Freedom of speech essential for BD’s democracy: US


27th August, 2016 04:43:29 printer

Freedom of speech essential for BD’s democracy: US

The United States has said the existence of viable political parties and ensuring freedom of media and speech are essential for Bangladesh to fulfill its true potential as a vibrant, secure democracy.


“We share a vision for a democratic, moderate, and tolerant Bangladesh,” the US Embassy in Dhaka said in a fact-sheet released on Saturday ahead of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Bangladesh.


The shared vision, according to the US, serves as a bridge for trade and commerce between South and Southeast Asia and an anchor for stability and prosperity in the Bay of Bengal region.


Kerry arrives here on Monday morning to discuss the whole range of bilateral, regional and global issues.


The fact-sheet on Bangladesh-US relationship mentioned that strong bilateral relationship between Bangladesh and the US is bolstered by shared efforts to confront global challenges such as violent extremism, climate change, health, and food security.


“While it continues to face many challenges, Bangladesh has achieved two decades of extraordinary economic growth and made tremendous strides in reducing poverty and improving maternal and child health,” it said adding that the US is a proud partner in assisting Bangladesh’s steady progress toward middle-income status.


In the last three decades, according to the US side, Bangladesh has emerged as a leading global player in clothing.


Bangladesh’s apparel manufacturing now accounts for nearly $25 billion in annual exports and has allowed four million women workers to take part in the country’s growing prosperity, it said.


Bangladesh is a top contributor of international peacekeepers, helping bring security to people’s lives from Ethiopia to East Timor.


Currently, Bangladesh has more than 7,000 troops deployed in 10 United Nations Peacekeeping Operations.


The US Embassy said Bangladesh has achieved extraordinary progress on health metrics. Its maternal and child health programs achieved the Millennium Development Goals and have ensured that a higher proportion of children get an education, receive proper healthcare, and escape the shackles of poverty.


USAID has helped Bangladesh reduce maternal and child mortality by more than 60 percent since 1990.