Dhaka has conveyed that Bangladesh would like to host the 10th D-8 Summit and its ancillary events ‘virtually’ in December 2020 or January 2021 in the context of COVID-19 pandemic scenario, reports BSS.

The proposal was placed at the special session of the D-8 commissioners’ meeting preparatory to the 10th D-8 Summit that took place virtually on 11 August 2020, a foreign ministry press release said here today.

The meeting was co-chaired by the deputy foreign minister of Turkey Faruk Kaymakci, as the current chair, and foreign secretary of Bangladesh Masud Bin Momen, as the incoming chair.

The meeting was attended by D-8 secretary general and D-8 commissioners of all the member states to discuss on preparation for the forthcoming 10th D8 Summit to be hosted by Bangladesh and ongoing activities and initiatives of the D-8 to combat the adverse impacts of COVID-19.

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The 10th D-8 summit was scheduled to take place in Dhaka at the end of May but had been delayed due to outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, also known as Developing-8 consists of 8 developing Muslims countries– Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.

Bangladesh foreign secretary urged the D-8 commissioners to find the right balance between taking advantage of globalization and a necessary degree of self-reliance, while finalizing the summit outcomes- Dhaka Declaration and Decennial Roadmap 2020-2030- to ensure a resilient future for common parity and prosperity of the member states.

The Summit will be followed by a virtual leader’s retreat, including a virtual visit to the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazaar.

Recognizing the overwhelming vitality of youths and the need for greater cooperation in the era of technological disruptions, Masud conveyed the meeting that “Partnership for a Transformative World: Harnessing the Power of Youth and Technology” would be the summit theme.

In line with the theme, he said Bangladesh would like to host the first D-8 youth summit, preceding the leaders’ summit, as one of the sideline events.

Further, D-8 trade, technology and innovation fair, and D-8 business forum are also scheduled to be hosted by Dhaka as the sideline events.

Dhaka also proposed to establish a ‘Working Group’ in order to review the economic adversities of COVID-19 and to come up with proposals and recommendations on early recovery in the post-pandemic scenario.

Masud further highlighted on the need for creation of a voluntary funding mechanism by the willing D-8 member states to undertake joined up efforts to overcome the challenges in post-pandemic era.

The co-chair and Turkish deputy foreign minister emphasised on strengthening of intra-trade among D-8 member states and in that context urged the member states to implement the D8 Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) without delay.

D-8 secretary general in his statement highlighted the different initiatives undertaken by D-8 to stave off the adverse impact of COVID-19 on health and economies of the member states.

He also recalled his meeting with prime minister Sheikh Hasina during his visit to Dhaka in October 2019 where they discussed numbers of important issues including setting up D-8 special economic zones and D8 designated airport in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh D-8 commissioner Mohammad Khorshed A Khastagir, who is also foreign ministry’s director general (International Organizations), elaborated on the preparations for the 10th D-8 Summit and sideline events.

The meeting thanked Bangladesh for proposing to establish the working group at D-8 scale aiming to work together for early recovery from the adverse economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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