Hasina seeks quick implementation of Commonwealth Declarations
Published : 21 Apr 2018, 13:50
Placing a three-point recommendation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday called for early implementation of the Commonwealth Declarations on its comprehensive reform, connectivity and cyber governance.
She urged the Commonwealth Secretariat to frame an appropriate action plan and work out programmes in consultation with the member states to this end.
The Prime Minister made the call during the retreat session on the second day of the 25th CHOGM summit in London on Friday (local time).
While speaking about Commonwealth reform, Sheikh Hasina said, "The organisation in its present form, structure and orientations, is inadequate and can only partially meet expectations of the peoples."
In her three-point recommendation, she called for formation of an eminent persons’ group to propose necessary reforms, creation of a Development Fund and a Platform to achieve SDGs; and enhancing Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s role in protecting and promoting political values.
Hasina said any review and reform of the Commonwealth must bring a strong development focus to the forefront and must increasingly be connected within itself.
She also stressed ensuring a greater role of the private sector and various professional groups in its programmes.
While attending the Retreat Agenda on the Global Context, Hasina said trade, investment and connectivity are the key to a more prosperous future.
Welcoming the draft Declaration on Connectivity, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh believes in connecting ideas, knowledge, technology, culture, people, road-rail-air, movement of goods, services and investment.
Hasina said trade connectivity through a rules-based, transparent, inclusive and fair multilateral trade regime is crucial.
She mentioned that Bangladesh within its neighbourhood has been working for the implementation of Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal BBIN sub-regional connectivity project.
Hasina underlined the need for having a quicker action plan on the connectivity agenda and called for Commonwealth partnership for multisectoral infrastructure projects under the action plan.
About Cyber Declaration, she said the principles and guidelines for cooperation in cyber governance are crucial, and added that technology, expertise sharing and capacity building must remain a priority for people. “Development of the ICT sector is a national priority for Bangladesh.”
She said her government believes that access to information and communications technology and ICT related capacity-building are fundamental to reducing digital divide, alleviating poverty, achieving sustainable development and inclusive growth.
Pointing out opportunities and challenges on cyber issue, she said the member states need to promote ‘openness’ in the global data ecosystem for a free, dynamic, and secure internet across nations.
Addressing the threats of cyber-attacks and spread of terrorism through internet is also important for future generations, she said adding that her government’s policy of ‘zero-tolerance’ takes this into cognizance, UNB reports.
At the retreat agenda on Financing and Governance of the Commonwealth Secretariat the Prime Minister said, Bangladesh values the knowledge and expertise of the Commonwealth Secretariat for enhancing its work.
She underscored making the Commonwealth more representative, focusing on innovative financing and involving private sector partnership and programme co-financing initiatives.
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