Global peace lovers to join World Peace Conference

Bangladesh has planned to go all out with a big carnival with heads of state and government from March 17-26 marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of Bangladesh's Independence next year.

Last year, the country also had planned many big programmes but Covid-19 spoiled everything.

"We expect some heads of government on March 17-26. We have already received some confirmations but it depends on improvement in the Covid-19 situation," Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told Dhaka Courier at his residence.

He said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering are among those leaders who have almost confirmed to visit Bangladesh within the 10 days from March 17-26.

The Foreign Minister, however, said the government does not want to do any programme creating problems for the people of the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

World Peace Conference

The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh will host the World Peace Conference this year, marking the 50 years of Independence. "We're working to find a suitable date and it'll be a gathering of peace lovers across the world."

Dr Momen said Bangabandhu spent his entire life to establish the rights of people, end discrimination, empower people and he was a believer of democracy, the rule of law and people's power.

He said Bangladesh proposed hosting the World Peace Conference next year marking the 50 years of Independence. "It'll be a gathering of peace lovers across the world."

The Foreign Minister said Bangabandhu throughout his life wanted peace and stability. "We're making a long list of prominent poets, novelists, singers and intellectuals. We'll cut it short later."

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will celebrate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu together with Bangladesh with various programmes.

The celebration has already extended till December 16 as Covid-19 ate up almost the outgoing year.

Dr Momen said the government wants to completely change the wrong perception about Bangladesh and wants to help the world know it is a land of opportunities with its vibrant economy. "It's no more a basket case."

He said Bangladesh is sometimes described as a poverty-stricken country and hard hit by natural disasters like cyclones, and Bangladesh wants to complete change such narratives in the world.

He said the government has taken up various programmes through its 78 missions abroad to brand Bangladesh positively.

Dr Momen said the government has opened Bangabandhu Corners in 68 missions out of 78 abroad as Bangladesh and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman are inseparable.

He said Bangladesh has opened Bangabandhu Centers in Thailand and Germany while Mauritius named a street after Bangabandhu. Meanwhile, "Bangabandhu Gallery and Library" has recently been inaugurated at State Guesthouse Meghna apart from a "Genocide Corner" at Sugandha.

After the Independence of Bangladesh, Sugandha became Ganabhaban housing first Prime Minister and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from 1972 to 1974.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated Bangabandhu Centre for Diplomatic Strategy and Research.

The establishment of the "UNESCO-Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Prize for the Creative Economy" is one of the biggest success stories on the diplomatic front for Bangladesh in the outgoing year 2020, officials said.

The decision was unanimously approved by acclamation at the 210th session of UNESCO's Executive Board.

It will reward outstanding initiatives that promote the engagement of young people in the creative economy.

Named after the Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, the UNESCO-Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Prize for the Creative Economy will award, every two years, US$50,000 to an individual or organization with recognised excellence in nurturing entrepreneurship among young people in the cultural and creative industries.

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