Thursday, 01 June, 2023
Thursday, 01 June, 2023

Harvard University Hosts Roundtable Discussion on 'Bangladesh: Achievements, Challenges and Way Forward'

Diplomatic Correspondent,
  21 Mar 2023, 15:40

“Bangladesh is on the right track under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in realizing the ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman”, said the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A.K. Abdul Momen. He remarked this as the keynote speaker at a roundtable discussion titled ‘Bangladesh: Achievements, Challenges and Way Forward’ organized by The Ash Center of Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University yesterday (20 March 2023). The roundtable discussion was well-attended, with significant participation of faculty members, researchers and post-graduate students of Kennedy School. The event provided a unique opportunity for policymakers, academics and experts to engage in discussions on Bangladesh's success in the domestic and international arena, the challenges it is currently facing and promises it holds. 

The Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. Momen emphasized the country's phenomenal progress in its economic and developmental landscapes, including poverty alleviation, women empowerment, natural disaster management, digital transformation as well as power and transport infrastructure development. Reiterating the government’s steadfast commitments and outcome oriented strategies in turning Bangladesh to ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Dr. Momen credited this spectacular development trajectory of Bangladesh to the visionary and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The Minister presented Bangladesh's success stories of evolving into a resilient economy, a connecting hub and an investment destination. On that note of economic success, he mentioned the issue of Bangladesh’s transition from the least-developed country to a developing nation. Underlining the roadmap for development, he stressed the role of technology, innovation and research in realising the vision of ‘Smart Bangladesh’.

The geopolitical realities of the region and beyond was reflected in the address of the Foreign Minister. He shed light on the role and contributions of Bangladesh in the regional context, articulating the importance of cooperation and partnership, particularly with neighboring countries. The Minister stated that Bangladesh is committed to promoting peace, harmony and stability in the region and beyond in accordance with its foreign policy objective “Friendship to all, malice towards none”. The discussion also focused on tackling the challenges posed by the Rohingya crisis, climate change adversity, pandemic fallout as well as ramifications of global political, financial, economic and security uncertainties.

During the interactive session, the participants shared their insights and perspectives, contributing to a lively discussion on various aspects of Bangladesh in particular, as well as global and regional dynamics in general. 

Anthony Saich, Daewoo Professor of International Affairs of the Ash Center and Director of the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia at Harvard Kennedy School delivered the welcome remarks and thanked the Foreign Minister for attending the roundtable. Consul General of Bangladesh in New York Dr. Mohammad Monirul Islam made the closing remarks, voicing optimism that the cooperation between the Government of Bangladesh and the Ash Center would be further consolidated in the days to come.



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