British PM for smooth transition of power to elected govt | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 20, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 20, 2008

Talks With CA

British PM for smooth transition of power to elected govt

Gordon Brown

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has underlined the importance of smooth transition of power to an elected government promptly following elections in Bangladesh.
Brown made the remark during a meeting with Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed at 10 Downing Street Tuesday afternoon.
A joint statement released after the meeting said the prime minister and the chief adviser agreed that credible elections that can sustain democracy in the longer term are essential for Bangladesh.
The chief adviser categorically reaffirmed his government's firm resolve to hold free, fair and credible parliamentary elections in Bangladesh by December 2008.
He informed the British prime minister that the caretaker government would hold early dialogue with political parties and remove restrictions to enable them to fully participate in successful democratic parliamentary elections.
Both sides were happy to note the good progress of the project to update the voter list.
The prime minister and the chief adviser agreed that strong public institutions, justice and observance of due process and human rights were the bedrock of a healthy democracy.
They observed with satisfaction the institutional reforms of the caretaker government to strengthen the mandate of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Election Commission and Public Service Commission, and to establish a human rights commission.
They agreed that public institutions should play a leading role in setting high standards of governance under the newly elected government and that it was vital for them to act with respect for international standards of due process and basic individual rights at all times.
They noted that the separation of the judiciary from the executive in Bangladesh had been a historic step forward and underlined the importance of a strong and independent judiciary for ensuring fair and transparent trials for all.
Both sides agreed to work closely together to combat terrorism and to enhance Bangladesh's institutional capacity to that effect. They agreed in this regard that education, women's empowerment, opportunity and prosperity in mainstream society offered the most effective defence against extremism.
The chief adviser highlighted the climate change challenge uniquely faced by Bangladesh due to global warming and sea level rise. Both sides agreed to work together in international forums to secure an effective and responsible international response to climate change.
The prime minister confirmed that Britain would host an international climate change conference in London in May this year at the request of the government of Bangladesh to explore how the country can best prepare and adapt to a changing global environment.
The chief adviser confirmed Bangladesh's support for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Call to Action. This was launched by the UN secretary general and the prime minister in July 2007 to encourage greater collective action to attain the MDGs by 2015. Both sides agreed to further strengthen cooperation on achieving the MDGs in Bangladesh.
The prime minister announced British support for a new £50 million education programme - “English in Action” - with the government of Bangladesh.
It would contribute to economic growth by improving the English language skills of 25 million Bangladeshis, helping them participate more effectively in business and international trade.
The two heads of government expressed satisfaction at the level of bilateral trade and investment between the two countries. The chief adviser expressed his hope that British investment would continue to grow in Bangladesh and that Britain would play a leading role in the G8 and in multilateral trade negotiations to secure duty-free market access for LDCs such as Bangladesh.
They expressed satisfaction at the thriving strategic partnership of equals between Britain and Bangladesh.
They acknowledged the important role played by the vibrant British-Bangladeshi community in forging that partnership and agreed on the need to work together to promote sustainable democracy and economic development and to combat climate change and terrorism.
The chief adviser expressed appreciation for Britain's practical assistance for this project.

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