From LDC to Developing Nation: Celebration starts today
The government has chalked out a two-day programme from today to celebrate the country's eligibility to graduate to a developing country from a least developed one.
As part of the celebration, Finance Minister AMA Muhith will hand over the UN's letter of recognition to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a reception at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre at 10:00am today.
The UN's Committee for Development Policy (CDP) gave the letter to Bangladesh on March 15.
Meanwhile, Dhaka Metropolitan Police announced that a number of roads in the capital will be closed from 2:00pm to 6:00pm today to facilitate the celebration.
The closure of the roads may lead to traffic jam in the city.
At a press conference at the secretariat yesterday, Monowar Ahmed, additional secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), gave details of the programme. Muhith was present there.
Around 3,000 local and foreign guests have been invited to join the reception. They include UN officials, diplomats, representatives of development partners in Dhaka, civil society members, economists, politicians, and government high-ups, said an ERD official seeking anonymity.
A representative of the UN secretary general, and the administrator of the CDP will also speak there.
A documentary on development in Bangladesh will be screened at the function. Besides, memorial stamps, bank notes and photo albums will be unveiled there.
At 4:00pm, processions will be brought out from nine spots in the capital and will merge at Bangabandhu National Stadium. Artistes, players, eminent personalities and dignitaries will join the processions.
Wearing a special dress, a 500-member team of roller skaters will pass through different roads in the city.
A two-hour cultural function will be held at the stadium from 7:00pm. There will also be a seven-minute laser show and 12-minute firework display. The PM will attend the function which will be open to all.
Tomorrow, an international seminar will be held at Hotel Radisson Blue at 10:00am. Presided over by the finance minister, the seminar will be attended by civil society members, economists, NGO workers and high officials of UN bodies.
The seminar will discuss the effects and the preparations Bangladesh should make before the country gets out of the LDC bloc.
At 4:00pm, a view-exchange meeting of experts will be held at the same venue.
In the evening, a cultural function and firework display will be held in the city's Hatirjheel.
Monowar said all government bodies and NGOs involved in development activities will take at least one of their services to people's doorsteps at district, upazila and union levels by March 25.
A wide range of programmes, including discussions, seminars, painting and photo exhibitions, boat races, football matches and cultural functions will be organised at district and upazila levels, he said.
Discussions on the country's achievement will be held at educational institutions and publicity campaigns will be carried out on the social media networks such as Facebook and twitter.
The capital as well as other parts of the country will be adorned with festoons, posters, banners and colourful flags.
Asked why the government has taken such elaborate programmes when Bangladesh has just become eligible for the graduation, Muhith said, “My goodness ... How did you ask this question? I cannot understand you will ask such a question.”
Referring to the country's poor condition after the Liberation War, he said, “We had to carry a stigma all over the world that we are poor. I had to bear this more than you.”
Now the situation has drastically changed, he said.
This recognition from the UN is really a matter of great pride. “Won't we celebrate this?” asked Muhith.
The minister further said the celebration is not costing that much.
“We set off fireworks even at a normal function. It is our national character. We are a festival-loving nation.”
At a meeting on March 15, the CDP, a United Nations panel, announced that Bangladesh became eligible to graduate to a developing country from a least developed one as it met all the three criteria for the first time for getting out of the LDC bloc.
The CDP will review Bangladesh's progress in 2021, and the country's official graduation from the LDC category will take place after a three-year transition period.
If the country maintains its position in all the three categories for the next six years, it will eventually graduate from the LDC bloc.