Geneva: EBF representatives held two separate meetings with the senior officials of the United Nations Commission for Human Rights (UNCHR) on 30 July and 7 Aug 2018 respectively in at Oxford University, UK and in Geneva, Switzerland respectively.
Meeting in Geneva:
A delegation of the European Bangladesh Forum (EBF) met with officers of United Nations Commission for Human Rights Headquarters, Palais Wilson, Geneva on 7 August 2018.
The delegation briefed the UNCHR officials of the overall situation in Bangladesh. They said, with the forthcoming general election in Bangladesh, the extremist groups will attempt to disrupt and destabilize the present secular government. Past records have shown that during and after the elections the fundamentalist militants targeted minorities and burnt their houses and looted their properties. It is important to be vigilant against these misdeeds and ensure the protection of minorities, the delegation told. The UNCHR officials were Ms. Johanne Bouchard and Ms. Brenda Vukovic. The EBF delegation was led by its President Mr Ansar Ahmed Ullah.
EBF representatives also discussed the importance of the international recognition of Genocide of 1971 Bangladesh War committed by Pakistani soldiers. Following the meeting it was decided that EBF will attend the Human Rights Council scheduled to be held in Geneva in September and the General Assembly in New York in October 2018 to highlight the overall situation of Bangladesh. The meetings were organised as a follow-up to the EBF conference held in the United Nations, Geneva, in March 2018 and to find out ways for future collaboration and support from UNCHR.
Meeting in UK:
Earlier, on 30 July EBF President Ansar Ahmed Ullah held a meeting with UN Special Representative on Human Rights, Ms. Karima Bennoune. The meeting with the Special Representative of UNCHR Ms. Karima Bennoune discussed at length on the extreme violence in and beyond Bangladesh. She said, extremist violence should be treated as an human rights issue. She suggested to engage youth of the diaspora as they don’t seem to be aware of the seriousness of the issue.