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Dhaka Tribune

5 ambassadors meet 3 key secretaries

Update : 13 Feb 2014, 08:23 PM

Bangladesh will be under the watchful eye of the whole world, regarding the progress made in the readymade garment sector, on the anniversary of Rana Plaza.

“It is very important that we are able to demonstrate results particularly by the anniversary of Rana Plaza, because the international community will be looking at this anniversary very very closely,” Canadian High Commissioner Heather Cruden said.

She made the comments after a meeting on the RMG industry, held with three secretaries and five ambassadors, at the Foreign Ministry yesterday.

Secretaries of commerce, labour and foreign affairs; and envoys of the US, EU, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands; and officials from different government agencies; and the JICA, ILO, US Alliance and EU Accord took part in the meeting.

The tragedy of Rana Plaza caught the attention of the whole world as the industrial accident caused the deaths of over 1,100 workers, mostly females.

“There will be a lot of press, there will be a lot of visitors from countries that are buying garments. In terms of progress, I think we will be assessing that on the anniversary of Rana Plaza,” she said.

The visitors will want to see that there has been progress made on labour standards, fire safety, building safety and labour codes as well, she added.

“We made some progress, but there are lots of things that need to be done.”

US Ambassador Dan Mozena said people wanted to get the GSP restored and the way to do that was to follow the roadmap of the GSP action plan.

EU Ambassador William Hanna said they had discussed the progress and what more could be done in the coming days.

In the meeting, the ILO, JICA, US Alliance, and EU Accord made four presentations on their progress, and what they would do in the coming days.

The meeting also asked the ILO to come up with a time-limited implementation plan for the $24-million RMG development project launched in October last year, said an official who attended the meeting.

The ILO also failed to prepare a transparency database that was an important component of the total development plan of the readymade garment sector, he said.

The meeting asked the ILO to prepare a plan of how it could develop the transparency database as soon as possible, added the official.

In a separate statement yesterday, the Canadian high commissioner said her country remained concerned that many Bangladeshis did not have the opportunity to vote, and that more than half the seats in parliament were filled by acclamation.

Heather Cruden, in a statement, said although Canada did not consider the election to have been fully participatory, it would continue to support the people of Bangladesh by working with the government, opposition parties, civil society and the private sector.

“We are encouraged by the moratorium on hartals announced by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, and we hope that this gesture will encourage genuine and constructive dialogue between the main political parties.”

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