Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was an ardent proponent of peace. He led political activities from his young age through pacific means to protest against injustice, discrimination and humiliation. His foreign policy dictum "Friendship to all, malice to none" vindicates his principle of maintaining peaceful relations with all the countries of the world. In recognition of his contribution in world peace, he was awarded the Julio-Curie Peace Prize by the World Peace Council.
Bangabandhu's daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been carrying forward the legacy of Bangabandhu. The culture of peace is one of the priority concepts of the Prime Minister which is evident from her deliberations both in the country and in the international fora. Bangladesh is now contributing the highest number of armed and police forces in the UN Peacekeeping Missions. Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas (forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals) in spite of multifarious challenges encountered by it in terms of logistical constraints and demographic complications. Such a generous gesture in upholding peace and humanity has made the Prime Minister to be known to the world as "The Mother of Humanity".
People around the world discussed the importance of peace time and again. It is disheartening that in spite of all such efforts, peace is being overrun by the propensity of injustice, hatred and violence. The idea of holding the World Peace Conference is to let the world feel that peace has to be cherished in multifarious ways, perceiving that the invaluable contributions of the global pioneers are universal, and that peace will be sustainable only through social justice, equity and inclusiveness.
President Abdul Hamid will inaugurate the two-day "World Peace Conference-2021" on December 4 that will bring together global thinkers, political personalities and peace promoters and look back on Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's vision and political struggle for peace.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend the closing ceremony of the two-day conference on December 5 as the chief guest. Both the President and Prime Minister will join the event virtually.
The conference, to be held in a hybrid format through both physical and virtual participation, will also shed light on the legacy being carried forward by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her "untiring quest" of building a peaceful, just, rights-based, inclusive and prosperous nation.
"Bangladesh will get a special document through adoption of - Dhaka Peace Declaration - which will work as a reference for Bangladesh's all peace and security-related global initiatives to be taken in the future," said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.
Dr Momen said Bangladesh did not invite any head of states or governments to the conference but invited peace activists, writers, poets, singers and civil societies from different countries to join the conference for promoting a culture of peace and tolerance.
Representatives from 50 countries will join the conference both virtually and in person. Around 59 participants from over 30 countries will join in person while around 40 guests will join virtually. Some of the guests will send video messages.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam said some invited guests converted their participation into virtual one due to the new reality amid new Covid-19 variant though they initially planned to join in person. The guests who were scheduled to come from South Africa will now join virtually.
Bangladesh is hosting the World Peace Conference as a part of its celebrations of the Mujib Year, the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh.
Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations; Goh Chok Tong, former Prime Minister of Singapore; Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Irina Bokova, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria; José Ramos-Horta, former President of East Timor; Tan Sri Dr Syed Hamid Albar, Chairman, World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation; Dr Francisco Rojas Aravena, Rector of University for Peace; Surichai Wun'Gaeo, Director of Center for Peace and Conflict Studies Chulalongkorn University; Husain Haqqani, former Pakistan's Ambassador to United States and Sri Lanka; Dr Akiko Horiba, Program Director and Senior Program Officer, Asia Peace Initiative Department, Sasakawa Peace Foundation; Archie Law, Chair of Sydney Peace Foundation; Dr Irene Victoria Massimino, Human Rights Lawyer, professor and activist; Simone Neads, Managing Editor, The European Security Journal; Philip Ruddock AO, President, NSW Liberal Party; Chandrika N. Wijeyaratne, Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and David Wick, Executive Director, Ashland Culture of Peace Commission, among others, will join the two-day event.
During the conference, a number of panel discussions will be held which will be participated by the intellectuals, educationists, eminent personalities and people of high stature of the world who are dedicated to establishing peace in the world. The conference will conclude with "Dhaka Peace Declaration, 2021".
It is expected that the conference will offer an opportunity to the people around the world to share the bright ideas of the distinguished discussants and be able to impart those ideas in their respective countries with a view to achieving a sustainable global peace.
Earlier, a 46-member committee was formed with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury as its chair and Saima Wazed Hossain as its member secretary to successfully host the World Peace Conference.
The in-person sessions of the conference will be held in Hotel InterContinental, Hotel Sonargaon and Foreign Service Academy.
The inaugural and closing ceremony will be held in InterContinental while panel discussion will be held at Foreign Service Academy.
Foreign Minister Dr Momen hosted a dinner in honor of the guests on December 3 while Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury will host a separate dinner for the guests on December 4. Both the events will be followed by cultural programmes.
The participating guests will visit a number of places of historical importance including Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi-32.
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