The Hague, 31 October 2015:
An international conference on ‘Role and Contribution of Migrants and their Remittance in Sustainable Development’ including photo exhibition, screening documentary film and cultural function was held in a local hotel in the Hague in the Netherlands on Saturday. On the occasion of 10th founding anniversary of BASUG Diaspora and Development this event was organised with the support of Oxfam Novib.
Notably, BASUG Diaspora and Development is a Europe based Diaspora organization working on among others, migration and development, remittance and gender issues. Apart from the Netherlands, it has its registered offices in Germany and Bangladesh. It has also Chapters in Italy and U.K.
On the Day, the founding President of BASUG Mr Bikash Chowdhury Barua shared the experience of last 10 years of working in development fields with other stakeholders and exchange ideas and seek suggestions as to how to take the organisation forward and make more effective and successful. During the past 10 years BASUG has emerged as a professional Diaspora organisation, has been able to widen its network both at the national and international level and has drawn attention and appreciation from different quarters, both from the governments and the private sectors. But BASUG believes it has still a long way to go, he added.
Mr Barua also said, during its journey of 10 years BASUG leadership not only took part in many national and international events, but also played a positive role in those events. BASUG is perhaps, the only Diaspora organisation, which took part in all Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) since 2007 in Brussels. BASUG was accredited to take part in the first Informal dialogue on Migration and Development at the UN General Assembly at the UN in 2006.
Mr. Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury, Member of Parliament of Bangladesh inaugurated the event as chief guest, while Mr. Sheikh Mohammad Belal, His Excellency the Ambassador of Bangladesh in the Netherlands, Mr.Lothar Kleipass, Chief Executive of Interational Ländlicher Entwicklungsdienst (ILD), Germany, Mr.Bob van Dilen, Expert CORDAID, The Netherlands and Mr. Freirik Kampman, Policy Officer Migration and Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands attended the occasion as guests of honour.
Speakers mainly focused on they came across BASUG and help the organisation to come forward. Emphasis was given on global partnership for sustainable development, how to cooperate and look for more valuable and qualified partners, to set goals and objectives and implementing them. Continuance of such organisation is always a challenge – and everything necessary should be done to continue to carry on with its work.
Attention was drawn of the importance of remittance and their influence on the country and society. Acknowledging its importance of the sender has been highlighted which is still missing. Remittance that flows in from glittering Dubai to the frozen Canada – the people contribute to 70-80% of the remittance of the country.
Remittance is not investigated in a positive way in the productive sector which can eventually generate production in a sustainable way – was voiced by several speakers. Agro based industry, agricultural aqua cultural, leather, medicine and ship building – these areas are still lacking proper financial support from home and abroad. Through this the economy of the country can benefit significantly. Lack of implementation of laws was noted which greatly discourages the senders to invest in a long term planning.
BASUG was requested to visit Malaysia and other Asian countries where the Bangladesh migration are currently living and sending their hard earned money home. Suggestions were made to visit these migrant workers, exchange views and motivate them to invest in a proper manner through which not only the immediately family but the country as a whole will benefit.
In the second session of the programme Dr.Corazon Dee, Senior Expert of PUM Netherlands and Chairperson ERCMOVE/EPICERMOVE, Mr. Antony Otieno Ong’ayo, Lecturer in Utrecht University College and Researcher, International Development Studies, Department of Human Gergraphy in Utrect University, Mr.Ram Thapa, Honorary Consul General of Nepal in Germany and Professor Gerd Junne, Director of The Network University, Amsterdam delivered their presentations on the issue, while BASUG Advisor and Director Projects Dr Ahmed Ziauddin moderated the session. Project Coordinator of BASUG Germany AHM Abdul Hai delivered vote of thanks at the end of the panel discussion.
The conference was followed by an enchanting cultural function with the Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan dance of Ms Natali Sufia and classical music performance of Tabla Expert Mr Niti Ranjan Biswas, Belgian music artist Mr Hans Vermeersch and Bangladeshi-Dutch singer Deepika Nannan-Barua.