Bangladesh wants to host the 10th D-8 Summit and its ancillary events ‘virtually’ in December 2020 or January 2021 in the context of COVID-19 new normal scenario.
The Summit will be followed by a virtual 'Leaders Retreat', including a virtual visit to the Rohingya Camps in Cox’s Bazar.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen conveyed Dhaka's decision in a recent meeting of the D-8, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
D-8, also known as Developing-8, is an organisation for development cooperation among Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.
In April, Bangladesh proposed postponement of D-8 Summit, which was scheduled to take place in Dhaka at the end of May.
Foreign Secretary Masud urged the D-8 Commissioners to find the right balance between taking advantage of globalisation and a necessary degree of self-reliance, while finalising the summit outcomes -- Dhaka Declaration and Decennial Roadmap 2020-2030 -- to ensure a resilient future for common parity and prosperity of the member states.
The special session of the D-8 Commissioners’ meeting preparatory to the 10th D-8 Summit took place virtually on August 11.
The meeting was co-chaired by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey Faruk Kaymakci, as the current Chair, and Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh Masud Bin Momen, as the incoming chair.
The meeting was attended by D-8 Secretary General and D8 Commissioners of all the member states to discuss preparations for the forthcoming 10th D-8 Summit to be hosted by Bangladesh and ongoing activities and initiatives of the D-8 to combat the adverse impacts of COVID-19.
Recognising the overwhelming vitality of youths and the need for greater cooperation in the era of technological disruptions, Foreign Secretary conveyed the meeting that “Partnership for a Transformative World: Harnessing the Power of Youth and Technology” would be the Summit Theme.
In this connection, he offered Bangladesh readiness to host the first D-8 Youth Summit, preceding the Leaders’ Summit as one of the sideline events. Further, D-8 Trade, Technology and Innovation Fair, and D-8 Business Forum will also be hosted by Dhaka as the sideline events.
The Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh also proposed establishing a Working Group to review the economic adversities of COVID-19 and come up with proposals/recommendations on early recovery in the post-pandemic scenario.
He highlighted the need for creation of a voluntary funding mechanism by the willing member states to undertake joined-up efforts to overcome the challenges in post-pandemic era.
The Co-Chair and Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey emphasised strengthening of intra-trade among the D-8 member states and in that context urged them to implement the D-8 Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) without delay.
He stressed the engagement of private sector, including Chambers, to realise the full potential of D-8.
He called upon the member states to make the D-8 a more dynamic, result-oriented and more updated organisation to meet the challenges of time.
The D-8 Secretary General, in his statement, highlighted the different initiatives undertaken by D-8 to stave off the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on health and economies of the member states.
He also recalled his meeting with Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina during his visit to Dhaka in October 2019 where many important issues were discussed, including special economic zones in Bangladesh and D-8-Designated Airport.
Director General (International Organizations) of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and D-8 Commissioner for Bangladesh Mohammad Khorshed A Khastagir elaborated the preparations for the 10th D-8 Summit and sideline events.
He presented details on Bangladesh proposal for establishing a Working Group.