Scheduled to end on December 13, the COP25 Climate negotiations were extended by one day as representatives of 200 countries failed to reach any decision over issues related to damage, finance and Article 6.
The final meeting of ministers on Saturday evening will ultimately decide the outcome of this climate summit.
The President for the conference, Ms Carolina Schmidt, Minister of Environment of Chile, started the consultation meeting on Thursday evening and listened to the objections countries had on particular issues.
During the meeting that lasted till Saturday morning, it was found out that almost all the countries had their objections on the three main issues of this climate conference, namely Article 6, loss damage and finance.
The President will finalize a draft of decisions reached through consensus at the climate conference after the conclusion of the consultation meeting on Saturday noon. The decisions will be ratified during the minister level on the same day.
If none of the countries raise any objections at the last minute on those decisions, the announcement might be made on the summary of results of this Madrid climate conference.
After talking with the members of Bangladesh delegation, it was learnt that a decision may be reached on loss and damage, the main issue for the affected countries including Bangladesh at the climate summit.
However, the decision will only be on making the Warsaw International Mechanism effective and the developed countries will not take any responsibility for damage due to climate change, members of Bangladesh delegation said.
According to Md Ziaul Haque, Director, Department of Environment and a negotiator of the Bangladesh team, the three main agendas of this climate conference are loss and damage, finance and Article 6.
“Discussions on these issues are continuing till the last moment and ministers have been given the responsibility to reach a consensus. Issues that have not reached any consensus will be transferred to the next climate conference,” he explained.
Md Ziaul Haque feels the biggest achievement of this climate conference will be in the context of loss and damage.
“We wanted the developed countries to pledge a specific amount of fund for long-term financing. But those countries have not agreed on a specific amount,” he added.
Claiming that the existing customs valuation system for new and reconditioned vehicles is discriminatory, Bangladesh Reconditioned Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (BARVIDA) on Saturday urged the government to reform it.
“The duty structure for new and reconditioned vehicles is fixed in such a way that a reconditioned vehicles sometimes costs double than a new one. So, we demand that this dual policy be reformed,” BARVIDA President Abdul Haque said at a press conference at its office in the city.
“The customs valuation system should be fixed based on respective prices of the new and old vehicles. But the authorities fix it for reconditioned vehicles as per the Yellow Book while for new ones as per the announced price of importers which is discriminatory,” he said.
Abdul Haque also demanded setting up a standardisation agency here to ensure that no substandard or low-quality vehicle is imported.
He said they are facing a challenge to survive in the business following the complex policy. “So, an immediate solution is needed.”
The BARVIDA president claimed that the import of reconditioned vehicles is gradually decreasing due to the policy. “We imported 23,075 reconditioned vehicles in 2017-18 fiscal year. But the import decreased to 10,573 units in 2018-19 FY, depriving the government of Tk around 1,000 crore in revenue.”
He said over 850 members of BARVIDA provide around Tk 4,000 crore as revenue to the government every year.
About the allegation by new vehicle producers that reconditioned vehicles pollute the environment, Abdul Haque said it is motivated. “There’s traffic chaos in the city and there’s no proper route management. Black smoke from industries, rawhide and other wastes are polluting the environment but not our reconditioned vehicles being imported from Japan.”
The nation observed the Martyred Intellectuals' Day on Saturday paying rich tributes to a galaxy of intellectuals systematically killed by Pakistani occupation forces and their local collaborators just before the end of the Liberation War.
On this day in 1971, some of the country’s renowned academicians, doctors, engineers, journalists, artists, teachers and other eminent personalities were dragged out of their homes, blindfolded and taken to unknown places.
Their bodies were later found at Rayerbazar, Mirpur and some other killing fields in the capital.
Pakistani occupation forces and their local collaborators committed the cold-blooded mass murder to cripple the emerging Bangladesh intellectually.
Among the martyred intellectuals are Prof Munier Chowdhury, Dr Alim Chowdhury, Prof Muniruzzaman, Dr Fazle Rabbi, Sirajuddin Hossain, Shahidullah Kaiser, Prof GC Dev, JC Guha Thakurta, Prof Santosh Bhattacharya, Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury, journalists Khandaker Abu Taleb, Nizamuddin Ahmed, SA Mannan (Ladu Bhai), ANM Golam Mustafa, Syed Nazmul Haq and Selina Parvin.
The government, socio-cultural, political organisations and different public universities observed the day with elaborate programmes.
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to the martyred intellectuals on the occasion of the Martyred Intellectuals Day.
First the President and then the Prime Minister placed wreath at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial in Mirpur.
After placing the wreath, both stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the illustrious sons of the soil.
A smartly turned out contingent of Bangladesh Armed Forces gave a state salute while the bugle played the last post at that time.
Family members of the martyred, freedom fighters and people from all walks of life paid tributes to the martyred intellectuals by placing wreaths at the memorial in Mirpur and Rayerbazar Killing Ground in Mohammadpur.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday urged all, particularly the young generation,to stay alert about traitors and killers so that they cannot play with the fate of Bangladesh anymore in the future.
“We’ve seen that traitors like Mir Jafar and Khandker Mustaque Ahmad were born in Bangladesh’s soil time and again or killers like Zia came (to power) again and again. So, it’s the people of Bangladesh and our young generation who will’ve to take responsibility so that no-one can play ducks and drakes with the fate of Bangladesh anymore in the future,” she said.
The Prime Minister said this while addressing a discussion arranged by Bangladesh Awami League at Bangladesh Krishibid Institution in the city marking the Martyred Intellectuals Day.
AL President Sheikh Hasina, who presided over the discussion, said the future generations will have to remain aware about this (so that such traitors and killers cannot play ducks and drakes with the fate of Bangladesh).
She said ZiaurRahman had been involved in killings, conspiracy as he killed many army officers, including those who were freedom fighters,following a series of coup attempts.
He had tried to erase the name of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh MujiburRahman from history, fabricated history and misled people, she added.
“But no-one can ever erase the truth…todayit’s proved before the people of Bangladesh and the whole world. Today, the new generation of Bangladesh gets the scope to knowthe authentic history,” she added.
Terming the 1974 famine a manmade one, the Prime Minister said then food secretary Abdul Momen, who later was inducted in the cabinet of ZiaurRahman, had played the biggest behind-the-scene role in the famine.
“Mustaque had promoted Ziaur Rahman as the army chief as Zia was his most trusted person. If Zia had not been involved in the 15th August killing or its conspiracy, why did Mustaque make him the army chief?” she questioned.
The 15th August killing was not merely a killing incident, rather an act to spoil the victory of the country in the Liberation War and the progress of Bangalis as a nation.
Talking about the martyred intellectuals, the Prime Minister said anti-liberation forces tried to erase the names of intellectuals who made the supreme sacrifice for the country. “But they failed to do so as sacrifice can never go in vain. It’s proved in Bangladesh.”
She criticised HM Ershad and Khaleda Zia for rehabilitating anti-liberation forces, including killers of the Father of the Nation, during their regimes.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh is now marching forward economically and politically upholding the independence of Bangladesh earned by the Father of the Nation and will continue to progress so that Bangladesh can move with dignity in the world.
AL advisory council member Amir Hossain Amu, general secretary ObaidulQuader , presidium members MatiaChowdhury, Sheikh FazlulKarimSelim, Abdul MatinKhasru and Dr Muhammad AbdurRazzaque, joint general secretary Abdul Rahman, Liberation War affairs secretary MrinalKanti Das, AL Dhaka South city unit president Abu AhammadMannafi and Dhaka North city unit president Sheikh BazlurRahman, as well as martyred Altaf Mahmud’s daughter Shawon Mahmud also spoke at the discussion.
AL publicity and publication secretary DrHasan Mahmud and its deputy publicity secretary Aminul Islam conducted it.
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) reportedly busted an arms factory at the house of Saroatali union parishad Chairman Belal Hossain in Boalkhali upazila on Saturday.
A team of Rab members cordoned off the house of Belal, also union Awami League president, since 12pm and conducted the operation till 5pm, said Mashkur Rahman, operation officer of Rab-7.
Md Tareque Aziz, senior assistant director of Rab-7, told UNB that they encircled the UP chairman’s house on specific allegation.
During the drive, the elite force members unearthed an arms factory in a bamboo-made house and recovered materials for making pistols and shooter guns, he added.
The Rab official said they recovered a shooter gun and two bullets but nobody was arrested from the spot.