DU.1/108-452                                                                                                 11 March 2013

PRESS RELEASE

 

Prime Minister Inaugurates new International

 

Conference Centre at CIRDAP

 

Dhaka, 11 March 2013. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today inaugurated the newly-built CIRDAP International Conference Centre in Dhaka at the CIRDAP campus. Funded by the Government of Bangladesh, the multi-storied International Conference Centre with all modern facilities, supplements the historic ‘Chameli House’ which became the Centre’s Headquarters in 1985.

While inaugurating the CICC, the Prime Minister mentioned that the government of Bangladesh is proud to host this regional intergovernmental organisation for rural development. Construction of the CICC reflects her government’s strong support to the cause of the Centre. She urged the other 14 member states of CIRDAP to come forward   with similar support to the Centre to strengthen regional solidarity for promoting the cause of rural development. Acknowledging Government of India’s support in establishing an ICT Centre, she requested CIRDAP and all its member countries to work together to formulate new policies and action plan on sharing the best practices on ICT leading to rural development for mutual benefits. The Ambassadors and the High Commissioners of all CIRDAP members countries located in Bangladesh can support this noble mission to make this ICT Centre a hub in sharing the best practices on rural development and poverty alleviation.

Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives. Syed Ashraful Islam, while speaking on the occasion urged CIRDAP to expand its membership to the original signatories to the ‘CIRDAP agreement’, especially Japan, China, South Korea, and Australia in order to derive benefits and strengthen CIRDAP, as a regional window and Think-Tank of rural development. State Minister for LGRD&C Adv. Jahangir Kabir Nanak suggested more regional exchange programmes for sharing and learning from the best practices/ programmes of countries in the region. Secretary of Rural Development and Cooperatives Division (RDCD) Dr. Mihir Kanti Majumder and Director General of CIRDAP Dr. Cecep Effendi also spoke on the occasion.

The construction of CICC was initiated in 2008 and work finished in February 2013, with a total cost of Tk. 16.10 crore. Coordinated by RDCD, the Public Works Department (PWD) designed and executed the work. Located at the heart of the city, the CICC has been designed as a modern International Conference Centre with state-of-the-art facilities where all types of national or international convention, seminars, symposiums, conferences, workshops, meetings can be conducted. The heart of this Centre is two modern Conference Halls.

Dr. Majibar Rahman

Special Officer, PRMU, CIRDAP

and Coordinator

 

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DU.1/108-1623                                                                                                 16 October 2012

PRESS RELEASE

Poverty Alleviation through Sustainable Agriculture

CIRDAP holds discussion and lecture programme

Dhaka, 16 October 2012: Dr. Katinka Weinberger an Agricultural Economist and Director of CAPSA gave a lecture on ‘Capacity-Building for Poverty Reduction through Sustainable Agriculture’ today at the CIRDAP Auditorium in Dhaka. CAPSA is the United Nation’s Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture. Dr. Weinberger was attending a discussion programme arranged by CIRDAP on Poverty Alleviation through Sustainable Agriculture.

Agricultural Scientists, Researchers, Senior Government Officials and CIRDAP professionals attended the discussion programme. Dr. Cecep Effendi, Director General of CIRDAP moderated the session.

Dr. Weinberger in her presentation discussed the mission and activities of CAPSA. Pointing out multifarious socio-economic dynamics, she mentioned that sustainable agriculture leading to food security is key to poverty reduction in the Asia-Pacific region. She mentioned that agriculture’s increased contribution to GDP has a direct and significant correlation with the growth of agro-based rural economy. She mentioned that CAPSA works as a knowledge centre that facilitates south-south cooperation, and promotes regional sharing. She said that CIRDAP and CAPSA have very similar mandates and there is much prospect for mutual collaboration between the two organisations. Dr. Weinberger’s lecture was followed by a lively discussion on pertinent issues relating to sustainable agriculture, like regional buffer stock, farmers’ networks, public private partnership in food security etc.

The United Nation’s Centre for Alleviation of Poverty through Sustainable Agriculture (CAPSA) is a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), based in Bogor, Indonesia. CAPSA aims to reduce poverty and enhance food security in Asia and the Pacific by promoting sustainable agriculture.

Dr. Vasanthi Rajendran

Director

Information and Communication Division

CIRDAP

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DU.1/108-1079                                                                                                 10 July 2012

PRESS RELEASE

New Director General of CIRDAP Dr. Cecep Effendi Takes Office as DG CIRDAP for 2012-2016 Term

Dhaka, 10 July 2012:  Dr. Cecep Effendi from Indonesia has joined as the seventh Director General of the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) for a term of four years (2012-2016). He succeeded Dr. Durga P. Paudyal of Nepal who was the DG of the Centre during 2004-2012.  An academician and an activist, Dr. Effendi specialises in the area of decentralisation and democratisation. He has a long work experience in national and local government agencies both professionally and in advisorial capacity. He served as a partner of the Asia Foundation in initiating new reforms for local government, programme manager of decentralisation of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Senior Advisor of the German Technical Cooperation’s Advisory Service Support for Decentralisation (ASSD) in the Ministry of Home Affairs of Indonesia. He was recipient of American Political Science Congressional Fellow and served in the Sub-Commission on Asia and the Pacific, Commission of international Affairs, House of Representatives, Washington DC, USA. He was President of the Islamic University 45, West Java Province, Indonesia, Chairman of the Rector Forum (Association of Indonesia’s University Rectors) and Secretary General of all Indonesian Islamic Universities/Colleges Associations (BKS-PTIS). Dr. Effendi assumed office as the DG of CIRDAP from 6 July 2012.

Dr. Effendi’s appointment was finalised last year by the Governing Council (GC-18) of CIRDAP in its Meeting held Iran in December 2011. CIRDAP’s Governing Council is the Centre’s highest poly making body, consisting of Rural Development and relevant Ministers from the 15 CIRDAP member countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

CIRDAP, an inter-governmental regional organisation was established in 1979 by FAO/UN with its headquarters in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The centre is broadly mandated to facilitate the provision of services that will influence policy formulation and programme action towards rural development in its member countries.

Dr. Vasanthi Rajendran

Director

Information and Communication Division

CIRDAP

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DU.1/108-1054                                                                                                 5 July 2012

PRESS RELEASE

CIRDAP Must Evolve Regional Platform for Sustainable Development of Asia Pacific

Urges Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

Dhaka, 5 July 2012: Former President of India, Bharat Ratna Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam delivered the CIRDAP Foundation Day lecture today at the CIRDAP Headquarters in Dhaka. He was addressing the Centre’s 33rd Founding Anniversary. Dr. Kalam’s lecture was on ‘Sustainable Development System for Asia Pacific’.

The programme was also attended by H.E. Syed Ashraful Islam, Hon’ble Minister for LGRD&C of Government of Bangladesh, H.E. Adv. Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Hon’ble State Minister for LGRD&C, Dr. Mihir Kanti Majumder, Secretary, Rural Development and Cooperatives Division, Ministry of LGRD&C of Bangladesh. Dr. Durga Paudyal, the outgoing Director General of CIRDAP and Dr. Cecep Effendi the Director General-Designate of the Centre were also present in the occasion.

Dr. Kalam in his lecture mentioned that Asia Pacific countries can harness their national competitive advantages to accelerate the transformation of the region as a whole and also address the challenges faced by the global community.

He stated that at present many countries face problems, the solutions for which can not be achieved individually rather these are collective responsibility of the global community. The global challenges take various manifestations based on the local dynamics which are interconnected on various factors. He also presented his vision of nations of the world in 2030.

Dr. Kalam said that for achieving a better world, systems of sustainable development are required for the international rural community which today account for about half of humanity. He emphasised on empowering of these 3 Billion people worldwide, out of which more than 2/3rd are in Asia Pacific Region. In this context he presented one such system of empowerment called  ‘Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas (PURA)’.

“…. For achieving a sustainable development system in our rural complexes, we need PURA – Providing Urban Amenities in Rural Areas, which envisages four types of connectivity, namely; physical, electronic and knowledge connectivity leading to economic connectivity of the complex.” Dr. Kalam said. Such PURA is driven by rural entrepreneurship and becomes a growth centre for the entire region.

Dr. Abdul Kalam presented the essence of the PURA model and cited references to some specific variations of the model to suit the geographical diversity of the CIRDAP Member countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

He also talked about how a knowledge platform can facilitate all these visions and missions to take shape. He said ..”In the 21st century world, we need to evolve platforms for the seamless flow and exchange of knowledge and technology across the world for the sustainable development.”   He proposed creating an ‘Asia Pacific Sustainable Development Platform’ which will enable joint design, development, cost effective production and marketing of the knowledge products, systems and services in various domains based on the core competence of partner nations to international market along the mission of sustainable development.

The convergence of Bio, Nano, Eco and IT is expected to touch every area of concern to the humanity, he said. The Asia Pacific Sustainable Development Platform will take up the missions which are of utmost urgency to make our world a safe, sustainable, peaceful and prosperous place to live. These areas would include: Agriculture and allied activities; Environment and Energy Independence; Empowering the fisherman with Geospatial technologies; Healthcare; Disaster Prediction and Management.

Emphasising on the importance of right and quality leadership he related from his experience the essential qualities of a leader.

The CIRDAP foundation day also marked the conclusion of tenure of Dr. Durga Paudyal from Nepal as Director General of CIRDAP (2004-2012). Dr. Cecep Effendi from Indonesia will take office as the new Director General of CIRDAP from 6 July 2012.

CIRDAP is a regional, inter-governmental, and autonomous institution established in 6 July 1979 to act as a regional platform to promote rural development. Its member countries include Afghanistan, Bangladesh (Host State), Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Dr. Vasanthi Rajendran

Director

Information and Communication Division

CIRDAP

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DU.1/108-574                                                                                                 3 July 2012

PRESS RELEASE

33rd Founding Anniversary of CIRDAP

Foundation Day Lecture by Bharat Ratna Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Former President of India

Dhaka, 2 July 2012: The Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) is celebrating its 33rd Founding Anniversary with a lecture by the former President of India, Bharat Ratna Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at the CIRDAP Headquarters in Dhaka on 5 July 2012. His lecture will be on ‘Sustainable Development System for Asia Pacific’.

A renowned scientist, Dr. Kalam was the 11th President of India (2002-2007) and was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour in 1997. Dr. Kalam is also a renowned academic with keen interest in development issues and is involved with many academic and research institutions across India.

Dr. Kalam’s lecture is part of CIRDAP’s celebration of the Centre’s 33rd Founding Anniversary. H.E. Syed Ashraful Islam, Hon’ble Minister for LGRD&C of Government of Bangladesh, H.E. Adv. Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Hon’ble State Minister for LGRD&C, Dr. Mihir Kanti Majumder, Secretary, Rural Development and Cooperatives Division, Ministry of LGRD&C of Bangladesh will also be present in the occasion.

The Foundation Day lecture programme will be held at 11:00 am, inthe CIRDAP Auditorium in Dhaka on 5 July 2012 (Thursday).

The CIRDAP foundation day will also mark the conclusion of tenure of Dr. Durga Paudyal from Nepal as Director General of CIRDAP (2004-2012). Dr. Cecep Effendi from Indonesia will take office as the new Director General of CIRDAP from 6 July 2012.

CIRDAP is a regional, inter-governmental, and autonomous institution established in 6 July 1979 to act as a regional platform to promote rural development. Its member countries include Afghanistan, Bangladesh (Host State), Fiji, India, Indonesia, Iran, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

 

Dr. Vasanthi Rajendran

Director

Information and Communication Division

CIRDAP

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Press Release                                                                                                 26 April 2012

CIRDAP Skill Development on Trains Rural Women Artisans

Comilla, 26 April 2012: The Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) organised a function today, in association with International Jute Study Group (IJSG) and Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), to mark the one month long skill development programme of the rural women artisans, at Shimpur Village under Umratoli Union of Adarsha Sadar Upazila.

The programme was attended by Dr. Mihir Kanti Majumder, Secretery, Rural Development and Cooperatives Division, as Chief Guest while Mr. Mir Kashem, Director General of BARD, was present as Special Guest. The function was also attended by Director, Pilot Projects Division, CIRDAP, Mr. Shahbaz Hossein, representative from IJSG Mr. Abul Hossein and Upazila Chairman Kazi Mozammel Haque. One representative from the trainees Saiyada Mahfuza Begum also spoke at the function.

CIRDAP and IJSG arranged the skill development programme with a view to improving the livelihoods of rural women in selective rural areas in Bangladesh by developing the handicraft industry. Handicrafts can be an opportunity in remote areas for the many of the landless households to supplement their earnings.

Dr. Mihir Kanti Majumder, in his speech, thanked all the stakeholders in this programme, saying that CIRDAP and IJSG started with small thing, only 30 ladies have been trained up, but it must be finished in a big way.

Jute has a golden past and has a huge future potentiality. Keeping this in mind, the programme should be run, he opined.

The products of the trainees should have access to the markets. So more sale centres have to be set up, he said. If the trainees produce good quality products, exportable goods, people must buy those, because with this buying, they are also buying the tradition of the country.

Dr. Majumder advised that CIRDAP and IJSG must work on this possibility of jute. They will help produce quality goods, and quality has no alternative. He hoped that this programme will help create skilled rural women and generate employment.

‘Human being has a huge capability. CIRDAP and IJSG will work on this capability and will help improve the livelihoods of the rural poor’.

Mr. Hossein Shahbaz said that this programme is a part of capacity building of the rural poor, particularly the women, to improve their livelihoods in line with the project on ‘Rural Women Artisans on Handicrafts (Jute and others) for Improvement of their Livelihoods’.

There are many places where industries are not established; people are mostly dependent on agriculture, and off-farm activities are very limited. CIRDAP and IJSG are targeting these remote areas to impart skill development to the poor women to be engaged in off-farm activities.

He said that CIRDAP and IJSG decided to go with  jute  as Jute is available everywhere in Bangladesh and high technology is not needed for this; so rural women can easily be trained up on handicrafts made from jutes which are also eco-friendly.

The trainers have been selected from the private companies, because they know well the current trends of designing and marketing of the products, Mr. Shahbaz explained.

Mr. Mir Kashem hoped that this training will help the rural women artisans to be self-employed. This start is the beginning; it should go a long way. The multiple use of golden fibre has to be ensured.

Marketing is also important. Access to the foreign markets should be taken care of, he said. He expected CIRDAP and IJSG will continue their support to the rural poor.

Mr. Abul Hossain thanked CIRDAP and BARD for giving field-level training. He ensured the participants that IJSG will help them for marketing their products.

IJSG will train the trainees who have interest in getting higher training, in the headquarters; so that they will be able to produce high quality products, he said.

Saiyada Mahfuza Begum thanked the organisers, saying that the participants are fully satisfied with the training. ‘But we need more skill development inputs’.

She also expected support from the CIRDAP, IJSG and BARD, in getting markets of their products. ‘If we get more opportunity, it’ll be more helpful for us’, she said.

A total of 30 trainees attended the programme. The Chief Guest distributed the certificates to them. At the programme, CIRDAP bought a number of handicraft products produced by the trainees as a first-time buyer to encourage their entrepreneurship.

Mr. Hossein Shahbaz

Director, PPD, CIRDAP

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DU.1/108-574                                                                                                 3 April 2012

PRESS RELEASE

CIRDAP-IJSG Action Research Project on Jute Handicrafts for Improvement of Livelihoods of Rural Women Artisans

Dhaka, 3 April 2012: An action research project on ‘Rural Women Artisans on Handicrafts (Jute & Others) for Improvement of their Livelihoods’ organised jointly by the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) and International Jute Study Group (IJSG) was inaugurated today at Shimpur Village, Sadar Upazila under Comilla District. The programme is coordinated by the Pilot Projects Division (PPD) of CIRDAP in collaboration with Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD).

Jute is regarded as the most accepted natural and environment friendly fibre and Bangladesh is one of the largest producers of jute fibre in the world. The CIRDAP-IJSG action project on rural women artisan aims to increase income and job opportunities for poor women in selected rural areas by improving productivity, diversification, and production quality while establishing efficient marketing services and facilities.

Under this programme thirty rural women beneficiaries will be trained on producing handicrafts from Jute and other ingredients on a pilot basis. There will four training modules and each module would be conducted by a total of 8 trainers. The duration of the training course would be 3 weeks. After completion of the training, trainees would be monitored and provided with guidance on how to practically produce the handicrafts with seed money and equipments and be connected with markets for their products.

Director General of BARD was the chief guest at the inaugural programme held in Shimpur Village in Comilla. He appreciated the CIRDAP-IJSG-BARD collaboration to improve socio-economic condition of rural women artisans through providing capacity building training and extension services and linking them with marketing. He encouraged participants to learn actively from the skill development course which will help them to change their livelihood. At the programme, Mr. Hossein Shahbaz Director of PPD, CIRDAP welcomed the participants and gave a brief background of the project. Dr. Latifa Binte Lutfar, Operations Officer of IJSG explained the training modules to the participants.

Dr. Vasanthi Rajendran

Director, Information and Communication Division