The current global pandemic has exposed weaknesses and the fragility of the United Nations system, concluded an international webinar hosted from Dhaka.
Despite the UN failure to issues such as Rohingya repatriation and also fatalities to peacekeepers, the Bangladesh authorities iterated the country’s commitment to the UN’s peace-building and peace-keeping mandate.
“Bangladesh is ready to deploy its peacekeepers in the shortest possible time and in the most difficult circumstances,” reads the summary of proceedings of the two-day international webinar on “The UN in Times of People’s Needs: Rethinking Multilateralism” organised by the Center for Peace Studies (CPS), North South University and "the United Nations in Bangladesh” on Wednesday and Thursday.
It said for the UN, “there remains much to be done for the people, in particular in the areas of preventing conflict, gross human rights violations and genocides.”
The summary, however, observed that the UN is increasingly becoming dysfunctional in preventing armed conflict, genocide, geopolitical rivalries, inequality within and among the states.
“Government and Civil Society collaboration is the call of the day to rescue UN from being irrelevant,” according to the summary read out by North South University Vice-Chancellor Professor Atiqul Islam.
It said despite pandemic-driven uneasiness, majority of the people continue to pin their hope on the UN and international cooperation.
Participants from home and abroad recognised Bangladesh’s humanitarian response to the Rohingya situation and also appreciated the country’s indigenous programmes to tackle humanitarian disasters.
At the concluding session on Thursday evening, Planning Minister M. A. Mannan, however, pointed out that “our trust in the UN has eroded over the years”.
He said the UN has not been in successful in peace-building for the Rohingya people and also in dealing with the issue of coronavirus vaccine which, he believes, should have been a common property of mankind.
State Minister of Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam described Bangladesh as the "poster child" of the United Nations in terms of its achievements and commitment and reiterated Dhaka’s multilateralism initiated by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and followed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
He insisted that the UN should reach out to millions who felt left out from the system.
UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo appreciated Bangladesh’s role in the UN and contribution to its activities and urged actors to continue their efforts for making improvement.
At the two-day conference, there was a call for a “People’s UN” breaking away from a club for few.
The summary of proceedings called for joining and supporting the global civil society initiative including to “Together First” and Accountability, Coherence, and Transparency (ACT) and the Global Governance Forum to make the UN effective and inclusive.
“States must actively engage in preparatory process for 2023 Global Summit on Inclusive Governance to establish a fair and inclusive multilateralism,” it recommended.
The summary added that the future of the UN lies in the hands of youth so they must be included in making the “Future UN” by establishing a permanent platform within the UN.
The concluding session was moderated by Ambassador Shahidul Haque, Senior Fellow, North South University.
Twenty-two more Covid-19 deaths were reported in Bangladesh in the last 24 hours until Friday morning, pushing up the death tally to 4,881.
Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus death on March 18.
The current mortality rate is 1.41 percent, according to a handout from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Meanwhile, the health authorities said 1,541 new cases were detected during this period after testing 12,730 samples. Bangladesh has so far conducted 1,796,509 tests and 19.25 percent of the samples were found to be positive.
Bangladesh’s total caseload has reached 345,805. The first cases were reported on March 8. Currently, there are 87,048 active cases.
So far, 252,335 patients (72.97 percent of the total infected) have recovered – 1,923 of them in the past 24 hours.
In per one million population, 2,030.49 cases are being recorded and 1,481.65 are recovering while 28.66 are dying.
Twenty of the new deceased are aged above 50 years and two others are aged between 41 and 50 years.
So far, 2,382 coronavirus patients have died in Dhaka division, 1,021 in Chattogram, 329 in Rajshahi, 413 in Khulna, 183 in Barishal, 220 in Sylhet, 230 in Rangpur and 103 in Mymensingh.
Across the country, 16,922 people are in isolation and 47,644 are quarantined.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed 30 million on Friday, according to the Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
The global case count reached 30,065,728, with 944,604 deaths worldwide, the data showed.
Also read: Global Covid-19 cases top 30mn: JHU
The United States reported the most cases and deaths at 6,674,070 and 197,615, respectively.
India recorded 5,118,253 cases, ranking second in the world. Brazil followed India with 4,455,386 cases and 134,935 deaths, the second-highest death toll.
Countries with more than 650,000 cases also include Russia, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and South Africa, while other countries with over 35,000 deaths include India, Mexico, Britain and Italy.
Global cases topped 10 million on June 28 and rose to 20 million on August 10. It took 43 days for the global caseload to jump from 10 million to 20 million and 38 days from 20 million to 30 million.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said it is committed to partnering with developing economies in Asia and the Pacific to achieve their recovery goals from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“ADB will continue to earn your trust as a steadfast partner during the uncertain times we still face in our region as we build for a strong and lasting recovery,” President Masatsugu Asakawa said in an address to ADB’s Board of Governors on Friday.
He was speaking at the opening of the Business Session of the second part of ADB’s 53rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors held in a virtual and abbreviated format due to the pandemic.
ADB announced in April a $20 billion package to help its developing members address COVID-19.
This included rapid emergency grants and technical assistance to help governments meet urgent medical needs; a new COVID-19 Pandemic Response Option (CPRO), which is supporting countercyclical expenditure programmes; and assistance for the private sector.
ADB has so far committed about $11.2 billion in financial and technical assistance to fight the pandemic. It has also mobilised about $7.2 billion in cofinancing.
As the region moves forward toward recovery, Asakawa said ADB will build on its relationship with its members to support them in six key areas.
First, ADB will promote regional cooperation and integration to help members seize the opportunity that renewed globalisation can offer in a post-pandemic new normal.
“While there are some who suggest that recent border closures and travel restrictions are signs that globalisation has ground irreversibly to a halt, I do believe that globalisation will return, but it will take a different shape,” Asakawa said.
ADB will work with developing members to secure more diversified value and supply chains, and to promote regional public goods for better collective prevention of disease outbreaks, mitigation of climate change impacts, and enhancement of the regional financial safety net.
Second, since COVID-19 has contributed to an increase in income inequality and absolute poverty, ADB will strengthen investments in health, education, and social protection, which will better ensure safety and opportunities for all, while building the human capital that economies need to thrive in the long term.
Third, ADB will accelerate its efforts to tackle climate change in order to reach the goals established in its long-term Strategy 2030 — to reach $80 billion in cumulative climate investments and 75 percent of the total number of committed operations by 2030.
Fourth, ADB will invest in information technology and data for health; education; financing for micro, small, and medium enterprises; and remote work — while also addressing both the digital divide and cyber security.
Fifth, ADB will help its members strengthen domestic resource mobilisation through international tax cooperation, since all key areas of development require that governments improve their capacity to mobilise financial resources while managing debt sustainability.
And last, ADB will support the efforts of its developing members to secure safe and effective vaccines, and to formulate strategies for equitable delivery.
To accomplish this, ADB will continue to strengthen collaboration with the World Health Organization; the World Bank; GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance; vaccine experts; and pharmaceutical companies.
Over two days of online Annual Meeting events, ministers from ADB members, development and industry experts, journalists, and nongovernment organisations have discussed a range of issues confronting Asia and the Pacific. Other events today included the CNBC Debate, Resetting Asia: Technology, Investment, and Sustainability; and the Governor’s Seminar on Developing Asia Beyond the Pandemic.
The health authorities on Friday announced the detection of one new dengue case in the past 24 hours.
Currently, two dengue patients are undergoing treatment at hospitals.
Both of them are from the capital, a handout from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said.
According to DGHS, 442 people have been diagnosed with dengue since the beginning of this year. Among them, 439 have recovered.
Bangladesh witnessed a massive dengue outbreak last year when 101,354 people were hospitalised and 101,037 recovered.
Dengue killed 179 people last year, according to official figures.
Also read: 4 new dengue patients detected: DGHS
A woman, who gave birth at a clinic in Gaibandha, sold her baby for Tk 16,000 to foot her medical bills.
Amena Begum, wife of Shajahan Mia of sholagari village in Sadar upazila, went to a local hospital for delivery. Doctors there asked her to go to another hospital as she needed surgery.
On September 13, Shahjahan took his wife to Jamuna Clinic in Gaibandha where she gave birth.
Four days later, the clinic authorities asked them to pay a bill of Tk 16,000.
Unable to arrange money, the couple contacted a syndicate and sold their newborn for Tk 16,000.
Shahjahan said he gave his child to a man in Sadullapur to pay the clinic’s bill.
He declined to name the person who bought the baby.
Faridul Haque Sohel, the clinic’s owner, said he was unaware of the incident. He said the couple paid Tk 9,000 when they left the clinic.