Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged the international community for inclusion of the persons with disabilities in the development and disaster risk management process.
"Bangladesh has done this..., and we hope that other countries would follow us," she said, highlighting the disaster management plans taken by her government over the years.
The prime minister was inaugurating the 2nd International Conference on Disability and Disaster Risk Management at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) here today.
"Now Bangladesh has acquired the capacity to cope with any sort of disaster and that's why the country became known as the role model of disaster management," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the conference and recent move of the global community for inclusion of differently able persons in disaster management is very crucial.
Bangladesh is taking lead with the international community to facilitate this important agenda at international, regional, national and local level, she said.
The conference has been designed with the key objectives of sharing knowledge and experience as well as identifying future actions for inclusive implementation of the disability and disaster risk management plans, she added.
Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Mofazzal Hosssain Chowdhury Maya presided over the function while secretary of the ministry Shah Kamal gave welcome address.
Monthian Buntan, member of Royal Thai parliament and member of the UN international committee on rights of the persons with disabilities delivered keynote speech.
Kajol Rekha, a disaster victim and president of self-help group of persons with disabilities and member of disaster management committee of Sreepur under Sundargonj upazila in Gaibandha district also spoke on the occasion.
UN resident coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo read out the special appreciation from Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction UNISDR. A video presentation was screened on disaster management in Bangladesh.
Ms Saima Wazed Hossain, International Focal Point, Advisory Group on DIDRM, Bangladesh and WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Autism in South-East Asia Region, representatives of more than 100 members from about 33 countries, representatives of internationals development agencies and senior government officials joined the conference.
Sheikh Hasina said every year Bangladesh is facing multifaceted natural disasters which claimed thousands of lives, damaging huge assets and livelihoods. But now the country has the capacity to manage any disaster, she said.