Consecutively for the third year the Embassy of Bangladesh has celebrated International Migrants Day cohosted by Embassy of Sri Lanka, IOM and other UN agencies at UNESCAP. Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to UNESCAP, H.E. Mr. Md Nazmul Quaunine read out the messages from the President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, while message from UN Secretary General, issued on the occasion, was also shown during the event.
In his opening statement Bangladesh Ambassador flagged the initiatives taken by the government of Bangladesh. He specially focused on the government’s role for ensuring the rights of the migrants. The Deputy Director General from Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr. Chettaphan Maksamphan shed lights on the Thailand’s commitment for the migrants’ right including the special actions taken to bring reforms in total migrant governance in Thailand. He urged the forum, in his words, ‘act locally and think globally’. Ms. Vanessa Steinmayer, Officer-in-Charge, Social Development Division, ESCAP in her speech reminds the historical commitment that member countries have already made in 2018 in Marrakesh during the Global Compact for Migration Conference. She emphasized on making priorities of the agenda of migrants, good practices and joint efforts for the benefits of the migrants of the world. She asserted that it is through regional network that we can achieve the goals.
There were two representatives from two major migrant sending countries of the world, Bangladesh and Philippine. The Bangladeshi migrant has shared his personal observations and asked the government, non-government entities to work as a single unit to get rid of hatred and discrimination. The migrant voice of Philippine shared his experience being discriminated while working as a migrant and also ask all the stakeholders to work jointly for the sake of establishing the rights of the migrants.
Then representative from Migrant Forum Asia joined the event and made a statement centering around the importance of need of a stronger collaboration. After that a very comprehensive picture of the positive initiatives taken by the member countries have been pictured by Ms. Pannudda Boonpala, Deputy Regional Director, ILO Regional office for Asia and the Pacific. She also appreciated the steps taken by the government specially by the Thailand and other labour receiving countries. She suggested to have more consensus on ethical recruitment. She assured of ILO’s supports for formulation of policy framework.
After the speeches by the panelist the floor was opened for all during when the Ambassador of Germany made a speech saying that the spreading of hatred should be stopped against the migrants. The closing remarks were made by the Ambassador of Sri Lanka Mrs. Samantha K. Jayasuriya. She endorsed what have been said by the earlier speakers and reiterated the need of concerted efforts for the establishment of rights of the migrants. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Ms. Maria Nennete Motus, regional Director of IOM. During her moderation she mainly appreciated the all concerned and called upon all concerned to focus the awareness building for the migrant worker.