UN launches int’l prize in honour of Bangabandhu
The United Nations has decided to establish "UNESCO-Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Prize in the field of the Creative Economy" to promote creative industries that provide youths, women and migrants with sustainable jobs globally.
The recognition comes as the nation celebrates the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman this year and prepares for the 50th anniversary of the country's independence next year.
UNESCO Executive Board adopted Bangladesh's proposal of establishing the prize at the 210th virtual session on December 11.
This is the first time any UN agency introduced international prize in the name of Bangabandhu, who struggled throughout his life for peoples' rights, democracy, pluralism, and led the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971 -- the greatest achievement of this nation.
The prize worth $50,000 will be given once in every two years. The award, for the first time, will be given during UNESCO's 41st general meeting in November next year, which has also been declared by the UN as the "International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development".
Primarily, the prize will be given for six years and then UNSECO can renew. A five-member jury board comprised of eminent experts will decide the persons or institutions for the prize.
"This prize will recognise the exceptional initiatives of the cultural activists or organisations working for the development of youths in creative economy," Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told reporters at his office yesterday.
He said the contribution of Bangabandhu in promoting Bengali culture is remarkable. He participated in Language Movement in 1952, struggled for freedom of speech, and helped establishment of institutions to create scopes for promoting Bengali culture.
Considering Bangabandhu's non-communal values, love for culture and mother tongue and the values of peace and harmony, the government thought of introducing a prize in his name.
Against this backdrop, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a proposal to the prime minister. After having the approval, the proposal was submitted to the UNESCO Director General in Paris in August last year through Bangladesh's Ambassador to France and Permanent Representative to UNESCO.
"This prize is expected to internationalise the ideals of Bangabandhu and spread those across the globe during his birth centenary," Momen said.
Coronavirus pandemic has badly affected the people involved in creative economy that create more than 30 million jobs, of which 45 percent is for women. Its contribution to the world economy was $2.25 trillion, he said.
Creative industries include advertising, architecture, arts and crafts, design, fashion, film, video, photography, music, performing arts, publishing, research & development, software, computer games, electronic publishing, and TV/radio.
In its website, the UNESCO said it adopted the Bangladesh's proposal, recognising the potential of the creative sector to provide young people with economically and environmentally sustainable jobs, in line with the UNESCO Operational Strategy on Youth 2014-2021.
It also recognises the necessity to encourage women in the creative economy, in line with UNESCO's global priority gender equality.
"…the prize will create a knowledge-sharing mechanism by capturing, celebrating and communicating best practice in the development of creative entrepreneurship," UNESCO said.
All costs relating to the implementation of the UNESCO-Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Prize for the Creative Economy will be borne by Bangladesh.
In its 40th general meeting last year, UNESCO enlisted the birth centenary of Bangabandhu in its anniversary programme. By introducing the prize this year, the UN agency has directly been involved in celebration of Bangabandhu's birth centenary.
Earlier in 2017, UNESCO recognised Bangabandhu's March 7 historic speech in its Memory of the World International Registry. In 1999, this UN agency recognises February 21 as the International Mother Language Day.
Besides, UNESCO declared Bangladesh's Shatgambuj Masjid, Bouddha Bihar of Paharpur, and the Sundarbans as World Heritage.