Activists from 50 countries to join Peace Conference: Momen


Dhaka, Dec 01: Bangladesh is set to host the ‘World Peace Conference’ from December 4 to continue its global quest of promoting ‘culture of peace’ while nearly 100 representatives from 50 countries are expected to join the two-day gathering.

“Around 59 participants from over 30 countries will join in person while around 40 guests will join virtually,” foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said briefing the reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today.

He said Dhaka did not invite any head of states or governments to join the conference but invited peace activists, writers, poets, singers and civil society members from different countries, who work at the ground level, to join the conference.

President Abdul Hamid will inaugurate the “World Peace Conference-2021” on December 4 while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to attend the concluding day of the gathering on December 5 as the chief guest virtually.

“Bangladesh will get a special document through adoption of – Dhaka Peace Declaration – which will work as a reference for Bangladesh’s all peace and security-related global initiatives to be taken in the future,” Dr Momen said.

The foreign minister said the conference will review the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s vision and political struggle for peace while the essence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina initiated global ‘culture of peace’ to be widely discussed.

Dr Momen said the essence Prime Minister’s ‘culture of peace’, that she first placed at the UN in 1999, is to establish sustainable global peace and for that “She calls all to increase tolerance to each other”.

Foreign minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina showed the essence of culture of peace by offering shelter to huge numbers of persecuted Rohingyas under humanitarian ground.

Bangladesh would like to showcase its triumph of humanity through this peace conference, he added.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen were also present at the briefing.

Alam said some invited guests, including from South Africa, converted their participation into virtual one due to outbreak of new Covid-19 variant.

The government is hosting the Conference as a part of its celebrations marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50-year anniversary of the country’s independence.

Apart from the inauguration and closing ceremony, four panel discussions will be held on different issues over peace.

Earlier, a 46-member committee was formed with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury as its chair and Saima Wazed Hossain as its member secretary to successfully host the World Peace Conference.

Foreign Minister Dr Momen will host dinner in honor of the guests on December 3 while Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury will host separate dinner for the guests on December 4.

The participating guests will visit a number of places of historical importance including Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi-32, National Museum, Dhaka University campus and Liberation War Museum.

Prominent Speakers

The prominent speakers likely to join the conference are – Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations; Goh Chok Tong, former Prime Minister of Singapore; Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Irina Bokova, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria; Jos‚ Ramos-Horta, former President of East Timor; Tan Sri Dr Syed Hamid Albar, Chairman, World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation; Dr Francisco Rojas Aravena, Rector of University for Peace; Surichai Wun’Gaeo, Director of Center for Peace and Conflict Studies Chulalongkorn University; Husain Haqqani, former Pakistan’s Ambassador to United States & Sri Lanka; Dr Akiko Horiba, Program Director & Senior Program Officer, Asia Peace Initiative Department, Sasakawa Peace Foundation; Archie Law, Chair of Sydney Peace Foundation; Dr Irene Victoria Massimino, Human Rights Lawyer, professor and activist; Simone Neads, Managing Editor, The European Security Journal; Philip Ruddock AO, President, NSW Liberal Party; Chandrika N. Wijeyaratne, Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and David Wick, Executive Director, Ashland Culture of Peace Commission.