Country: The People's Republic of Bangladesh
Event: Pearl-MUN 2003
Student: Bader Al-Mailem
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The People’s Republic of Bangladesh is an independent republic including three branches, the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary. It is a Constitutional Parliamentary Democracy. It is divided into 5 administrated divisions: Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, and Rajshahi (there may be one additional division named Sylhet). It became independent on 16 December 1971, from West Pakistan. The President is the Chief of State and is elected by the members of the National Parliament for a five-year term, following legislative elections. Bangladesh’s constitution was set at 4 November 1972, and it was modified various times. Its legal system is based on English common law.
Bangladesh’s current chief of state is President Iajuddin Ahmed (since 6 September 2002) (the president declared by the Election Commission elected unopposed as president; percent of National Parliament vote – NA %). The president’s duties 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 is Prime Minister Khaleda ZIA (since 10 October 2001). 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 (these seats have been expired since May of 2001). The members serve five-year terms. The judicial branch consists of a Supreme Court, Chief Justices and other judges are appointed by the President.
There are many parties in Bangladesh. In the present, Bangladesh Nationalist Party commands the majority of the government with three smaller parties: Jamaat-i-Islami, Islami Oikya Jote, and Jatiya Party (with 46% of the seats votes). Then come the Awami League with 42% of the votes.
Although Bangladesh has various natural resources, but is it’s still one of the world's poorest and most heavily populated countries. The main resources of Bangladesh are fertile soil, natural gas, and water. It has an rich water supply and the heavy rainfall that are spread over the year for growing rice and jute. And Bangladesh is largely independent in rice production. One problem is that about two thirds of the land that is usable for growing plants at Bangladesh is in danger of flood damage each year.
There are also other kinds of agriculture in Bangladesh, for example wheat, tea, sugarcane, potatoes, beef, milk, and poultry. Although minerals have 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’s population is about 133 million, and the overall density is 938 persons per sq. km (2,430 persons per sq. mi). The main language is Bangla (also known as Bengali, it is the official language of Bangladesh). The ethnic groups in Bangladesh are Bengali 98%, tribal groups and non-Bengali Muslims (2%). The main religions in Bangladesh are Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. The Muslims make up about 83% of the population and the Hindus are about 16%, and 1% other.
In About 1200 AD, Muslims ruled Bangladesh. At that time there were some Hindu, but the population of Muslims was more than the Hindu. From that time, Islam has played a major role in Bangladesh’s history and politics. When India and Pakistan became independent, the area of Bengal was divided along according to religion. The Muslim part (the eastern half) became East Pakistan, and the Hindu part (the western half) became the Indian State of West Bengal. However, all the people who lived in the area of Bangla wanted to have an independent country, so both the Muslims and Hindus worked together to become independent.
The military sections in Bangladesh are the army, navy, and air force. Many of the senior officers were in the Pakistan military before the Bangladesh was independent. The main task of the Armed Forces is to defend the national independence, of Bangladesh. And it helps the civil administration in maintaining internal peace. Other jobs, for example disaster management and UN peacekeeping missions. There are three main branches of Bangladesh Armed Forces, and they are: the Army, the Navy, and the Air Forceand they also have paramilitary forces such as Bangladesh Rifles, Bangladesh Police, Ansars, and the Village Defense Party.
Bangladesh depend on several countries fro example, the United States, China, Pakistan, and Eastern Europe (they are also defense suppliers for Bangladesh). Bangladesh joined the United Nations in 1974. In 1995, over 7,000 Bangladeshi forces apart of the United Nations army. Bangladesh also played a role in helping Kuwait during the Gulf War, when it sent 2,300 Bangladesh army members.
Bangladesh is located in Southern Asia, boar daring the Bay of Bengal, and between India and Burma. Its capital is Dhaka. Its area is about 144,000 sq., 133,910 sq. of its area is land, and 10,090 sq. is water. It has a 193 km. border with Burma, and 4,053 km. border with India. And has a 580 km. coastline. Its lowest point is the Indian Ocean (0m.), and the highest point is Keokradong (1,230 m.).
The climate of Bangladesh is usually tropical, mild winter (October to March), hot, humid summer (March to June), and warm 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, and hilly in the southeast part. Droughts and Cyclones are some of the common natural hazards that occur in Bangladesh, and it is routinely flooded during the summer monsoon season.
Despite the continuous domestic and international efforts to improve the economy and demographic prospects, Bangladesh is still on the of the worlds poorest countries (36% of its population is below the poverty line, and an unemployment rate of 35%), and over populated, and ill-governed country. It has an external debt of $17 billion. It also has an extensive export of labor to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Malaysia. Its GDP is 230 billion, 52% comes from services, and 18% comes from industry, and 30% comes from agriculture. Bangladesh has many agriculture products like rice, jute, tea, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, beef, milk, and poultry. And has cotton textiles, jute, garments, tea processing, paper newsprint, cement, chemical fertilizer, light engineering, and sugar industries.
Bangladesh’s exports are $6.6 billion distributed on garments, jute and jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood, its export partners are: The United States (31.8%), Germany (10.9%), The United Kingdom (7.9%), France (5.2%), Netherlands (5.2%), and Italy (4.42%). And its imports are $8.7 billion distributed on machinery and equipment, chemicals, iron and steel, textiles, raw cotton, food, crude oil and petroleum products, and cement, its import partners are: India (10.5%), Europe (9.5%), Japan (9.5%), Singapore (8.5%), and China (7.4%). Bangladesh’s economic improvement is delayed by political infighting and corruption at all levels of government. Improvement is also blocked by opposition from the bureaucracy, public sector unions, and other vested interest groups. The BNP government (led by Prime Minister Khaleda Zia), has the parliamentary power to push through needed changes, but the party's level of political will to do that, has been lacking. Since the independence in 1971, Bangladesh has received more than $30 billion in grant aid and loan commitments from foreign donors, and about $15 billion of which has been spent. Major donors include the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the UN Development Program, the United States, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and West European countries.
Views on World Problems:
Bangladesh is a very poor country with a large population, so it wants to have good relationships with India, because India has the power to demolish Bangladesh, with Pakistan, even after the war that ended in 1971 with Pakistan. Bangladesh also wants strong relationships with rich countries, especially Muslim countries. That’s the reason why it helped Kuwait during the Gulf War. Bangladesh was also against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Bangladesh supports global peace, stability, anti-terrorism, anti-war, co-operation and development. Bangladesh led the way to the formation of SAARC, a regional co-operation forum including seven South Asian countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh has strongly pursued the cause of enhancing economic co-operation in the region. One of the resolutions that has been brought up was the formation of SAPTA known as South Asian Preferential Trading Arrangement.
"Military intervention cannot resolve the crisis in Iraq. Only the United Nations can bring an end to the war. There is still time…When Iraq was strictly abiding by the United Nations, the war began without any legal and logical basis."
Sheikh Hasina, Leader of the Opposition (President of the Awami League), Dhaka, March 30, 2003 Bangladesh is an 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).
The Portuguese traders came to Bengal in the 15th century. Then came the representatives of the Dutch, the French, and the British East India Companies. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the British extended their administrative control beyond Calcutta to Bengal. In 1859, the East India Company was replaced by the British Crown, extending the British control from Bengal in the east to the Indus River in the west.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Muslim and Hindu leaders wanted a greater degree of independence. The Hindu Indian National Congress was becoming concerned about the Hindu domination of the movement, which was led by Muslim leaders to form the All-India Muslim League in 1906. In 1913, the League had the same goal as the Indian National Congress (self-government for India within the British Empire). The Congress and the League were unable, to agree on a way to guarantee the protection of the Muslim rights (religious, economic, and political). In the decades that came, the tension between the Hindus and Muslims lead to many problems.
The idea of a separate Muslim was thought of in the 1930s. It gained fame from the Indian Muslims after 1936, when the Muslim League lost in the first elections under the 1935 constitution. On March 23, 1940, Muhammad Ali Jinnah (leader of the Muslim League) signed the "Pakistan Resolution" that demanded the creation of an independent state in areas where the majority is Muslims. At the end of World War II, the United Kingdom, under great international pressure to reduce the size of its empire, which lead to the Indian independence. India and Pakistan became independent in 1947, and the area of Bengal was divided according to religions. The Muslim half (eastern half) became East Pakistan, (and became part of the newly independent Pakistan), while the Hindu half (western half) became the Indian State of West Bengal.
Later problems between East and West Pakistan began to increase (they were separated by more than 1,000 miles of Indian Territory). The East Pakistanis felt that they are being used by the West Pakistani government. East of Pakistan had many differences between them and West Pakistan (Linguistic, cultural, and ethnic differences). The Bengalis strongly refused attempts to make Urdu the official language of Pakistan. Sheikh Mujibir Rahman (known as Mujib), decided (in 1949) to form the Awami League, a party designed mainly to support the Bengali interests. The League won 167 seats from 313 National Assembly seats.
Mujib was arrested for his political activities in 1966. The Awami League won all the East Pakistan seats of the Pakistan National Assembly in 1970 through 1971 elections and Mujib was arrested again. His party was stopped, and most of his followers went to India, and there they organized a temporary government. On March 26, 1971, after an attack by the Pakistan army, Bengali’s acknowledged an independent People's Republic of Bangladesh. As the blood shed increased between the army and the Bengali Mukti Bahini (known as the freedom fighters), an estimate 10 million Bengalis (mainly Hindus) sought refuge in the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal. The problems in East Pakistan produced damage in Pakistan's relationship with India. In 1965 the two countries fought a war, mainly in the west, but the refugee pressure in India in 1971 produced new problems in the east.
After nine months of war, the Pakistani forces surrendered in Dhaka on 16th December 1971, after killing an estimate of three million people. Thanks to the resistance and sacrifices of the freedom fighters, Bangladesh finally became an independent state.
Bangladesh became independent on 26 March 1971. The nine-month war of liberation inspired by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu, Sheikh Mujihur Rahman ended in victory for the Bangladeshi forces over the Pakistani forces on 16 December 1971. On December 16, 1971, Pakistani forces surrendered and Bangladesh (which means: Bengal nation) was formed. Bangladesh became a parliamentary democracy under a 1972 constitution.
Bangladesh had over six Prime Ministers in 20 years from independence in 1971. Father of the Nation, Bangahandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the founder and president of Bangladesh. He was then assassinated on 15th August 1975 by a group of conspirators. After 21 years of military and authoritarian rule, Bangabandhu’s party the Bangladesh Awami League led by his 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 rising water levels due to the effects of global warming.
Global warming has always been a threat to the world. Pollution is a reason for this to happen, because it destroys the ozone layer, resulting in a lot of amounts of heat to enter the atmosphere and melting the ice in both ends. You see when the ice melts and a flood happens it might destroy countries. Bangladesh is one of the countries that is threatened to lose about 10% of its land. It’s not the only country that may lose part of its land, however islands and coastal countries might lose all their land.
Bangladesh is ready to do what ever it can to stop this. it wants all countries to reduce pollution. And that scientists find ways to stop pollution, and machines that don’t make deadly gases that effect the ozone layer. Since there is a whole in the ozone layer, we don’t want it to increase in size. We hope that it is resolved as soon as possible, because the whole in the ozone layer is increasing.
2. The questions of controlling the spread of the SARS virus and finding a cure for it.
SARS also known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. It is very deadly and very contagious, that effects the respiratory system. SARS has spread widely in the eastern part of Asia. It has been a threat to all the countries surrounding Japan and China. And one of those countries is Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is ready to help solve this problem since it is threatened by it. It will stop all it airplanes from coming from infected countries so will other countries, until the problem is resolved. And it demands that some of the worlds best chemists and doctors unite to find a cure for this plague, that is threatening the whole world.
3. The question of securing food and water resources for nations in times of war and famine.
Water and food is considered necessary for nations it times of war. Since Bangladesh was a victim of war it knows how water and food are needed. Civilians and innocent people are dying from that since it country is too busy to spend money on food and water, but is spending it on weapons.
Bangladesh wants the United Nations, to help the countries that is need. It can help by Stopping wars and resolving them peacefully. And if they couldn’t they must provide the countries in need with food and water, since no one can live with out them.
4. The question of creating a nuclear free zone in the Middle East.
Creating a Nuclear Free Zone in the Middle East is necessary since some Countries might contain nuclear weapons. For example Iraq claims it has no nuclear weapons, but evidence proves that incorrect.
Bangladesh believes a Nuclear Free zone should be established. The reason for that is world peace. And that the same procedure should be done for other parts of the world.
5. The question of guaranteeing human rights and alleviating suffering in Cuba.
Cuban civilians have no rights, and the rate of suffering is increasing. Something must be done to give them back their rights and to decrease suffering. The Cubans have the same rights a any human so they deserve, the same rights as the others.
Bangladesh hopes that the United Nations takes notice about what is happening in Cuba. And try to stop suffering, and give the Cubans their human rights. And that they should receive donations from members if the United Nations.
Delegate: Bader al Mailam
Issue: The questions of controlling the spread of the SARS virus and finding a cure for it.
Defining SARS as a new disease that has recently been discovered, it’s also known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. It has claimed the lives of many innocent people and is spreading widely throughout the world;
Taking in consideration that the WHO (World Health Organization) is considering the virus Very dangerous;
Notes that, according to the WHO, about 500 or more people around the world have died because of the disease;
Further Notes that the virus is spreading rapidly around the world;
Proclaims that the virus has spread in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, and Australia;
1. Resolves that a committee of the World SARS Organization would be established, and it’s objectives would be to: A. Find a cure for the SARS virus, B. Quarantine all victims, C. Establish a hospital camp in any infected area lacking hospital and medical help, D. Pay a sum of 15 billion to fund laboratories from all over the world to find the cure and produce it;
2. Further Resolves that all of the findings done by the funded laboratories would be in the possession of the WSO and every right to sell this cure would be given to the WSO;
3. Emphasizes that the cure for SARS would be distributed to the diseased nation free of charge;
4. Urges all nations of the world to check up on every passenger arriving to this nation and test any suspected passenger carrying this disease and quarantine any carrier of this disease;
5. Further Urges all carriers of the SARS virus to go to the nearest hospital where he/she will get treated free of charge and receive a sum of money as an award after the treatment has finished;
6. Accentuates that all hospitals dealing with the issue of SARS should preserve a specific sector for the infected civilians and isolate the infected people from other medical help seekers.
Al Salam Aleekom wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuhu
Honorable chairs and delegates I’m standing here to represent my beloved country, Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a land of many stories and tales and a vast culture filled with art and beauty. And the land where everybody is welcome. But I stand here before you today with great regret and say Bangladesh is caught in the middle two countries constantly at war. And another problem is happening within the country. Bangladesh and may surrounding countries are threatened by a problem that has shook the hearts of the world and has terrorized people everywhere. Yes ladies and gentlemen this problem is SARS and today Bangladesh and two of its allies hope to pass a resolution that tackles this fast spreading virus and puts it into check…