Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonwal on Saturday emphasised regular contacts between the trade representatives of Bangladesh and India and those directly involved in import and export to enhance bilateral trade and resolve trade complexities.
He made the remarks when Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Mohammad Imran met the Chief Minister of Assam at his residence.
During the meeting, High Commissioner Imran said Bangladesh has now come a long way in terms of development and is in a very strong position economically.
He emphasised introducing the people of Assam to the current development picture of Bangladesh and establishing close communication between the people of the two regions through mutual cultural exchange and youth exchange programmes, said the High Commission.
The meeting was attended by the Assistant High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Guwahati and the First Secretary of the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi.
During the talks, the High Commissioner emphasized on enhancing cooperation on various issues of mutual interest.
Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Mohammad Imran is visiting the Indian states of Assam and Meghalaya to visit places of bilateral importance.
Earlier, Mohammad Imran visited the Tamabil customs port immigration center Thursday noon.
During the visit, he held meetings with local people's representatives, business representatives, Tamabil limestone, stone and coal importers' groups and local administration officials, including Tabamil Immigration and Customs officials.
He also visited the massacre site along the Bangladesh-India border and paid homage to the heroic martyrs of the great War of Independence.
At that time, he said Bangladesh has come a long way under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to realize the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to establish Sonar Bangla and the image of Bangladesh abroad has been greatly brightened.
"Our friendly relations with neighboring India have deepened," high commissioner mentioned.
He said the governments of the two countries are working with the northeastern states of neighboring India, including Assam, for the development and growth of Bangladesh's trade and tourism industry.
"To this end, our missions in India are fulfilling their responsibilities sincerely."
He assured the business representatives of full cooperation in resolving various issues arising out of trade with India.
On the same day, the High Commissioner visited Dauki Customs Port Immigration Center in Meghalaya and attended an exchange of views with local Indian business representatives.
Besides, he visited the new customs port area proposed by India in the border area of Gowainghat upazila of Sylhet.
The High Commissioner met Shillong Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma and visiting Indian Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.
He also met the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Provincial Assembly of Meghalaya.
Earlier, High Commissioner Imran had a courtesy meeting with Assam Governor Jagadish Mukhi, Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik and Deputy Chief Minister Preston Tinsong.
UN human rights experts on Friday called on the Myanmar military to immediately end the violent crackdown on countrywide peaceful protests against its coup and allow free expression.
“The people of Myanmar have the right to protest peacefully and express their discontent with the military coup,” the experts said. “We call on the military to refrain from using force against peaceful protests, stop using live bullets against protesters immediately and respect their right to peaceful protest,” they said.
Myanmar has seen hundreds of thousands of peaceful demonstrators take to the streets to oppose this month’s military takeover and the removal of the civilian government.
At least five protesters have died while many human rights defenders have been threatened and gone into hiding.
The experts also expressed concern that at least 700 people had been detained since the coup, including high-profile leaders of the civilian government.
Some are being kept under house arrest with no outside contact and in most cases their whereabouts are unknown. The lack of official charges or acknowledgement of detention is also disturbing, they said.
“The arbitrary detention and harassment of those voicing their dissent or organising and participating in peaceful protests must immediately end,” the experts said.
“We are very concerned that journalists covering the protests have been arbitrarily detained and military personnel are reportedly using slingshots to fire pellets at journalists. Deliberate attacks on journalists and their arbitrary detention are serious violations of international human rights law and must immediately stop.”
The experts noted that the military junta has unlawfully passed or is planning to pass a worrying series of regulatory measures that would entrench the control of the regime over the flow of information through the internet and strip individuals of their human rights.
“These vague and overly broad provisions would give the military unfettered power to censor dissenting voices on social media, disrupt the internet at will and access user information with no restraint or regard for their right to privacy,” said the experts.
Endorsing earlier calls from the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, the experts urged the military to restore democratic institutions, and ensure that all those detained for exercising their human rights are immediately released and not subjected to any harm while in custody.
“The progress of the last decade on democratisation, human rights and the existing dialogue processes initiated with minorities and indigenous peoples, albeit small, must not be lost,” the experts said.
“We warn the military junta that those who are responsible for repression and killing of peaceful protesters as well as the detention of government officials and journalists will be held accountable before international jurisdictions”.
The experts called on the international community to continue to push for the respect of the will of the people of Myanmar and for the peaceful return of the power to the civilian government.
They further recall that business enterprises, including state-owned enterprises, have a responsibility to respect all internationally recognised human rights wherever they operate.
The experts are Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, Special Rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly and association; Thomas Andrews, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar; Francisco Cali Tzay, Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples; Agnès Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Irene Khan, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of freedom of opinion and expression; Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; Leigh Toomey (Chair-Rapporteur), Elina Steinerte (Vice-Chair), Miriam Estrada-Castillo, Mumba Malila and Seong-Phil Hong, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Tae-Ung Baik (Chair), Henrikas Mickevičius, (Vice Chair), Luciano Hazan, Bernard Duhaime, and Aua Balde, Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; Dante Pesce (Chair), Surya Deva (Vice-Chair), Elżbieta Karska, Githu Muigai, Anita Ramasastry, Working Group on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises.
Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council.
Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work.
They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres has highly applauded Bangladesh’s tremendous efforts in mitigating the health and socio-economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said this while meeting the Foreign Minister virtually on Thursday.
Referring to Bangladesh’s past successes in disaster management, the UN Secretary General said, in view of Bangladesh’s ranking as a global leader in risk mitigation, he was not surprised to see such accomplishment.
He expressed admiration for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, especially for her strong commitment to the people of Bangladesh, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday.
They also agreed that Covid-19 vaccination should be treated as ‘global public good’.
The Secretary General highly appreciated Bangladesh’s generosity in giving shelter to the Rohingyas and reiterated that the return of refugees to Myanmar is their common objective.
The Secretary General said the UN stands ready to support Bangladesh in resolving the crisis.
The Foreign Minister apprised the Secretary General of the measures taken by the Government in Bhasan Char and requested the UN’s support for humanitarian assistance there for the Rohingyas.
Appreciating SG’s strong commitment to climate action, the Foreign Minister welcomed Secretary General’s call to mobilise climate financing and said that as the current CVF President, Bangladesh would continue to work together with the UN to achieve climate ambition and build resilience in preparation for the COP 26 in Glasgow this year.
Stating that fighting climate change is the battle of his life, the Secretary General mentioned he would be pursuing the donors to allocate 50% of proposed climate funds for adaptation strategies.
He termed Bangladesh’s enormous adaptation efforts on the coastal region and managing rivers as remarkable efforts.
Expressing satisfaction that Bangladesh is going to graduate from the LDC category, the Foreign Minister requested the Secretary General to use his good offices to convince development partners and IFIs to incentivise the graduating countries with new support mechanisms even after graduation.
Sharing his views, the SG mentioned that graduation should not be considered a technocratic issue measured only by GDP, instead a multidimensional vulnerability index may be used while considering this. “Graduation should not be punished rather than rewarded.”
The Foreign Minister discussed, among others, the issues of the twin celebration of the birth centenary of the father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the golden jubilee of independence, peacekeeping, LDC issues and SG’s reelection bid.
He invited the Secretary General to participate in the celebration of the Mujib Year and the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.
Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN in New York Ambassador Rabab Fatima was present during the meeting.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said the UN Human Right Council and the international community need to constructively engage with Myanmar for the early start of repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland.
He underscored the need for ensuring implementation of the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on the Rakhine State, ensuring accountability and justice and more importantly, creation of a conducive environment in Myanmar.
“Rohingyas are Myanmar nationals and they must return to Myanmar,” he reiterated in a video statement delivered at the high-level segment of the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
Dr Momen stated that Bangladesh continues to provide temporary shelter to the persecuted Rohingyas from its commitment to Human Rights.
The Human Rights Council should emerge as a bastion to defend human rights following the principles of universality, impartiality and non-selectivity, said the Foreign Minister.
Quoting the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Foreign Minister mentioned that the vision of the Father of the Nation continues to inspire Bangladesh to promote and protect the human rights of all.
The country, under the bold leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, remains fully committed to the rule of law, justice, and gender equality, freedom of expression and the rights of all, including minorities, women, children, persons with disabilities, he added.
The Foreign Minister elaborated how, with a whole of society approach, Bangladesh effectively handled the Covid-19 pandemic-induced impacts respecting the rights of people.
Highlighting the adverse impact of climate change on human rights, the Foreign Minister emphasised ensuring climate justice for the victims of climate change.
At the same time, he restated Bangladesh’s call to create a new Special Rapporteur on climate change.
The 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council commenced in Geneva on 22 February 2021. This session will continue till 23 March 2021.
Bangladesh and the United Kingdom can form a partnership to cut greenhouse gas emissions and tackle different challenges posed by climate change.
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin and the UK's Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth Anne-Marie Trevelyan affirmed this on Thursday during a virtual meeting.
Shahab Uddin said, "The developed and developing countries need to work together to tackle climate change."
The minister also sought more support from the UK, as a developed nation, for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
UK-Bangladesh cooperation in different areas, particularly helping Dhaka ward off the adverse impacts of climate change, were all discussed during the meeting.
Shahab Uddin said, "Bangladesh is now playing the leadership role on climate change in international forums. Also, the full-fledged work on adapting to climate change has begun following the foundation of the regional office of the Global Center of Adaptation in Dhaka."