Fun & Games

136th IPU Assembly kicks off tomorrow

DHAKA, Mar 31, 2017 (BSS) - The 136th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly that kicks off in the city tomorrow 'would create a unique opportunity for Bangladesh to showcase the country's ongoing economic progress and its potentialities before the international communities'.

"The 136th IPU assembly would help showcasing the country's ongoing economic progress and removing the perception of international community following remarks of former US Secretary of State Henry Alfred Kissinger's about Bangladesh," said IPU President Saber Hossain Chowdhury at a press briefing here this morning.

The former US Secretary of State Henry Alfred Kissinger's dubbed Bangladesh as a "bottomless basket" sometimes after the country's independence in 1971.

Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury while addressing the briefing at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) said 'successful holding of the assembly would remain as a milestone towards the forward march of Bangladesh's democracy and it would bring a rare honour for the country'.

"We will be able to project the country's ongoing progress, prospect and potentialities for building a hunger and poverty-free prosperous Bangladesh before international community through holding of the assembly," she added.

Secretary General of IPU Martin Chungong also spoke at the briefing.

The theme of this year's 136th IPU Assembly is-'Redressing Inequalities: Delivering on Dignity and well being for all. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Children's Rights Activist Kailash Satyarthi will present key-note paper on the topic.

At the briefing, Saber Chowdhury said that all out preparations including full-proof security measures for the foreign dignitaries have been taken to hold the five-day long assembly peacefully.

Bangladesh is hosting the assembly of IPU, the century-old organisation of world's legislators, for the first time after joining the forum in 1972.

Giving details, Saber Chowdhury said a total of 1348 delegates including 53 speakers, deputy speakers and 209 women parliamentarians of 120 countries will join the assembly.

They will remain engage in debate on redressing inequalities, women empowerments, health issues and on the role of parliaments in preventing outside interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states during the assembly.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will formally open the 136th IPU assembly at Jatiya Sangsad premises tomorrow evening. Later, the premier will release a commemorative stamp and inaugurate IPU website television.

Other programmes of the assembly will be held in five venues of Bangabanadhu International Conference Centre (BICC) while the delegates would be housed in 15 hotels in the city.

A modern makeshift media centre equipped with computers, laptops, high-speed internet bandwidth and adequate manpower was set up at BICC for the local and foreign media to send news feed.

An IPU spokesperson will brief media at the end of the day's programme at the media centre, the IPU President told journalists.

Besides, IPU President Saber Hossain Chowdhury is scheduled to hold a press conference on March 5 on the overall preparations for the global event, which will be wrapped up with the Dhaka declaration on April 5.

As per IPU convention, Parliament Speaker Dr. Shirin Sharmin will act as assembly president as a host country speaker.

However, a four-tier security arrangement has been taken in and around the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport ahead of the 136th IPU Assembly to ensure foolproof security of the participants.

Some 1,200 forces would be deployed for ensuring security and 14 more officers from ASP to SP level are being engaged in the supervision of the force, police said.

A help desk was set up at the airport along with increasing number of counters to ensure baggage delivery within 17 minutes for the foreign dignitaries, who join the assembly.

The thoroughfare from airport to the BICC and adjacent areas would be illuminated while colourful festoons and banners would be set up at roadside poles welcoming the guests.

The IPU Assembly, which was earlier called Inter-Parliamentary Conference, is the principal statutory body that expresses the views of the global forum on political issues bringing together parliamentarians to study international problems and make recommendations for action.

The IPU, established in 1889 with its headquarters in Switzerland, is the focal point for global parliamentary dialogues for peace, development, and cooperation among peoples, and for the safeguard of representative democracy.

Deputy Speaker Fazley Rabbi Mia, Chief Whip ASM Feroz, Whip Iqbalur Rahim, MPs, IPU officials, among others was present at the press briefing.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)