism that the gaps are narrowing, disparities in people’s well-being are still unacceptably wide.
He said inequality in all its forms and dimensions, between and within countries, limits people’s choices and opportunities, withholding progress.
Within South Asia, India's HDI value is above the average of 0.638 for the region, with Bangladesh and Pakistan, countries with similar population size, being ranked 136 and 150 respectively.
Human Development Indices and Indicators: 2018 Statistical update was released to ensure consistency in reporting on key human development indices and statistics. It includes an analysis of the state of human development—snapshots of current conditions as well as long-term trends in human development indicators.
With a comprehensive statistical annex, the data gives an overview of the state of development across the world, looking at long-term trends in human development indicators across multiple dimensions and for every nation, the 2018 Update highlights the considerable progress, but also the persistent deprivations and disparities.
Looking at 2018 results, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Ireland and Germany lead the HDI ranking of 189 countries and territories, while Niger, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Chad and Burundi have the lowest scores in the HDI’s measurement of national achievements in health, education and income.
The overall trend globally is toward continued human development improvements, with many countries moving up through the human development categories: out of the 189 countries for which the HDI is calculated, 59 countries are today in the very high human development group and only 38 countries fall in the low HDI group. Just eight years ago in 2010, the figures were 46 and 49 countries respectively.
Dhaka, Sept 14 (UNB) - Speakers at a workshop in Habiganj on Friday said inclusion is at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the role of MPs is the key to ensure that no one is left behind.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organised the two-day workshop titled ‘Role of Member of Parliament in Monitoring and Implementing SDGs’.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury was the chief guest at the opening session along with a total of 30 MPs and senior government officials of the Parliament Secretariat, said UNDP.
The speakers said parliamentarians have an opportunity, and a constitutional responsibility, to play a significant role in supporting and monitoring implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Agenda 2030 Declaration acknowledges the essential role of national parliaments through their enactment of legislation and adoption of budgets.
Addressing the workshop, Dr Shirin said MPs are playing a critical role in implementing SDGs. “Being elected by the people of Bangladesh, they can take forward the people-centric development agenda by ensuring accountability and transparency.”
She also highlighted the initiatives of the Bangladesh government to mobilise resources for localising the SDGs, such as the social safety net programme.
“Each of the Member of Parliament’s core functions: representation, legislative, budgetary and oversight can be harnessed effectively towards supporting the implementation and realisation of the SDGs,” the Speaker added.
UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo said as Bangladesh poises for alleviation to middle-income status, the need to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for an inclusive and responsible society is more pressing than ever before.
“The workshop has two major aims: informing the parliamentarians of the new 2030 agenda and SDGs and to facilitate the development approaches and tools for the parliamentarians to monitor and implement SDGs at the local level,” Country Director of UNDP Bangladesh, Sudipto Mukerjee said.
Chief Whip ASM Feroz while addressing the workshop said, “Poverty alleviation is essential to achieve the SDGs. “We also need to focus on reducing inequality from our society.”
Deputy Speaker of Parliament Md Fazle Rabbi Miah stressed the importance of public-private partnership in achieving SDGs.
Abul Kalam Azad, Chief Coordinator for SDGs Affairs in the Prime Minister's Office, presented the ‘SDG Framework and role of parliamentarians in monitoring and implementing the SDGs’
Dr Md Abdur Rob Howlader, Senior Secretary to Bangladesh Parliament Secretariat, highlighted the importance of establishing parliamentary mechanisms like Standing Committee in monitoring SDGs.
Among others, Whips Md Shahab Uddin and Iqbalur Rahim, Charles Chauvel, team leader, Inclusive Political Processes Governance and Peace building, UNDP, Radwan Mujib Siddiq, Senior Consultant, UNDP Bangladesh, and Sheela Tasneem Haq, Advisor Political Governance, UNDP Bangladesh were present.
Dhaka, Sept 14 (UNB) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said democracy is showing greater strain than at any time in decades and laid emphasis on more inclusive democracies.
“That is why this International Day should make us look for ways to invigorate democracy and seek answers for the systemic challenges it faces,” he said in a message marking the International Day of Democracy that falls on September 15.
The UN chief said this means tackling inequality, both economic and political. “It means making our democracies more inclusive, by bringing the young and marginalised into the political system. It means making democracies more innovative and responsive to emerging challenges.”
He said working for a future that leaves no one behind requires all to consider essential pressing questions.
For example, Guterres said, what impact will migration or climate change have on democracy in the next generation? “How do we best harness the potential of new technologies while avoiding the dangers? How do build better governance so that democracy delivers better lives and fully meets the public’s aspirations?”
“On this International Day of Democracy, let us commit to joining forces for the future of democracy,” he said.
Dhaka, Sept 14 (UNB) - Bangladesh has requested the United States to expand market access for Bangladeshi goods to the American market and increase duty-free market facilities in the light of WTO’s Bali Ministerial decisions.
Bangladesh also sought US cooperation for implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
The issues came up for discussion at the 4th meeting of Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (TICFA) held in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
Bangladesh also sought cooperation from the USA trade preferences for Bangladeshi goods, fixing fair prices of Bangladeshi goods, technology transfer, trade related capacity building, digital economy and sustainable graduation of Bangladesh as a developing country.
Bangladesh requested the U.S. to facilitate the access of Bangladeshi nurses and midwives, and easy access to other service sectors in the USA, said the Bangladesh Embassy in Washington on Friday.
Highlighting various steps creating favorable investment climate, the Bangladesh side sought more US investment in Bangladesh.
On the other hand, the U.S. side discussed expansion of US export to Bangladesh, particularly cotton and medicine, protection of intellectual property, government procurement and labor issue.
Besides, the U.S. side requested the Bangladesh side to notify the WTO Bangladesh’s draft rules of E-Waste.
TICFA signed by Bangladesh and the USA in November 2013 provides a mechanism for both governments to discuss trade and investment issues and areas of cooperation.
The United States is the single largest export market of Bangladesh.
In 2017-18 fiscal Bangladesh exported goods worth US$ 5.98 billion to the USA while Bangladesh imported goods worth US$ about 1.70 billion.
A 12-member Bangladesh delegation was led by the Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce Shubhashish Bose.
Secretary to Ministry of Labour and Employment Afroza Khan, Executive Chairman of BEPZA Maj Gen Mohammad HabiburRahman Khan, Bangladesh Investment Development Secretary Moinul Islam, Director General, WTO Cell Md. MunirChowdhury, Member of National Board of Revenue Prakash Dewan and senior officials of the Commerce and the Foreign Affairs Ministries were in the Bangladesh delegation.
The 20-member U.S. delegation was led by the Assistant US Trade Representative for South and Central Asia, Mark Linscott. Deputy Assistant USTR for South and Central Asia Zeba Reyazuddin, Political/Economic Counselor at US embassy in Dhaka Bill Moeller and other officials were on the U.S. delegation.
Sust, Sept 13 (UNB) – Indian High Commission in Dhaka handed over scholarship checks to 216 descendants of freedom fighters of different districts in Sylhet division and Kishoreganj district on Thursday.
TK 50,000 was awarded for graduate-level-student while TK 20,000 was given for each school level student, disbursing a total of around TK77 lakhs as the scholarship money.
Indian envoy to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla gave away the checks
to the students at a function organized by Indian High Commission at the auditorium of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST).
“12,621 students were given scholarships and checks, amounting to TK 21 crores since it had started in 2016,” Shringla said.
Awami League Organizing Secretary Misbah Uddin Siraj, SUST vice-chancellor Farid Uddin Ahmed, Freedom Fighter Trust Chairman Abul Kalam Azad,
Additional Police Commissioner of Sylhet Metropolitan Paritosh Ghosh were, among others, present.