Dipu hopeful of inclusive, credible polls

Dipu hopeful of inclusive, credible polls

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Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni on Thursday hoped that Bangladesh will be able to maintain its ‘record’ of holding free, fair, inclusive and credible elections in a conducive environment to be created through dialogue and understanding among all the major political parties. “We’re hopeful that Bangladesh will maintain its record of holding free, fair, inclusive and credible elections in a conducive environment to be created through dialogue and understanding among all the major political parties,” she told a function in the city. Dipu Moni said a smooth and proper election in response to the democratic aspirations of Bangladesh’s people is the best gift that the country can offer to its youths in the near term to build a solid basis for their future. “Let this auspicious occasion be yet another opportunity to renew our commitment to work towards that goal,” the Foreign Minister said. Dipu Moni also hoped that the UN would continue to remain a trusted partner of Bangladesh in facilitating the preparations for the elections and sending observers to monitor the conduct of the elections, as it had done earlier. She said the people of Bangladesh are bracing themselves for the general election scheduled for early next year, which, she believes, will be yet another milestone in a desired course as a vibrant, democratic polity. On youth issue, Dipu Moni said Bangladesh needs to continue investing in enhancing the productive capacity of our youth through quality and transformative education and market-oriented skills training to promote their safe, decent and self-actualizing participation in employment markets at both national and international levels; “We must continue to broaden the opportunities for our adolescent and young girls, in particular, to help them break away from certain socio-cultural moulds that constrain their social mobility and empower them enough to stand against domestic and community-level violence, forced marriage, early pregnancy and other scourges that undermine their human and intellectual potentials.” She also said Bangladesh need to ensure wider participation of youths in the mainstream democratic process to channel their energy and perspectives into constructive, nation-building initiatives and run sustained motivational campaigns to give them sound and viable alternatives to self-destructive paths of extremism, terrorism, drug abuse, cyber-crimes, juvenile delinquency and other aberrations. “It is, however, of paramount importance to keep hearing the voices of the youth to understand what they consider to be the real priorities for them,” she added. As a responsible member of the UN, she said, Bangladesh has been actively involved in the governing bodies of the highest number of UN organisations and programmes during the current tenure of the government, and contributed to international norm setting guided by our national priorities and in the larger interest of delivering global public goods. “We’ve demonstrated our abiding commitment to international law by taking recourse to the UN Law of the Seas to settle our outstanding maritime boundary delimitation with neighbouring Myanmar and India in a peaceful manner.” Dipu Moni mentioned that they have also made an indelible imprint on the international community’s shared pursuit of the rule of law by ending the culture of impunity in national context by ensuring justice through due process and fair trial in a number of cases around some horrific episodes in national history. “We’ve been one of the lead actors in setting norms for protecting and promoting human rights and have made continuous efforts to enhance our dialogue and engagement with the various human rights mechanisms in place, including the Universal Periodic Review.” Prominent writer and Chairman of Bishwa Sahitya Kendra Prof Abdullah Abu Sayeed, UN Resident Coordinator Dr Thushara Fernando and officer-in-charge of UNIC KA Reza and Youth Representative Junanjina Ahmed Trina also spoke on the occasion. The UN Country Team arranged the programme and cultural show at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre to celebrate the UN Day 2013. The theme for this year’s day is Youth for Development and the UN upheld the spirit of the theme by not only inviting various youth groups to attend the function but also by having a youth representative speak on their behalf as well. – UNB

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