May 25, 2024, 9:32 pm

Diplomatic correspondent

2024-04-21 03:30:34 BdST

Bangladesh highlights CHT Peace Accord Implementation progress at UN

Bangladesh at the 23rd session of the United Nations (UN) Permanent Forum on Indigenous People at the UN headquarters here has highlighted the progress of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord Implementation and the development of small ethnicities, ethnic groups and communities undertaken by the government.

Bangladesh delegation led by Hill Chittagong Affairs Secretary Md Moshiur Rahman, the 23rd session is being held for two weeks from April 15 to 26, 2024 at the UN Headquarters, said a press release received here this afternoon. 

Other delegation members includes Land Ministry Secretary Md Khalilur Rahman, Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board Chairman Supradeep Chakma and the representatives of the Prime Minister's Office, the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Permanent Mission in the UN.

The CHT Affairs secretary in his presentation highlighted the government's various activities in line with the treaty to preserve and develop unique regional culture and heritage in the hilly regions in Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh Constitution has provided equal rights to the people of the country, irrespective of religion, caste, caste, gender or place of birth, he mentioned.

Referring to the signing of the historic Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord in 1997 under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said the decades-long conflict in the hilly regions has come to an end and it was possible to integrate the people of the small ethnic groups living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts into the mainstream of the country's development. 

"About the implementation of the agreement, the process of implementing its provisions through an inclusive and participatory process is going on . . . and some 65 sections out of total 72 have already been fully implemented while three were partially implemented and four others are under implementation", he mentioned.

In addition, the secretary informed the meeting about the incumbent government's various steps taken to ensure the overall development of the region, including digital land survey and management initiatives to ensure security in Hilly Chittagong, protect the environmental balance, and settle land disputes.

Noting that since the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord, there has been a tremendous change in the overall development of the region, he added that the government is doing its various development activities there in consultation with the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council.

Meanwhile, several UN agencies and international development partners are implementing various development projects in the region, he added.

In the presentation, the delegation said the government has established specialized cultural institutions to protect and promote the culture, language and traditions of the minority ethnic groups through legislation. 

"Free textbooks in their respective languages are being distributed regularly to children of five ethnic minorities. Five percent quota is reserved for Class III and IV government jobs and admissions to government educational institutions," it was told there, adding that currently, there are four members in the Jatiya Sangsad and one member in the cabinet.

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