Country: The People's Republic of Bangladesh (SC)

Event: CACMUN 2000

Student: Adel Al Omar

 

 

 

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The Bangladeshi National Anthem

Amar sonar Bamla,
Ami tomay bhalobashi,
Ciradin tomar akas, tomar batas, amar prane
Oma amar prane, bajay basi.

Sonar Bamla, Ami tomay bhalobasi.
O ma, Fagune tor amer bane ghrane
pagal kare, mari hay, hay re
O ma, Fagune tor amer bane ghrane pagal kare,
O ma, aghrane tor bhara ksete ki dekhechi
ami ki dekhechi madhur hasi

Sonar Bamla ami tomay bhalo basi,
ki sobha, ki chaya go ki sneha,
ki maya go ki acal bichayecha
bater mule, nadir kule kule.
Ma, tor mukher bani amar kane lage
suhar mato, mari hay hay re ma,
tor nadankhani malin hale, o ma,
ami nayanjale bhasi.

Amar Shonar Bangla (My Golden Bengal)*

My Bengal of gold, I love you
Forever your skies, your air set my heart
in tune as if it were a flute,
In Spring, Oh mother mine, the fragrance from
your mango-groves makes me wild with joy-
Ah, what a thrill!

In Autumn, Oh mother mine,
in the full-blossomes paddy fields,
I have seen spread all over - sweet smiles!
Ah, what a beauty, what shades,
what an affection and what a tenderness!
What a quilt have you spread at the feet of
banyan trees and along the banks of rivers!

Oh mother mine, words from your lips
are like Nectar to my ears!
Ah, what a thrill!
If sadness, Oh mother mine,
casts a gloom on your face,
my eyes are filled with tears!

*original Bangla words by Nobel Prize-winning poet Tagore. I have to comment on what an inspiring poem this is. How welcome a contrast to so many anthems obsessed with death and fighting.

Bangladesh

I. Country Profile


Bangladesh

 

Country Profile

Bangladesh

Done By: Adel Al Omar

Abdullah Al Asousi

 

Political Structure:

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.

Natural Resources:

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%.

Cultural Factors:

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.

Defense:

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.

Geography:

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.

Economy:

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%.

History:

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.

 

 

Policy Statements

Issue # 1: Sierre Leone

Sierra LeoneBangladesh find this issue an important issue that should be solved immediately. We believe that in order to stabilize the situation we should encourage NATO Nations to deploy peacekeeping forces into Sierra Leone, which will work in unison with UN peacekeepers in order for peace to take itÆs path. Bangladesh condemns the actions of and demands the dissolution of the militant Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and other armed elements in Sierra Leone due to their widespread and serious violations of the Leone Peace Agreement (5/1999/1777) since early May 2000. We believe that this should stop and have an end! Bangladesh would also like to urge all nations to donate medical and financial aid in addition to manpower, including staff and troops to the UNAMSIL to make itÆs work more efficient.

 

Issue # 2: Conflict in the Middle East

Bangladesh believes that peace and stability should be maintained in Lebanon. The area around the borders between Lebanon and Israel is a very tense border although UN peacekeeping forces are present. Bangladesh believe and recommends in the desperate need for reinforcing the peacekeeping forces resulting in increasing their effectiveness. Bangladesh also draws the attention to the issue of war reparations. Lebanese civilians and the government have been suffering for a very long time. We believe that it is the sole right of Lebanon to be paid back for all the long years of continuos suffering. Israel should pay war reparations to Lebanon. For more that 20 years Lebanon has been continuously bombed and detainees are still in Israeli prisons. All of this resulted in a very direct negative effect on the economy and welfare of Lebanon and its citizens. We believe that the IMF should evaluate these reparations and have Israel pay them back.Eritrea and Ethiopia:Bangladesh would like to highlight the issue of humanitarian assistance during war to civilians and refugees in need. War is a criminal that costs us the youth of the country and so.. its future.

 

Issue # 3: Eritrea and Ethiopia

We have to solve the issue of humanitarian crisis in Eritrea and Ethiopia. People are dying from war and starvation. We have to take action. Serious action! That is the reason why the delegation of Bangladesh proposes a clause that provides refugees with more security and shelter. A camp should be established in a secure stabilized region avoiding terrorist attacks, which would cost us a lot of lives. This camp will be different from all other camps. It will provide the sufficient amount of nutrition and food supplies Educational supplies and classes will also be introduced. We hope that significant steps will be taken to stabilize the situation in Ethiopia and Eritrea.



Resolution clauses

Sierra Leone

(1) Requests that the UN encourage NATO Nations to deploy peacekeeping forces into Sierra Leone, which will work in unison with UN peacekeepers.Condemns the actions of and demands the dissolution of the militant Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and other armed elements in Sierra Leone due to their widespread and serious violations of the Leone Peace Agreement (5/1999/1777) since early May 2000.

(2) Urges member states to donate medical and financial aid in addition to manpower, including staff and troops to UNAMSIL.

 

Lebanon:

(1) Suggests that the IMF evaluate war reparations, which will be paid by Israel for Lebanon.

(2) Request that a meeting between Lebanon, Israel, Syria, and Hisb Allah be held to discuss different point of views and come up with solutions.Resolves that Israel should withdraw from all Lebanese land including Sheba farms immediately.

 

Eritrea and Ethiopia:

(1) Urges the UNHCR and the UNICEF to study the region and come up with astabilized region in which a refugee camp is established to provide Eritrean and

Ethiopian refugees with:

Security and shelter.

Sufficient amount of nutrition and food supplies.

Educational material and classes.

Freedom to leave the camp with an adult.

(2) Calls upon both Eritrean and Ethiopian governments to cease-fire immediately and start weekly talks and negotiations under United Nations sponsorship.

(3) Suggests deploying willing NATO forces to Eritrea and Ethiopia in order to stabilize the situation and help UN peacekeeping forces handle the situation.

 

Opening Speech

Honorable Delegates, Mr. President Al salam alaikom,

The People's Republic of Bangladesh would like to welcome all delegations to this year's United Nations Security Council conference. We hope that the Security Council will be productive in devising practical solutions to world problems.

Bangladesh would like to highlight the issue of humanitarian assistance during natural disasters to countries in need. We are all attacking problems relating to international crime but we are forgetting the many millions that die annually from natural disasters. Yes honorable delegates sometimes Mother Nature is the criminal. Bangladesh hopes that there will be emphasis on natural disasters because no nation is experiencing the terror of natural disasters more than Bangladesh.

 

 

Performance Paragraph

I, as the ambassador of Bangladesh in the Security Council believe that I represented the ôBengal Tigersö with all my abilities. It was an honor to me and was my pleasure representing Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is a country with a foreign policy that respects the national sovereignty and equality, non-interference in internal affairs of other countries, peaceful settlement of international disputes, right of people to self-determination and respect international law. Bangladesh tried to represent the Islamic world. Based on these principles, Bangladesh's role in the Security Council has been to strive for international peace and security, to contribute toward general and complete disarmament and support the people throughout the world struggling for political, social and economic emancipation. Bangladesh has participated in peacekeeping operations across five continents including in many difficult and dangerous missions and on this basis we find it important deploying more peacekeeping forces in Sierra Leone and in between Ethiopia and Eritrea in order for peace to occur.

I also participated in the discussion of all resolutions in order to represent Bangladesh the neutral worldwide peace seeking country.Suddenly the conference exploded by the clause I proposed by which Israel should pay war reparations for Lebanon. It took endless effort to get countries support, bearing in mind opposing the Israel and so the USA but we believe as an Islamic neutral country that we should decide on the bases of humanity. The US ambassador opposed this clause and was going to veto.. why? Why do you go against this clause when you lead other countries in the process of Iraq paying war reparations to Kuwait? I asked this question to the US ambassador and he felt so embarrassed. Unfortunately, The US vetoed the whole resolution because of this clause, going out of character. In conclusion, Bangladesh was represented very well in the Security Council and its presence had its significance.