Country: The People's Republic of Bangladesh
Event: Pearl-MUN 2004
Student: Yousif Al-Qassar
Links to other sites on the Web: Back to the 2004 Pearl-MUN Page
Bangladesh is fully known as the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Bangladesh, which consists of parliamentary democracy government, has a political capital known as Dhaka. Bangladesh gained its independence from West Pakistan on the 16th of December, 1971. The constitution was signed effective on the 16th of December, 1972. The government type in Bangladesh is Republic. The government is divided into three main divisions and they are:
The Executive Division: It consists of the president, known as the head of state. The president is elected by the parliament for five-year renewable term. The president holds no absolute power upon the country, however, the president serves various ceremonial duties. Since September 6th 2002, president of Bangladesh was Iajuddin Ahmed. The prime minister, also known as the head of government, is appointed by the president after the parliamentary elections. in general, the leader of the party that gets the most votes is appointed prime minister. The current prime minister of Bangladesh is Khaleda Zia, who is appointed since October 10th 2001. Legislative Division: it consists of the unicameral--single chamber-- parliament, also known as the Jatiya Sangsad. The parliament holds 300 members. All members are elected by the popular votes from single territorial constituencies to serve a five year term. Judicial Division: it is represented by the Supreme Cour
There are various political parties that make the Bangladeshi society, each with its own distinctive goals. The main political parties that make up the parliament now are:
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP): This is currently the principal and main political party in Bangladesh. This party serves as a majority in the parliament and is known for its goals that are fond of a moderate policy and free-enterprise economic system. It gained 46% of the votes in the October 2001 elections and has a total of 191 seats in the parliament.
The Awami League (AL): It the second major political party in Bangladesh and it was the major party in the previous government and was then defeated by the BNP. It is now considered as the political opposition. It favors Bangladesh to be a secular state with limited socialist economy. This party gained 42% in the October 2001 elections and has a total of 62 seats in the parliament.
The Jatiya Party: It is similar to the BNP party in its platform. This party has a total of 18 seats in the parliament.
In the October 2001 elections, the BNP party led a four party, in addition to Jamaat-i-Islami, Islami Oikya Jote, and Jatiya Party, alliance to win a majority in the parliament and gaining almost two thirds of the seats in the parliament.
Bangladesh is divided into six main divisions for administrative reasons. The six divisions consist of: Baris
l, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Râjshâhi, and Sylhet. Each division is divided into zillas, or districts. These zillas represent the largest and most important units of local government. The country consists of 64 zillas, which is subdivided into upazillas, or sub-districts. These upazillas are made up of unions, which are groups of villages.
The Bangladeshi constitution was signed in 16th of December, 1972, but it had many amendments. In addition, it was suspended in 1982 because of the coup by Ershad, he presumed martial law and prohibited all political activities. The constitution was then restored in 1986 after the end of the Ershad regime.
The government had shifted to many different forms from the day of its independence. It started as democratic, parliamentary government. But in 1975, due to constitutional amendments, it became a presidential government. Yet again it returned back to being a parliamentary democracy in 1991.
Bangladesh is part of South Asia and it lies between two countries, Burma and India. It has a total area of 144,000 sq. km. Of the total area, 133,910 sq. km is land area and the other 10,090 sq. km is water area. Bangladesh has a total of 4,246 km of land boundaries. Burma has 193 km of these boundaries, while India has 4,053 km. In addition, there are 580 km of coastlines along the Bay of Bengal. In addition, almost 17.77 million acres of land is used for agriculture, which is known as the most vital source of income to the country. The main political capital of Bangladesh is Dhaka.
Most of Bangladesh lies in the delta formed by the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers. These rivers might be a subject of flooding and which, ironically, causes a deposit of fertile soil. Most of the Bangladeshi land is flat and low-lying, but the only significant area is the hilly area in the southeast which consists of less than one tenth of the whole country’s area. It is exactly the Chittagong Hill Tracts District in the narrow southeastern panhandle of the country. There lies the highest point in Bangladesh, which is the Keokradong at a height of 1,230 m. On the contrary, the lowest point in Bangladesh is the sea on the Indian Ocean, which is 0 km..
Rivers make up an important part of Bangladesh’s geography where it has a total of 200 rivers. It has two of South Asia’s largest rivers and they are the Ganges and Brahmaputra, which then merge together forming the Padma. The Meghna in southeast of Dhaka joins with the Padma and pour the Bay of the Bengal.
Generally, Bangladesh is quite poor when it comes to natural resources. In fact, there is only a slight exception where it has some sources of natural gas that was recently discovered. However, when it comes to the other minerals they are clearly meager. There is an estimate of 300 trillion cu m of natural gas reserves both off and on shore. In fact, natural gas is the principal energy resource in Bangladesh, which is mainly used in industry for the making nitrogenous fertilizers. There are some oil deposits and in addition to that there are also some coal fields in the northwest of the country. In the northeast of the country, pottery and limestone clays are found.
In addition, Bangladesh is also mainly dependent on agriculture as an important natural resource. In fact, the main product of agriculture would be the rice paddies that are exceedingly spread along the delta. Bangladesh is one of the leading producers of rice almost 39 million metric tons of rice is produced. The other main agricultural product is jute, which is the chief crop that is being exported. In 2002, the total amount of jute harvested was 859,740 metric tons. Tea is also an important cash crop and is grown almost exclusively in the northeast, around Sylhet. Moreover, cattle and buffalo are various and are raised for dung, a source of fuel), hides, for leather, and meat. Other crops include various oilseeds that are used mainly for cooking oil, potatoes, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, bananas, mangoes and pineapples.
Bangladesh has an estimated total population of 138,448,210, which makes it one of the most populous countries of the world. The growth rate of the population is estimated to be 2.1 percent. Bangladesh supports a large rural population, where only 26 percent of the population was
The majority of the Bangladeshis speak the Bengali, but also other languages are spoken too. Urdu is mainly spoken by the Bihâris and in addition to that English is commonly used in high education and government. Muslims represent 83% of the total population. Other religions include a majority of the Hindus, which represents 16% of the population. The remainder 1% is distributed between Buddhists and Christians.
There is a religious stability among the Bangladeshi population, but there are small minor conflicts. One is the resolved demand for autonomy by the Buddhist Chakmas. The rebellion of this small ethnic group was quelled by the government in 1997.
Bangladesh being a densely populated country with a major lack of natural has an obvious negative effect on the economy of the country. Bangladesh is surely one of the poorest countries in the world. Unfortunately, the monsoon season brings with it heavy floods and cyclones that devastate the country’s economy. Thousands of people become homeless each due to these harsh weathers.
Bangladesh’s poor economical status might be the result of misuse of the natural resources. First of all, vast natural gas reserves gained neglect in terms of export. As mentioned earlier, floods and cyclones slow down the stable growth of the economy. Internal political conflicts and government corruption aid to stall any economic improvement. The major obstructions towards economical progress are, in addition to floods and cyclones, unproductive state-owned enterprises, insufficient port facilities, a rapid growth in labor force that cannot be absorbed by agriculture, delays in utilizing energy resources (mainly natural gas), inadequate power supplies and slow accomplishment of economic reforms.
There are a total of 70,792,946 laborers in Bangladesh as of 2001. They are distributed on agriculture as 63%, services as 26% and in industry as 11%. Although the principal amounts of laborers work in the agricultural sector, agriculture only represents 23.3 percent of the GDP. While, on the other hand, the services sector has the highest GDP percentage of 51.6. The total GDP (Gross domestic product) as of 2002 in Bangladesh is $238.2 billion. In 2002, the export costs were $6.2 billion and are distributed as garments, jute, jute goods, leather, frozen fish and seafood. The major export partners with percentage of each are: US 27.6%, Germany 10.4%, UK 9.8%, France 5.7%, Italy 4%. As for imports, Bangladesh spent a $8.5 billion cost, meaning that they are not a self-sufficient country when comparing the exports with imports. In addition, the inflation rate in consumer prices is 3.1%. Moreover, the GDP growth is 4.8%. However, the main imports traded in are mac
The monetary system in Bangladesh is the taka (abbreviated as BDT). Each year the taka’s value is decreasing as a result of economical deficiency. However, Bangladesh is trying to improve its economical status.
The Bangladeshi military is divided into three main parts and they are: the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. Military service in Bangladesh is voluntary. The main role of the Bangladeshi Armed forces is to defend the national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Bangladesh. The Armed Forces also help civil supervision in maintaining internal peace and help in case of emergencies. Bangladesh is a frequent donor to the UN peacekeeping forces. Also the Armed Forces help in disaster management in cases of need. There are also several paramilitary forces such as the Bangladesh Rifles, Bangladesh Ansars, Village Defense Parties, Armed Police Battalions and National Cadet Corps. It is estimated that there are 22,807,339 males that are fit for military service and are between the ages of 15-49.
Views on World Problems:
Due to its weak economical status, Bangladesh adopted a foreign policy that mainly focuses on economical issues. First of all, Bangladesh importantly focuses on having good relations with most countries in order to gain economic assistance from every possible source. In addition, it has very good relations with the many of the superpower countries, mainly the United States. Furthermore, it dedicates much of its policy upon solving economic problems of the poorer countries of the world, which is Bangladesh is part of. Although Bangladesh has desperate needs in certain areas, it is still has its own self-aware choices that is not affected by any superpower nations. In fact, Bangladesh has certain opinions concerning major international issues that caused the United States much annoyance. However, Bangladesh is also tied to its Islamic heritage making it have good relations with wealthy Arab countries in specific and the whole Islamic community in general. With th
Bangladesh has a general "no enemy" policy in which it tries to tie good relations with most of the major countries and neighboring. But this does not mean that Bangladesh is weak with its foreign policy and this does not mean that it is silent on its rights. In fact, it had to go in many disputes with India among territorial reclamation. Other policies include global peace, stability, co-operation and development.
Bangladesh is member of the United Nations and also a member in many other organizations. Such organizations include: AsDB, C, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM, OIC, OPCW, SAARC, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMISET, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNOMIG, UNU, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO. In fact, Bangladesh lead the way into the formation of the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) which members are: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The area of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh was first settled in 1000 BC. by Dravidian-speaking people who were later known as the Bang. Many empires ruled this area until the year 1202 AD., where the Turkish conquest brought with it Islam. Turks ruled Bengal for several decades before the conquest of Dhaka by forces of the Mughal emperor Akbar the Great (1556-1605) in 1576. Bengal remained a Mughal province until the beginning of the collapse of the Mughal Empire in the eighteenth century.
During the Mughal regime, many Portuguese traders, more namely pirates, reached the Bengal area in the late 15th century. Many other conquerors came to that area and include the Dutch, the French and the British indirectly represented by the East India Company. By the fall of the Mughal Empire in 1757, the areas of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh was under the indirect rule of the East India Company. By time this company became more powerful until it reached a state of being unchallengeable. By 1859, the British Crown had rule over the area that became present-day independent Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
In 1947, both India and Pakistan were awarded independence from the British rule. This rule left the area divided into two main parts the Hindu parts, which consisted of India, and the Muslim part, consisting of Pakistan. In addition, Pakistan is also divided into two main parts, the west and east parts. The west part represents present day Pakistan and the east part represents present day Bangladesh. These two parts where separated by two main things and they are the language, Urdu versus Bengali, and by the Indian territory between them. In 1949, Bengali leaders, specifically Sheikh Mujib, founded the Awami league to fight the autonomy of East Pakistan.
In 1966, Mujib was arrested for his act. Then by the 1970-71 election the Awami League won a vast majority of 162 out of 300 seats in the parliament. A military crackdown was initiated by the Pakistanis, much Bangladeshi blood was shed. The Indian Army interfered supporting the Bengali side. By December 1971, the Pakistani forces surrendered and East Pakistan became the free nation of Bangladesh.
In 1975, the country had many political disorders causing the assassination of Mujibur Rahman. By 1979, General Zaiur Rahman "Zia" came after him and founded the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Unfortunately, in 1981 Zia was assassinated also by a military coup. By this, Ershad claimed presidency at 1983. But in 1990 he resigned due to opposition party pressures. In 1991 and under a caretaker government, the BNP party gained a majority in the parliament and Begum Khaleda Zia, Rahman’s widow, is awarded Prime Minister. There where a series of boycotts by the opposition which led to Zia’s resignation as a result of continuous threats and pressure. Under a caretaker government again, the Awami League gained power again by the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, it was the only time where a prime minister continued her full time service. But in 2001, the rule returned to Zia as the BNP party and now she is in rule.
Issue # 1: The issue of the rights and the availability of generic drugs:
Generic drugs are important to poor countries, such as Bangladesh, in order to sustain the general health of the country. Brand-name drugs have a great influence on the economical status of the country. Unfortunately, most of the European and American medicine industries are concentrated in the countries of the Third World. They provide high prices for certain that the people certainly need. It is at the end the poorest people who pay highest for the drugs. Each year Bangladesh spends almost 40 percent of its health budget on drugs. Vaccine plays an important role in Bangladesh so it needs the drugs for it. However, one third of the drugs is unessential and is brand-name drugs that break down the Bangladeshi economy.
Bangladesh finds it important to import or to make generic drugs in order to lower the health budget on drugs. By this Bangladesh will be more dependent on itself for drugs that costs it a lot if imported. Bangladesh continues to develop rules and policies that agree with the right of having generic drugs.
Issue # 2: The issue of the rights of displaced people:
The issue of displaced people is clearly shown in Bangladesh. Up to 500,000 thousand people are internally displaced in Bangladesh. The main conflict is concentrated in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. The main displaced people are the Buddhist Chakmas. The conflict is formally ended in 1997 by a peace agreement.
Bangladesh thinks that the displaced people must have there rights fulfilled in order to sustain the country’s peace status. It also thinks that it must not be to easy to give them there complete rights. The agreement is put on hold now because it has influence on Bangladesh’s sovereignty.
Issue # 3: The issue of the trade of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction:
Bangladesh is neighbors to both India and Pakistan. Both of these countries are into a race into nuclear arming. Both of these countries were at verge of a nuclear war. However, the Bangladeshi government continuously moves in order to suppress the tension.
Bangladesh’s policy towards nuclear weapons is complete the disarming of both nuclear and mass destruction weapons. Bangladesh suggests a weapon free zone. Bangladesh also urges to stop nuclear trade worldwide. Bangladesh also calls for a complete ban for the manufacturing of nuclear weapons. Bangladesh’s calls for a world filled with peace and free of nuclear threats.
Defining a generic drug as "an identical, or bioequivalent to a brand name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use" according to the US. Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
Bearing in mind that generic drugs are less expensive than bioequivalent brand name drugs,
Deeply disturbed that it takes up to 20 years in order for the generic drug to be manufactured and sold due to copyright laws concerning brand name drugs,
Alarmed by the increase of spread of diseases worldwide and especially HIV/AIDS by which 5 million people are introduced to this disease each year,
Deeply concerned that six million people in developing countries have HIV infections that urgently require antiretroviral treatment to keep them alive and healthy but fewer than 300,000 are being treated,
Viewing with appreciation Bangladesh’s role in encouraging the local manufacturing of generic drugs through the National Drug Policy (NDP),
Welcoming the United States’ attribution to speed up the approval for manufacturing generic AIDS drugs that, if approved, will help needed countries worldwide,
Expressing its Satisfaction to the World Health Organization (WHO) that is willing to insure the spread of an antiretroviral generic drug treatment to 3 million people worldwide,
Expecting all nations to work together into approving the rights of having and manufacturing of generic drugs due to its significance to poor, developing countries that need these drugs drastically but cannot afford the brand name drugs,
1. Designates the formation of the United Nations Organization of Drug and Medicine (UNODM), which consists of all the representatives of the general assembly, in addition to scientists, experts and technicians that will be meeting once every year and in emergency situations, the headquarters of UNODM will be decided by a vote in the general assembly once the resolution is approved,
2. Declares that scientists, experts and technicians will be hired once the UNODM is fully formed and they will be specialized in transportation, chemical engineering, statistics and machinery: A. Every country that has the capability to donate operatives will do so and the best are chosen, B. Each country will have a representative that is an expert in the medicine and drug field, C. Statisticians will be sent to each country in order to study their cases, D. Transport experts will be used for choosing the best transportation methods for the drugs, such as land vehicles, ships and cargo planes, E. Scientists and chemical engineers will research in order to manufacture the generic drugs in need, F. Machinery experts will be provided machines that will help with the production of generic drugs, G. Affirms that the UNODM will study and assess the medical status of each of the needing countries based on the following procedure, H. A full economical report will cover all areas of financial status of the country and its ability to buy generic drugs, I. A group of experts will be sent to these countries based on their demand and under their approval to study the several diseases found in the country and issue the available cures, J. Experts will study if the country in need already has drug factories that could be used to issue the drugs locally, K. Experts also will study the capability of the country to import or manufacture generic drugs, L. After studying the country’s status, the UNODM will then decide if the country seriously needs the drugs and it will then send the drugs to them if they were seriously in need, M. A group of transport experts will provide a route to this country if it is approved to provide them with necessary drugs, N. If the country financially cannot buy the drugs, then the UNODM will buy the drugs for them;
3. Calls upon the security council to send peacekeeping troops along with the organization’s experts in countries that need these vital generic drugs if the country was in a state of war;
4. Further requests the Food and Drug Association (FDA) to quickly give approvals for the manufacture of generic drugs for countries that are vitally in need for these drugs,
5. Expresses its hopes to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to allow needed countries in need to import vital generic drugs if they were unable to import them previously,
6. Resolves that the UNODM will send drugs to countries that are affected by the diseases after it maintains the health of the seriously affected countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Honorable Chair and fellow delegates; Good Afternoon:
The lush forests, flowing rivers, and roaring Bengal Tiger are distinctive aspects of my country. You could see the beauty of nature merging with human life in great peace and harmony. However, this nature might be infuriated in some seasons, more likely the monsoon and cyclone seasons. But for most of the time people and nature express love when you see them in unions along the rice fields and through the flowing Ganges River. Yes ladies and gentlemen Bangladesh, a country full of peace, greets with open arms.
However, this natural harmony is also disturbed by the fact that people worldwide are suffering from diseases that need expensive drugs, thus we must all work together in producing generic drugs and distributing to needed countries. For the past two decades Bangladesh was able to convert all of its drugs to cheap affordable generic drugs.
From its experience, Bangladesh wants to spread its experience to countries worldwide. Lets work together to help the young and the old in Africa and in Asia that are suffering each and every day. Lets all work together in eradicating diseases such as AIDS from the face of the earth.