Dhaka, Aug 3 (UNB)- Bangladesh NGO-CSO Coordination Process (BD CSO Coordination) in cooperation with COAST Trust organized a press conference at the National Press Club titled “There is no alternative to localization of development and humanitarian aid: Greater unity of CSO NGOs are needed”.
The press conference was moderated by Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of COAST and BD CSO Coordination secretariat while other speakers were Rafiqul Islam of FNB (Federation of NGOs in Bangladesh), Mr Rafiqul Islam of ADAB (Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh) and DUS (Dwip Unnayan Sangstha), Nayeem Gowhar Wahra of Disaster Forum, Masuda Faruque Ratna, Convener of Dhaka division of BD CSO Coordination and GBSS, and Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishok Federation. Barkat Ullah Maruf of BD CSO Coordination secretariat read out the position paper, while Mostafa Kamal Akanda of COAST gave the welcome speech.
Barkat Ullah Maruf described the background of the two year- process mobilizing CSOs and NGOs across the country and its final culmination through a national convention on 6th July in Dhaka participated by 700 NGO leaders from across the country and 20 international guests. He spoke about development effectiveness and localization, which are the base of international agreements like Grand Bargain and Charter for Change signed by all UN agencies and almost all INGOs, though that is being hardly implemented by them.
Importance and leading role of local NGOs CSOs have been accepted on those agreements, he added. During the conference CSO NGO’s charter of accountability and charter of expectations have been adopted, after being prepared through a bottom up process.
Ms. Masuda Faruque Ratna explained the Self-Accountability Charter of the NGOs with its 8 points. The Accountability Charter is titled “We are accountable to our values and to the affected population”.
Nayeem Wahra introduced the Charter of Expectations titled “Dignity in our space, Inclusiveness and complementarity.” The expectations from the government, donors, UN agencies and INGOs include use of Bangla among all UN agencies and INGOs having interventions in Bangladesh, a complaint response mechanism, official recognition of NGO-CSO work, technical assistance for the leadership of local NGOs, establishing capacity convergence and investment for accountability and transparency.
Rafiqul Islam of FNB said it is a pity that UN agencies and INGOs are leading the Rohingya response keeping Bangladeshi NGOs and CSOs aside who have proven track record of disaster management.
Rafiqul also said that Bangladeshi local NGOs and CSOs who also participated in Liberation War have sufficient capacity to lead any disaster and development initiatives, but some UN agencies and INGOs are ignoring it.
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury urged media to spread the charters to promote critical mass on the issues and supporting NGOs CSOs to grow as sustainable organizations with localization instead of corporatization.
Dhaka, Aug 3 (UNB)- Cumilla Zone of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) held a business development conference at Magic Paradise Park of Kotbari in Cumilla on Saturday.
Md Mahbub ul Alam, Managing Director and CEO of the Bank addressed the program as chief guest. Muhammad Qaisar Ali, Additional Managing Director and Md Abdul Jabbar, Deputy Managing Director addressed the programme as special guests.
Md Mosharraf Hossain, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Cumilla Zone presided over the meeting. Senior Executives, Heads of Branches and employees of all Branches under Cumilla Zone attended the conference.
Dhaka, Aug 3 (UNB)- United Commercial Bank Limited (UCB) has signed an agreement with a2i (Access to Information) project of Prime Minister’s Office in the city.
Arif Quadri, Additional Managing Director of UCB and Dr Md Abdul Mannan (PAA), Joint Secretary and Project Director of a2i project signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides on Thursday.
ATM Tahmiduzzaman, Senior Executive Vice President and Company Secretary of UCB, Md Khirkil Nowaz, Executive Vice President and Head of Agent Banking of UCB; Mr Md Tohurul Hasan, Program Manager-Digital Financial Service, a2i; Muhammad Shahadat Hossain, National Consultant- Project Implementation, Digital Financial Service, a2i and Nahida Murshed, Na tional Consultant-Partner Management, a2i along with other senior officials of both the organizations were present at the signing ceremony.
Under this agreement, UCB will provide financial services to the unprivileged people in the rural areas through Union & City Digital Centres.
Washington, Aug 3 (AP/UNB) — President Donald Trump celebrated a new agreement Friday that is projected to increase beef exports to the European Union by more than $270 million a year once it is fully in place.
Trump portrayed the agreement as standing up for farmers and ranchers. Producers have been hurt by retaliatory tariffs that China imposed after Trump imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese products.
The signing of the agreement comes the day after Trump increased pressure on China to reach a trade deal by saying he will impose 10% tariffs Sept. 1 on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese imports he hasn't already taxed.
"Opening markets for our farmers is about more than just an industry. It's about a way of life," Trump said at the White House before the U.S. trade representative and an EU official signed the agreement.
The European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, announced in June that it had reached an agreement with the U.S. to allow more hormone-free U.S. beef onto the European market. The EU continues to impose bans and restrictions on meat produced using hormones.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he hoped the European Union would approve the agreement quickly.
The EU has been concerned about the prospect that Trump will slap tariffs on foreign-made cars and parts. In May, Trump said he agreed that imports of foreign cars and parts were harming the American auto industry and threatening national security. But he delayed for six months any decision on applying tariffs as a remedy.
Trump told reporters upon leaving the White House for a weekend in New Jersey that "auto tariffs are never off the table."
"The EU has tremendous barriers to us, but we just broke the first barrier," he said. "And maybe we broke it because of the fact that if I don't get what we want, I put on auto tariffs. Because it's all about the automobile and it's all about the tariffs."
United Nations, Aug 3 (AP/UNB) — China is ready to talk to the United States about their escalating trade war but "if they want to fight we will fight" and it will not be a fight for China alone but for an open international economy, Beijing's new U.N. ambassador said Friday.
Zhang Jun told reporters that U.S. sanctions and increasing tariffs hurt China and the world, but they are also "not in the long-term interest of the United States," where consumers will be paying higher prices.
His comments followed President Donald Trump's tweets Thursday escalating the trade war with an announcement that on Sept. 1 the U.S. will impose 10 percent tariffs on all Chinese imports that haven't already been hit with tariffs of 25 percent. China responded Friday that it will take "necessary countermeasures" if Trump follows through.
Zhang called Trump's latest tariff threat "an irrational, irresponsible act" and reiterated that if the U.S. goes ahead on Sept. 1 "we definitely will take whatever necessary countermeasures to protect our fundamental rights." He wouldn't give any details but stressed that China will also be fighting "for free trade, for an open, non-discriminatory and reliable multilateral trading system."
In the wide-ranging and rare meeting with reporters by a Chinese ambassador, Zhang said Beijing will "stand firmly with the United Nations" at this difficult moment when the world faces instability and many uncertainties. China will also continue promoting peace through diplomatic and political dialogue and will "work hard in defending interests of developing countries," he said.
On a key global issue, Zhang said sanctions against North Korea should be eased at an "appropriate time" to encourage progress in talks between Washington and Pyongyang, "but we are still consulting with each other and we have not made any final position."
Russia and China have previously called for easing of sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK, but the Trump administration has repeatedly said sanctions must remain in place until the country gives up its nuclear weapons.
"What we think is true is that you cannot simply ask DPRK to do as much as possible while you maintain the sanctions against DPRK," Zhang said. "That definitely is not helpful."
On other issues, the ambassador said China will never allow any interference in its internal affairs, especially on issues related to the western Xinjiang region which has a large Muslim population, Tibet where the Dalai Lama has called for genuine autonomy, and Hong Kong where pro-democracy protests have been taking place since early June.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has lashed out at China's human rights record, saying last month that Beijing was responsible for the "stain of the century" of rights abuses, citing the detention of an estimated 1 million Muslim Uighurs, Kazakhs and other minorities who are believed to be held in internment camps in Xinjiang.
Officials in Xinjiang said Tuesday that most people detained in the area's contentious re-education centers have been moved out and have signed "work contracts" with local companies, but those assertions have been challenged by accounts from Uighurs and Kazakhs who say their relatives remain missing.
Pompeo urged countries in the region earlier Friday to shun China until it reforms its practices and cited the Hong Kong protests as an example of how authoritarian rule can threaten economies. "The current unrest in Hong Kong clearly shows that the will and the voice of the governed will always be heard," he said.
Zhang said the Hong Kong protests are "turning out to be chaotic and violent and we should no longer allow ... these reprehensible behaviors" that he said hurt the interests of international investors and visitors from other countries.
China backs the actions taken by Hong Kong authorities and its residents should understand that "the foundation of the one country, two systems principle is one country," he said.
Zhang was also asked about Friday's end to the landmark 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which the U.S. and Russia blame each other for tearing up.
U.S. officials have argued that not only is Russia violating the treaty and developing prohibited weapons, but that China also is making similar non-compliant weapons, leaving the U.S. alone in complying with the pact. Trump has also expressed a desire to negotiate a trilateral arms control deal covering the U.S., Russia and China.
Zhang expressed "regret" at the U.S. withdrawal from the INF treaty, saying that "making China an excuse for the withdrawing by the United States is not acceptable."
As for being a party to a new disarmament agreement, Zhang said China is not at the same level as the U.S. and Russia, which have the largest nuclear arsenals. "So how can you put China together with the two," he asked.