Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) have a Hybrid Seminar on “Human Rights in the 21st Century: Rhetoric and Reality” on 23 March 2022. H. E. Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, MP, Hon’ble Speaker, Bangladesh Parliament (Jatiyo Sangshad) graced the occasion as the chief guest. Nasima Begum, Chairmen, National Human Rights Commission Bangladesh, graced the occasion as the special guest. Major General Mohammad Maksudur Rahman, OSP, BSP, psc, Director General, BIISS, delivered the welcome address. Ambassador Kazi Imtiaz Hossain, Chairman, BIISS presided over the inaugural session and delivered the concluding remarks. In the working session, Ms. Huma Khan, Senior Human Rights Advisor for the UN System, presented on “Framework of Global Human Rights and Good Practices”; Professor Dr. Mizanur Rahman, Director, BILIA and former chairmen of NHRC, Bangladesh made a presentation on “Twilight of Human Rights Law: Diversity and Social Justice in Perspective”, Shubash Wostey, Senior Protection Officer, UNHCR deliberated on “International Protection and Human Rights”, and Ms. Aroma Dutta, MP, Hon’ble Member of Bangladesh Parliament, presented on “Ensuring Rights for Invisible Communities”. The working session was also moderated by Ambassador Kazi Imtiaz Hossain, Chairman, BIISS.
At the outset, Major General Mohammad Maksudur Rahman, OSP, BSP, psc, Director General of BIISS described the importance of human rights as the central pillar of peace and stable international order. The 21st century is facing numerous challenges in upholding human rights all over the world. He also referred to Bangladesh’s United Nations Peacekeeping Operations efforts to maintain global peace and security. He highlighted that Bangladesh has kept its commitment under international human rights law by hosting over a million Rohingya refugees. It has become an example to the world for humanity and generosity.
In her remarks, special guest Nasima Begum, ndc, Hon’ble chairmen of The National Human Rights Commission, noted that at present, there is no country in the world without human rights challenges. Thus, there is an urgency of preserving and promoting the human rights of all people, all over the world. In this regard, she highlighted on Bangladesh’s constitution which enshrines the fundamental rights of the people. She mentioned that the National Human Rights Commission of Bangladesh, has been actively pursuing in its efforts to protect fundamental human rights and improve the human rights condition. She informed the audience that NHRC efforts and work as a watchdog and which plays a pivotal role to push forward the human rights agenda through advocacy. She highly praised Bangladesh’s efforts for sheltering the displaced Rohingyas of Myanmar and added that Bangladesh holds the topmost position in ensuring gender equality in South Asia.
In the seminar, Chief Guest H. E. Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, MP, Hon’ble Speaker, Bangladesh Parliament, expressed her expectation that every state should uphold human rights. She strongly believed that human rights are natural right and inalienable by any authority without reasonable justification. Besides, she mentioned about the constitution of Bangladesh which enshrines the fundamental human rights. She added that Bangladesh is committed to promote and protect human rights.
Ambassador Kazi Imtiaz Hossain, Chairman of BIISS noted that, the discussion in the Seminar is leading the way for further importance for upholding the human rights. He reiterated that Bangladesh’s commitment to promote and protect human rights. He stated that Bangladesh strongly supports international mechanism for upholding human rights.
Huma Khan, Senior Human Rights Advisor for UN system, pointed out that Bangladesh has done tremendously well in terms of both upholding and ensuring Human rights. She emphasized about owning the human rights frameworks by all the people and nations in the world. She also talked about global north and global south to work together and contribute to the global framework for human rights.
Professor Dr. Mizanur Rahman said Human rights refer to a wide continuum of value claims ranging from the most justifiable to the most aspirational. Professor Rahman added Human rights are universal, including all, someone even the unborn. Dr Rahman believes that the basic postulate of human rights is nothing but ensuring a life with dignity. Bangladesh’s proclamation of independence in 1971 was to ensure equality, social justice and human dignity for the people of Bangladesh. He also expressed gratitude towards the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and praised her leadership in steering the country into the age of development and upholding human rights.
Shubhash Wostey, Senior Protection Officer, UNHCR noted that forcibly displaced people are also linked with human right. He praised and expressed deep gratitude towards the Bangladesh government for hosting over a million Rohingya refugees. Mr. Wostey said that stateless people or displaced community need protection under international, regional and national human rights framework.
Ms. Aroma Dutta, MP highlighted that Bangladesh has been a bright example for women empowerment and their development in the society. She also mentioned that lawmakers should push forward the issues of indigenous rights and implement peace accord at CHT. She also praised the government for their relentless efforts to manage the pandemic and ensure vaccine for all.
Senior officials from different ministries of government, ambassadors and high commissioners, former diplomats, senior military officials, media, academia, researchers, teachers and students from different universities, representatives from different.