Country: The People's Republic of Bangladesh (GA)
Event: CACMUN 2000
Student: Abdullah al Asousi
Links to other sites on the Web: Back to the 2000-2001 Team page
Done By:Adel Al Amar
Abdullah Al Asousi
The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is a unitary, independent and sovereign republic comprising three basic organs the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. It is a Constitutional Parliamentary Democracy. It became independent on 16 December 1971, from Pakistan. The President is the Head of State and is elected by the members of Parliament for a five-year term, following legislative elections. Bangladesh’s constitution was set at 4 November 1972, and it was amended various times and recently in 1996. Its legal system is based on English common law.
Bangladesh’s chief of state is President Shahabuddin Ahmed (since 9 October 1996). His duties which are normally ceremonial, but with the 13th amendment to the constitution ("Caretaker Government Amendment"), the president's role becomes significant at times when Parliament is dissolved and a caretaker government is installed—at presidential direction—to supervise the elections. The head of government now is Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed (since 23 June 1996). The cabinet is selected by the Prime Minister and appointed by the president. The leader of the party that wins the most seats is usually appointed Prime Minister, by the President. Legislative branch is unicameral National Parliament or Jatiya Sangsad. There are 330 seats, 300 elected by popular vote from single territorial constituencies, and 30 seats reserved for women. The members serve five-year terms. The judicial branch consists of a Supreme Court, Chief Justices and other judges are appointed by the President. The Supreme Court serves as the Guardian of the Constitution and enforces the fundamental rights of the citizens.
There are 30-40 parties in Bangladesh. In the present seventh parliament, Bangladesh Awami League commands absolute majority. Bangladesh Nationalist Party and the Jatiya Party are the other two major political parties with significant representations in the Parliament. There are Parliamentary Standing Committees for different ministries, which serve as parliamentary watchdogs over the activities of the Government.
Although Bangladesh has many natural resources, it’s one of the world's poorest and most densely populated countries. The principal resources of Bangladesh are fertile soil, natural gas, and water. It has an abundant water supply and the heavy rainfall that are suitably distributed over the year for growing rice and jute, so Bangladesh is largely self-sufficient in rice production. One problem is that about two thirds of the cultivable "useable for planting" land at Bangladesh are prone to flood damage every year.
There are also other kinds of agriculture in Bangladesh like wheat, tea, sugarcane, potatoes, beef, milk, and poultry. Although minerals have traditionally been economically unimportant, the country has large amounts of natural gas and some petroleum deposits. Natural gas is piped into Dhaka and Chittagong for industrial use. There are also large deposits of low-grade coal, mined at Jamalpur.
Bangladesh exports and imports mostly from the US, Hong Kong, Western Europe, China, and Japan. Although Bangladesh is rich in natural resources, it has a very huge population which causes poverty and a very high unemployment rate of 35.2%.
Bangladesh’s population is 120 million, and the density of population per sq. mile is 7,656. Bangla (also known as Bengali) is the official language of Bangladesh, and English is also understood and widely spoken. The ethnic groups in Bangladesh are Bengali 98%, tribal groups and non-Bengali Muslims 2%. The four major religions in the country’ are Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. The Muslims constitute about 88% of the population and the Hindus about 10%. The constitution guarantees religious and cultural freedom to all citizens of Bangladesh.
About 1200 AD, Muslims ruled Bangladesh, although there were some Hindu in Bangladesh, but most of the population were Muslims. Since then, Islam has played a crucial role in the region's history and politics. When India and Pakistan became independent in 1947, the region of Bengal was divided along religious lines. The Muslim eastern half was designated East Pakistan, while the Hindu western part became the Indian State of West Bengal. However, all the people who lived in the region of Bangla wanted to have an independent country, so both Muslim and Hindu worked together until they reached their goal, and now they Muslim and Hindu all live together peacefully.
There are about one million tribal people, the majority of whom live in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The tribes have distinct cultures of their own. Decades-old tribal unrest was now settled with the signing of a peace treaty between the PCJSS (representing the tribal community) and the government in December 1997 in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region. That peace treaty made Bangladesh more peaceful than ever.
The military branches in Bangladesh are the army, navy, and air force. Many of the senior officers served in the Pakistan military before the 1971 independence war. Senior officers include "repatriates" who were interned in Pakistan during the war and "freedom fighters" who fought against Pakistan. The Armed Forces are the national pride and the ever-vigilant sentinels of the country’s independence. The primary task of the Armed Forces is to defend the national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bangladesh. It also assists the civil administration in maintaining internal peace and security in times of emergencies. Other important assignments like disaster management and UN peacekeeping missions are also carried out by them when required. There are three main branches of Bangladesh Armed Forces, namely, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. Paramilitary forces such as Bangladesh Rifles, Bangladesh Police, Ansars and the Village Defense Party also exist in the country.
Bangladesh depend on the United States, China, Pakistan, and Eastern Europe, because they are major defense suppliers to Bangladesh. Bangladesh joined the United Nations in 1974. In 1995, over 7,000 Bangladeshi forces were serving abroad under the United Nations flag. Bangladesh also helped Kuwait when a 2,300-member Bangladesh army served with coalition "joint" forces during the 1991 Gulf War.
Bangladesh is located in southern Asia, bounded by India from the North, East, and West, and by the Bay of Bengal and Myanmar from the South. Bangladesh’s area is 143,998 sq. km and is mostly land area taking 133,910 sq. km of the total area. The lowest point in Bangladesh is the Indian Ocean 0 m, and the highest point is Keokradong 1,230 m. Bangladesh has many cities, and some of the major cities are the capital, Dhaka (pop. 7 million), Chittagong (2.8 million), Khulna (1.8 million), and Rajshahi (1 million).
The climate of Bangladesh is usually tropical, cool, dry winter (October to March), hot, humid summer (March to June), and cool, rainy monsoon (June to October). The maximum temperature is 34°C and the minimum is 8°C. Bangladesh’s terrain is mainly flat alluvial plain, with hills in the northeast and southeast. There are many natural hazards that occur in Bangladesh, and some of them are droughts, cyclones, and much of the country is routinely flooded during the summer monsoon season.
Views on World Problems:
Bangladesh is in a strategic location, not only because it has a large amount of agriculture in it, but also because it’s a neighbor of many strong and important countries like India and before, it was ruled by Pakistan. Bangladesh is a poor country with a huge population, so it tries to get good relations especially with India, because India has the power to flood Bangladesh, and also Bangladesh wants good relations with Pakistan, even after the terrible thing that happened in 1971 by the Pakistan army. Bangladesh also want strong relations with rich countries, especially if they were Muslim countries. That’s why it helped Kuwait in the Gulf War in 1991. Bangladesh also strongly opposed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Bangladesh pursues a forward-looking foreign policy based on friendship with all and malice "hate" towards none. As an active member of the UN, the Non-Aligned Movement, Islamic Conference (OIC), the Commonwealth and various international organizations of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Interlop, United Nations Conference on Trade And Development (UNCTAD), United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM), United Nations Mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina (UNMIBH), United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka "Croatia" (UNMOP), United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT), United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG), United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL), and United Nations Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP).
Bangladesh promotes global peace, stability, co-operation and development. Bangladesh pioneered the formation of SAARC—a regional co-operation forum comprising seven South Asian countries—Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh have vigorously pursued the cause of enhancing economic co-operation in the region. One of the outcomes has been the formation and implementation of SAPTA or South Asian Preferential Trading Arrangement.
Bangladesh is one of the world's poorest, most densely populated, and least developed nations. The economy is largely agricultural, with the cultivation of rice and jute, the most important activity in the economy. Bangladesh has many agriculture products like rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, beef, milk, and poultry. There are also industries like jute manufacturing, cotton textiles, food processing, steel, and fertilizer. Bangladesh’s exports are $4.4 billion distributed on garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood. The export partners are Western Europe 42%, US 30%, Hong Kong 4%, and Japan 3%. Bangladesh’s imports are $7.1 billion distributed on capital goods, textiles, food, and petroleum products. The import partners are India 21%, China 10%, Western Europe 8%, Hong Kong 7%, and Singapore 6%. Bangladesh has huge debt on it and it’s almost $16.7 billion. Since independence in 1971, Bangladesh has received more than $30 billion in grant aid and loan commitments from foreign donors, about $15 billion of which has been disbursed. Major donors include the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the UN Development Program, the United States, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and West European countries.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed's Awami League government has made some headway improving the climate for foreign investors and liberalizing the capital markets. For example, it has negotiated with foreign companies for oil and gas exploration, better countrywide distribution of cooking gas, and the construction of natural gas pipelines and power plants. However, many problems face the rising of the economy like frequent cyclones and floods, like what happened from July to October 1998, that endangered the livelihoods of more than 20 million people. Foodgrain production fell by 4 million tons, forcing Dhaka to triple its normal foodgrain imports and placing severe pressure on Bangladesh's balance of payments. The floods increased the country's reliance on large-scale international aid. Also, other reasons that make the economy halt are the inadequate power supplies, inefficiency in the public sector, and a rapidly growing labor force, which is now almost 56 million (although there is extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, and Oman), that cannot be absorbed by agriculture. That made the unemployment rate almost 35.2%.
About 1200 AD, Muslims ruled the region which is now Bangladesh, and converted most of the population of the eastern areas of Bengal to Islam. Since then, Islam has played a major role in the region's history and politics. Portuguese traders reached Bengal in the late 15th century. They were followed by representatives of the Dutch, the French, and the British East India Companies. During the 18th and 19th centuries, especially after the defeat of the French in 1757, the British extended their administrative control beyond Calcutta to Bengal. In 1859, the British Crown replaced the East India Company, extending British dominion from Bengal in the east to the Indus River in the west.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Muslim and Hindu leaders began to press for a greater degree of independence. At the movement's forefront was the largely Hindu Indian National Congress. Growing concern about Hindu domination of the movement led Muslim leaders to form the All-India Muslim League in 1906. In 1913, the League formally adopted the same goal as the Indian National Congress: self-government for India within the British Empire. The Congress and the League were unable, however, to agree on a formula to ensure the protection of Muslim religious, economic, and political rights. Over the next 2 decades tension between Hindus and Muslims led to a series of arguments.
The idea of a separate Muslim state came out in the 1930s. It gained popularity among Indian Muslims after 1936, when the Muslim League suffered a definite defeat in the first elections under the 1935 constitution. On March 23, 1940, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the Muslim League, publicly signed the "Pakistan Resolution" that called for the creation of an independent state in regions where Muslims were a majority. At the end of World War II, the United Kingdom, under considerable international pressure to reduce the size of its overseas empire, moved with increasing urgency to grant India independence. India and Pakistan became independent in 1947, and the region of Bengal was divided along religious lines. The Muslim eastern half was designated East Pakistan--and made part of the newly independent Pakistan--while the Hindu western part became the Indian State of West Bengal.
Almost from the approach of independent Pakistan in 1947, frictions developed between East and West Pakistan, which were separated by more than 1,000 miles of Indian Territory. East Pakistanis felt that they are being used by the West Pakistan-dominated central government. Linguistic, cultural, and ethnic differences also contributed to the estrangement of East Pakistan from West Pakistan. Bengalis strongly resisted attempts to make Urdu the official language of Pakistan. Responding to these things, Sheikh Mujibir Rahman--known widely as "Mujib"--in 1949 formed the Awami League (AL); a party designed mainly to promote Bengali interests. The Awami League won 167 seats out of 313 National Assembly seats.
In 1966, Mujib was arrested for his political activities. The Awami League won all the East Pakistan seats of the Pakistan National Assembly in 1970-71 elections and Mujib was arrested again, his party was banned, and most of his aides fled to India, where they organized a provisional government. On March 26, 1971, following a bloody crackdown by the Pakistan army, Bengali nationalists declared an independent People's Republic of Bangladesh. As fighting grew between the army and the Bengali mukti bahini ("freedom fighters"), an estimated 10 million Bengalis, mainly Hindus, sought refuge in the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal. The crisis in East Pakistan produced new strains in Pakistan's troubled relations with India. The two nations had fought a war in 1965, mainly in the west, but the refugee pressure in India in the fall of 1971 produced new tensions in the east, so India helped East Pakistan or Bangladesh against the Pakistani.
After nine months of war, the Pakistani occupation forces surrendered in Dhaka on 16th December 1971 after killing an estimated three million people. Due to the heroic resistance and supreme sacrifices of the valiant freedom fighters, Bangladesh finally became an independent sovereign state.
Bangladesh became an independent nation on 26 March 1971. The nine-month long war of liberation inspired by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujihur Rahman culminated in victory of Bangladesh forces over the Pakistani occupiers on 16 December 1971. On December 16, 1971, Pakistani forces surrendered and Bangladesh--meaning "Bengal nation"--was born; the new country became a parliamentary democracy under a 1972 constitution.
However, although Bangladesh claim that it’s a democracy, many bloody coups happened that changed the Prime Minster. Bangladesh had over six Prime Ministers in 20 years from independence in 1971. Father of the Nation, Bangahandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the founder- president of Bangladesh. He was subsequently assassinated on 15th August 1975 by a group of conspirators. After 21 years of military and authoritarian rule, Bangabandhu’s party—Bangladesh Awami League led by his illustrious "famous" daughter Sheikh Hasina, swept hack to power through a very free and fair parliamentary election held under a Caretaker Government in June 1996.
1. The Question of the Role of the UN Regarding Intervention in a State or a Region for Humanitarian Purposes:
Bangladesh beleives that the UN must intervene in some conditions for humanitarian purposes. There are many people dying today and it can be reduced. Natural disaters have made very big loses, for instance the unprecedent flood that hit Bangladesh in 1998. Nearly 31 million people were affected, the economy was greatly affected too. Diseases have also played a major role in deaths, like the AIDS wich in the end of 1999. An estimated 34.3 million people worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS.
Banladesh supports proposals that helps people that are affected by natural disasters. Bangladesh beileves that natural hazards and environmental disasters are casuing a lot of deaths and are increaing poverty. That would widen the gap between rich and poor countries, and that is a dangerous thing for both developed and least developed countries. Bangladesh would also want resolutions to have HIV/AIDS and drug help in it so that many poor countries would vote for it. Bangladesh doesn’t mind to have a resoltuon that makes the U.N. intervene for humanitarian situations that have large numbers of deaths like civil wars, but the resolution must be well written.
2. The Question of Developing an International Legal Code to Deal with Criminal Activity on the Internet (WWW):
Bangladesh deeply understands that computers today and especially the Internet are playing a MAJOR part of life. Computers are important for banks, for ministries, education, people…etc. The most obvious proof was the Y2K bug, which gave huge losses to Bangladesh, and it showed how important computers are today. The Internet plays even a greater role in life now and especially for businessmen who have to watch their stocks and do many kinds of important things. However, some things might happen and then many important things can be lost or viewed by people who shouldn’t have. A perfect example for that is the "love" virus, which caused $80 million in damage, and before it the "Chernobyl" virus that made many big loses to people and companies.
However, Bangladesh wants the spread of computers and iternet companies to all the countries, and especially the least devoloped countries (LCDs) before making a legal code for the internet. Bangladesh believes that every country has to have a enough computers and internet facalities before making the legal code. Some poor people have never saw a computer, so first the spread of computers and internet companies, and then the legal code.
3. The Question of the Admittance of Palestine into the United Nations as a Full Voting Member:
Bangladesh wants Palestine to be a full member in the United Nations. Bangladesh congratulates both Plaestine and Israel for they’re coordinating in trying to get a solution for the conflict in the Middle East, from the Madrid Conference to the Declaration of Princeples till the Wye River Memorandum and to the recent Camp David 2000 Summit.Bangladesh also strongly encourages them to keep in the track of the peace process for a final end to the problem.
Bangladesh would like the Palestine to be a full member in the United Nations, and especially because the basic goal for the establishment of the United Nations is to solve conflicts and problems. The Middle East conflict is this century’s most important problem. Bangladesh wants a resolution that lets Palestine be a full voting member in the United Nations like every other country so that the conflict would be solved. Also Palestine needs the help of every country because of its bad economic situation, so it could get help, especially in ECOSOC. Bangladesh srongly believes, as our fellow Moslem brothers, that Palestine should be in the United Nations for more coordination in solving the complicated Middel East conflict.
Forum: General Assembly
Question Of: The Role of the UN Regarding Intervention in a State or a Region for Humanitarian Purposes
Defining"humanitarian purposes" as any situation that has people who live in a poor condition due to natural disasters, diseases, or civil wars,
Expressing Its Appreciation to many organizations and committees that helped in humanitarian issues concerning natural disasters such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Disaster and Assessment Coordination (UNDAC), and especially, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA),
Noting With Regret that some natural disasters caused a tremendous loss of life such as the unprecedented flood that hit Bangladesh in 1998, and led to affecting more than 31 million people, according to the government of Bangladesh,
Noting with Concern the fact that the floods that hit Italy and Switzerland in October 16-17, and hit Vietnam and Combodia in the same week, caused many deaths and damages,
Viewing With Appreciation the efforts of the UNAIDS with the AIDS, and the efforts of other organizations in dealing with diseases,
Noting With Deep Concern that as of the end of 1999, the UNAIDS report finds that an estimated 34.3 million people worldwide -- 33.0 million adults and 1.3 million children younger than 15 years -- were living with HIV/AIDS. More than 71 percent of these people (24.5 million) live in Sub-Saharan Africa; another 16 percent (5.6 million) live in South and Southeast Asia. (UNAIDS. Report on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic: June 2000).
1. Regrets that the huge loss of life caused by natural disasters is increasing despite efforts from the OCHA to decrease them,
2. Supports the OCHA and asks it to continue its efforts regarding natural disasters,
3. Draws the Attention to the increasing number of people that are affected with HIV/AIDS, especially in Africa,
4. Demands that the functions of the OCHA be expanded, starting form June 2001, so that it contains:
a) an HIV/AIDS department, which will:
i) provide medical assistance to all countries whom the UNAIDS proved to have 5% or more of its population infected with HIV/AIDS, and only if the country requests such help,
ii) build well-equipped hospitals in regions which the OHCA deems necessary through its research, under the following stipulation:
- No more than one hospital can be built per 50,000 square kilometers,
iii) recruit doctors and nurses from NGOs and volunteer groups, and granting them salaries depending on the number of hours they work, under the following stipulation:
- The OHCA shall decide the salary for the doctors and nurses,
b) to increase the relief and assistance in regions where more than 500,000 people are affected by natural hazards and environmental disasters, especially floods, and the assistance will be through:
i) assisting the citizens who are affected by:
- coordinating with the country’s government on building temporary shelters until the affected people are ready for self-dependency.
- providing them with the necessary food
ii) granting the country which has been affected the necessary financial assistance, to deal with the problem, under the supervision of the OCHA,
(c) a drug department, which will:
i) build well-equipped hospitals and intoxication centers, or will increase the role of hospitals that are already built in countries who are proven to have more than 15% of its citizens that are addicts by the OCHA,
5. Strongly Urges the U.N. should increase the OCHA’s budget by 10% so that it could accomplish the expand of functions that are shown in clause 4,
6. Urges all nations that can help, and especially the developed ones, to donate the OCHA and to give it money in all possible ways,
7. Calls Upon every country and organization to give its full support to the OCHA and to help it in every possible way.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Honorable Chair, and most distinguished delegates, Good Morning/Afternoon,
Bangladesh is proud to be here in this perfect example of coordination and peace, the United Nations. I greet you, on behalf of Bangladesh, the natural country, where land and water meet in many novel fashions. No wonder, you may come across the crocodiles basking on the riverbanks, or the Royal Bengal Tiger, swimming across the streams.
However, this Royal Bengal Tiger is going to drown if there is no help. Bangladesh and many of its friend countries are greatly affected by the natural disasters, and especially floods, which have killed and affected many poor people. As Bangladesh’s Nobel Prize winning poet, Rabindranath Tagore, once said: "Water, water everywhere, But not a drop to drink." I ask you all, on behalf of my country, and on bealf of all affected countries, and especially in Asia and Africa to coordinate in reaching a good solution that would help as all on not only natural disasters, but also on HIV/AIDS and drugs.
STATEMENT OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY AMBASSADOR
I represented Bangladesh this year in the GA in CACMUN. We had three issues to talk about. The first issue was on the U.N. intervening in a state for humanitarian purposes. I submitted a resolution and it was chosen the second one to be debated. All I wanted was to make the U.N. intervene in a state for natural disasters, so in the first resolution that was debated, there was a clause that let the U.N. intervene for natural disaster. However, since I’m a Muslim country and my country sends many troops to the U.N., I proposed an amendment that made the U.N. also intervene for an overpowering invasion on a country. When I spoke, I said that everyone needed to vote for this amendment and I gave an example of the 1990 Gulf War where Iraq invaded Kuwait. Unfortunately, that amendment failed by a difference of two votes only. At last, the resolution failed because there was no time to speak on it and there was just debate on amendments.
To my shock, the second resolution, which was the best, and I submitted was not debated because it was "prefect". On the second issue, I was totally against the idea of developing a code for the internet, but it was a very good and well-written resolution so I just wanted to talk about how children don’t know even what a computer is and the U.N. is making an internet code, and the same thing happened, which was I didn’t get chosen. This time however, I just wanted to make points of orders for speakers that were for the resolution so that they get a little nervous, so I made a point of order when the delegate of Hungary asked the delegate who was asking a point of information to restate his question, and I told the Chair that there must be no dialogue between speakers. Also, I asked a point of information about how the resolution was strict about the freedom of speech. The resolution failed and then we discussed the next resolution on the same issue. This time, I was not only against the resolution because if the whole idea of making an internet code, but I was against it also because the resolution was VERY vague and it didn’t do anything. When it was the last time for anyone to speak when the Chair asked for points of information, and he chose me. I asked the delegate of the Central African Republic why did she go for the resolution and it was totally not detailed besides not doing anything. She answered that how doesn’t it do anything when it has nine clauses. Then I requested a follow-up and I was going to say that even if a resolution had 100 clauses, that doesn’t meant that it’s detailed, but the Chair didn’t even know what’s a follow-up so it was denied.
On the third issue that was on Palestine and was submitted by Israel and the U.S.A., I was against it because it gave too much too Israel and didn’t help our Muslim brothers. However, I was not so aggressive and tried to have the U.S. happy with me. However, orders from a very important person told me to be very aggressive and be against this resolution. On the second resolution that was submitted by the PNA, I tried to play Bangladesh’s role again, and, as usual, I raised my placard every time but I didn’t get chosen on, until the amendment came. There was an amendment that requested Israel to with-draw from the Golan in Syria, so when there was time against this resolution I thanked the U.S. first on its very important role in the middle east peace, and I urged all nations to be against this amendment since there must be negotiation on occupied land, and if Israel with-drawled form Syria now, there would be conflicts and problems between the two countries. The delegate of the U.S. gave me a thumbs-up when I said that. That was what I did in CACMUN and I whished I had more time to speak on resolutions.