Bangladesh Prime Minister’s Geneva Visit, 2023: An Overview and Way Forward

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In order to attend the two-day “World of Work Summit: Social Justice for All” scheduled to take place in Geneva, Switzerland on June 14–15, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina traveled to the country. On June 14, the UNHCR chief Flippo Grandi will meet with the prime minister in the hotel President Wilson. The PM will later meet with Swiss Confederation President Alain Berset in the Palais de Nations. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the improvement of knowledge and skills between Bangladesh and Switzerland may be signed after the call.  The prime minister will speak to the plenary of the “World of Work Summit 2023” at the Palais de Nations in the afternoon. She will be welcomed by the ADG and the Regional Director of ILO when she gets there. A red carpet welcome and guard of honor will be present as you enter the meeting location. She will also speak over the phone with Dr. George Vella, the president of Malta.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s trip to Geneva, Switzerland, for the “World of Work Summit: Social Justice for All” is significant because it highlights Bangladesh’s economic progress and other functional international engagement amidst the recent global economic downturn. Bilateral meetings, the probable signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, and the prime minister’s speech at the summit are all included in the visit. The event emphasizes the importance of international cooperation and is intended to discuss a Global Coalition for Social Justice. The interaction of the prime minister with the community also emphasizes inclusive governance. The prospects and effects of the visit will therefore be clarified in the following parts.

However, the PM will attend a banquet organized by the DG ILO at its offices in the evening with top dignitaries. She will attend the “A talk at the WEF” on June 15 and then meet with Prof. Klaus Schwab, the organization’s founder, in the WEF Office. She will speak at the World Economic Forum’s session on “New Economy and Society in Smart Bangladesh” there. WTO DG Dr. Okonjo-Iweala will visit her at Hotel President Wilson in the evening. In the evening, she will also go to a neighborhood gathering. On June 16, Hasina will depart from Geneva and is anticipated to arrive in Dhaka early on June 17.

According to the organizers, “The World of Work Summit 2023: Social Justice for All” will serve as a high-level venue for voices from around the world to discuss the need for more action that is cogent and organized in support of social justice. It will present a chance to discuss and provide input on the proposal to create a Global Coalition for Social Justice, which was endorsed by the International Labour Office’s Governing Body at its 347th Session. The conference will feature speeches by a number of high-profile visitors, including Kailash Satyarthi, the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, former presidents of France and Panama, Francois Hollande, and Juan Carlos Varela.

Implications for Bangladesh

International Cooperation During the Global Economic Crisis

Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s trip to Geneva exemplifies the country’s unwavering dedication to global involvement, notwithstanding the recent economic crisis. Bangladesh demonstrates its proactive attitude to solving important global issues and working with international stakeholders by actively participating in international events. The visit sends a clear message that Bangladesh is committed to participating in international debates and advancing common solutions.

Bilateral consultations and cooperation

The bilateral discussions that are scheduled as part of the tour are crucial for developing diplomatic connections and promoting cooperation between Bangladesh and other countries. The prime minister’s meeting with the head of the UNHCR, Flippo Grandi, and the president of the Swiss Confederation, Alain Berset, offers important chances to go through important topics, compare viewpoints, and look for areas of cooperation. Further demonstrating the intention to strengthen cooperation in areas of shared interest is the prospective signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on knowledge and skills upgrading between Bangladesh and Switzerland.

Focus on Global Coalition and Social Justice

The “World of Work Summit: Social Justice for All” provides an essential forum for addressing the demand for more extensive, well-organized, and cogent action in favor of social justice. The purpose of the summit is to discuss and provide information on the proposal to create a Global Coalition for Social Justice, which was approved by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office during its 347th Session. The participation of Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the summit demonstrates Bangladesh’s dedication to advancing social justice on a global scale and actively shaping programs and policies that support inclusive and equitable communities.

Engagement with the community and inclusive governance

The prime minister’s visit highlighted the government’s commitment to inclusive governance and attending to the worries and aspirations of the populace. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasizes her commitment to comprehending grassroots realities and making sure that policies and programs are made to elevate neglected populations by participating in a community function. This strategy highlights the value of participatory governance and highlights how responsive the government is to the concerns of its people.

Participation in Global Forums

As a participant in global forums, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has the chance to participate in discussions on important economic and social concerns on a worldwide scale. The prime minister presents Bangladesh’s vision for inclusive and sustainable development by speaking at both the World Economic Forum’s session on “New Economy and Society in Smart Bangladesh” and the plenary of the “World of Work Summit 2023.” Her engagement in these international forums enables her to share the experiences, triumphs, and challenges of the nation while also learning from those of other countries and engaging in constructive discussion on reshaping Bangladesh’s economy and society.

Developing Collaboration with Important Global Stakeholders

The visit to Geneva provides a platform for developing collaboration with important global stakeholders. Discussions about shared interests, potential business partnerships, and ways for mutual cooperation are facilitated by interactions with high-level dignitaries like the Director-General (DG) of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF), and the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Such interactions not only deepen bilateral ties but also give Bangladesh the chance to benefit from assistance and know-how from abroad to further its development objectives.

Multilateral Engagement and Diplomatic Relations

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s bilateral talks with important individuals, such the head of the UNHCR and the president of the Swiss Confederation, have improved diplomatic ties between Bangladesh and these nations. These interactions not only offer forums for discussing common goals, but they also open doors for cooperation in fields including aid work, trade, and investment.

Encouraging Global Recognition and Social Justice

In addition to demonstrating Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s commitment to social justice, her participation at the “World of Work Summit: Social Justice for All” and her speech at the plenary session position Bangladesh as a supporter of inclusive development and equitable societies on the international stage. The prime minister draws attention to the nation’s initiatives, programs, and best practices as he actively participates in conversations and shares them. Bangladesh is working to alleviate social inequality, raise labor standards, and advance social welfare.

High-profile attendees at the conference, such as Nobel laureates and previous presidents, increase the relevance of Bangladesh’s participation and bring attention to the nation’s initiatives on a global scale. Bangladesh’s international position is improved by this acknowledgment, which also gives the country a platform to highlight its successes and contributions to the world community.

Increasing International Cooperation

Bangladesh is committed to increasing international cooperation, particularly in areas of shared interest like the development of knowledge and skills, as evidenced by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s trip to Geneva. The probable signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Bangladesh and Switzerland in this regard deepens the relationship even more and opens the door for cooperative projects like knowledge sharing and capacity building. Such collaborations are essential in the linked world of today because they encourage the exchange of knowledge, resources, and creative ideas, which eventually results in sustainable development and advantages for all parties involved.

Bangladesh’s Development and Potential

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has the chance to showcase Bangladesh’s development, economic resiliency, and promise as a rising country by taking part in international events like the WEF. She will be discussing the “New Economy and Society in Smart Bangladesh” topic, which will allow her to emphasize the nation’s initiatives in digital transformation, sustainable development, and innovation-driven inclusive growth. This exposure promotes Bangladesh as a desirable investment location and makes it possible to work together, transfer technology, and share information with international partners.

Knowledge and Skills Enhancement

The possible MoU between Bangladesh and Switzerland on knowledge and skills improvement shows how important human capital development is. Bangladesh seeks to close the skills gap, increase workforce productivity, and expand employment prospects through building collaborations with nations recognized for their knowledge in a variety of fields. Through information exchange, career training programs, and exchange initiatives, Bangladeshi workers may be able to develop fresh skills and abilities in line with the demands of the changing global labor market.

Inspiration for Domestic Policy Formulation

The engagements, speeches, and interactions of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the tour can offer ideas and insights for domestic policy formulation. Bangladesh can adapt and put into practice pertinent ideas to meet its own developmental difficulties by studying foreign best practices, novel approaches, and success stories shared at international forums. This can aid in improving current policies, bringing in fresh reforms, and accelerating the nation’s progress toward its sustainable development goals.

In conclusion, Bangladesh will benefit significantly from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s trip to Geneva for the “World of Work Summit: Social Justice for All” in terms of global recognition, collaboration, social justice advocacy, inclusive governance, international engagement, and participation in international fora. This visit not only demonstrates Bangladesh’s dedication to tackling global issues, but also gives Bangladesh the chance to make a statement about them.

– Syed Raiyan Amir is a Research Associate at the KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA).

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