The special session of the D-8 commissioners' meeting preparatory to the 10th D-8 Summit took place virtually on Tuesday. 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, said a press release on Thursday.
D-8 Secretary General and D8 Commissioners of all the member states attended the meeting and to discussed 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.
Foreign Secretary Momen conveyed the meeting 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 new normal scenario.
The summit will be followed by a Virtual Leader's Retreat, including a virtual visit to the Rohingya Camps in Cox's Bazar.
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.
Recognizing the overwhelming vitality of youths and the need for greater cooperation in the era of technological disruptions, the foreign secretary conveyed the meeting that "Partnership for a Transformative World: Harnessing the Power of Youth and Technology" would be the summit theme.
In this connection, he offered Bangladesh readiness 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 will also be hosted by Dhaka as the sideline events.
The Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh also proposed to establish a Working Group in order to review the economic adversities of Covid-19 and to come up with proposals/recommendations on early recovery in the post-pandemic scenario.
He further highlighted on the need for creation of a voluntary funding mechanism by the willing Member States to undertake joined up efforts to overcome the challenges in post-pandemic era.
Co-Chair of the meeting, the Turkish deputy foreign minister emphasized 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. He stressed on the engagement of private sector, including Chambers, to realize the full potential of D-8. He has called upon the member states to make D-8 a more dynamic, result oriented and more updated organization to meet the challenges of our time.
D8 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 the Prime Minister of Bangladesh during his visit to Dhaka in October 2019 where many important issues were discussed, including but not limited to the setting up D-8 special economic zones in Bangladesh, D8 Designated Airport to mention a few.
Director General (International Organizations) of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and D-8 Commissioner for Bangladesh Mohammad Khorshed A.Khastagir elaborated on the preparations for the 10th D-8 Summit and sideline events. He further presented details on Bangladesh proposal for establishing a working group.
The Meeting thanked Bangladesh for taking the initiative to establish a working group at D-8 scale aiming to work together to chart ways and means for early recovery from the adverse economic impacts caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.