Attributing the achievement of Bangladesh’s graduation from the group of least developed countries (LDCs) to a developing one to the people of the country, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said they can achieve anything.
“This achievement is the achievement of the people of Bangladesh. I think country’s people are the main source of all power. They can achieve anything,” she said, accoriding to UNB report.
The Prime Minister was addressing a reception accorded to her at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) for the government's historic achievement of making Bangladesh eligible for graduating from the LDC group.
The function was arranged as part of a five-day government programme to celebrate the graduation.
Sheikh Hasina said the achievement is for those who work unitedly and contribute to the country’s development. “We’ve to maintain this pace of development. This march must not be stopped,” she said.
She urged all to work for the country so that people can live keeping their heads high. “We want to live as a proud nation… we want to walk keeping our heads high. We liberated our country through a struggle and we’ve proved that we can stand on our own feet.”
Giving all credit to people for the success, the Prime Minister said had they not stood by her and brought Awami League to power, it would not have been possible for her and the government to work for the country and attain this remarkable achievement. “To me, power is nothing but an opportunity to serve the country and its people. I never believed that power is for personal gain,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh’s graduation to a developing country from the LDC group has opened up the door of its potential to emerge as a developed and prosperous nation.
She, however, said acquiring this achievement was not as easy as speaking.
The Prime Minister said assuming office in 1996 and later in 2009, her government undertook various people-oriented development programmes in a planned way, and such steps made it possible to achieve today’s recognition as a developing country.
Due importance was attached to starting the process of development from the grassroots level and villages, she said, adding that such efforts helped ensure sustainable progress towards eliminating poverty.
On this very happy day, Hasina recalled with gratitude Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, saying he had struggled throughout his life to change the fate of the common people.
Extending her heartiest congratulations to the people of the country, the Prime Minister said her government showed the way while all concerned, including government officials, private organisations and business community, made the impossible possible.
She also expressed gratitude to the development partners, international community and foreign friends who provided support to the government’s development efforts and continue it.
Terming the Bangalees as a heroic nation, the Prime Minister said they do not want to live as a nation of beggars as they want to live keeping heads high and with dignity in the world.
Chaired by Finance Minister AMA Muhith, UN Under Secretary General Fekitamoeloa Katoa also spoke at the programme. A written statement of UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner was also read out.
At the programme, the Finance Minister handed over the UN certificate conveying the announcement on the country’s graduation from the LCD group to a developing one to the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister also unveiled a commemorative stamp and a commemorative note on the occasion.
The UN Secretary General, World Bank chief, ADB chief, USAID chief and JICA chief gave their speeches of appreciation through video messages.
Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, State Minister Tarana Halim and Information Secretary Abdul Malek handed over a photo album on “Ten Special Initiatives of Sheikh Hasina” to the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister was greeted with bouquets on behalf of President Abdul Hamid, Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain. Officials from the respective offices handed over the bouquets.
On behalf of ruling Awami League, 14-party alliance and leaders of other political parties, flower bouquets were also presented to Sheikh Hasina while Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Begum Raushon Ershad greeted her by presenting her a flower bouquet.
Civil and military officials, freedom fighters, educationists, journalists, business community, civil society, cultural organisations and artistes and singers, women organisations, NGOs, labourorganisations, social and sports organisations also greeted the Prime Minister by presenting bouquets on the occasion of Bangladesh’s graduation from LDC.
A documentary was screened at the function highlighting the country’s advancement and ongoing development programmes.
Ministers, Prime Minister’s advisers, MPs, civil and military officials, leaders of different political parties, diplomats, representatives of the civil society and different professional bodies attended the function.
Earlier, arriving at the BICC, the Prime Minister first paid her profound respect to the Father of the Nation by placing a wreath at the portrait of the great leader.
The Committee for Development Policy (CDP) of the United Nations on March
15 last officially declared the eligibility of Bangladesh for graduating from the
LDC and handed over a formal letter in this regard to Bangladesh's Permanent
Representative to the UN Masud Bin Momen the following day.
According to the UN's graduation thresholds set at the triennial review in 2015, gross national income (GNI) per capita of a country has to be $1,242 or above. Bangladesh's GNI per capita rose to $1,610 at the end of fiscal year 2016-17.
The GNI per capita is the value of a country's final income in a year divided by its population. It reflects the average income of a country's citizens.
On the other two indexes -- human assets and economic vulnerability -- a country has to score 66 or above and 32 or below respectively.
Bangladesh's score in the human assets index stood at 72.9 and the economic vulnerability index is 24.8, meaning the country meets all the criteria.
Bangladesh, however, will have to maintain the thresholds for the three indices till the country's final graduation from the LDC category, which the UN will declare in 2024.