Vol. 5 Num 382 Fri. June 24, 2005  

Introduce Anti-Poverty Fund in Asia
Hasina urges AAPP senior advocacy council

Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Sheikh Hasina has called for introduction of Anti-Poverty Fund to mitigate the sufferings of the millions in Asia.

Hasina, also Awami League president, stressed the need for drafting a roadmap reflecting the Asian realities for achieving the elements of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

She was addressing the meeting of the senior advocacy council of the Association of Asian Parliamentarians for Peace (AAPP) yesterday at Strasbourg, France, according to a message received in Dhaka.

AAPP founder president Hasina said role of the Asian parliamentarians is vital in achieving the MDGs and its elements like eradicating poverty, combating terrorism and corruption and checking drug and human trafficking.

The AAPP should advocate strengthening cooperation among Asian countries and between regional organisations against terrorism, she added.

The former prime minister said there is a vastness and diversity of the Asian continent with its large and small, powerful and weak, rich and poor countries with ancient civilisations, culture, numerous ethnicities with unique talents, boundless natural and human resources.

The assembly of the Asian parliamentarians will explore mobilising the talents and resources for the economic and social emancipation of all Asians, she added.

AAPP senior advisory council members include Sheikh Hasina, Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan Chaudhury Amir Hossain, President of the National Assembly of Combodia Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranaridh, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines Jose De Venecia Jr. and Vice Chairman of the foreign affairs committee, National People's Congress of China Ji Peiding.

The opposition leader said, parliamentarians can lobby with their relevant authorities to do the needful.

The senior advocacy council meeting deliberated that Asia is beset with problems like terrorism, human rights violation and repression on women and child trafficking.

Participating parliamentarians were unanimous in the meeting that these problems can be countered through integrated efforts of all Asian countries.

The meeting discussed on the conversion of the AAPP into the Asian Parliamentary Assembly and sought proposals for its work programme, timeframe, objectives and budget.

The Senior Advisory Council, in a joint statement, said the AAPP General Assembly will consider the advocacies like the MDGs, debt relief and large-scale debt to equity conversions, anti-terrorism, drug and human trafficking, anti-corruption and creation of Asian Anti-poverty fund.

The meeting also decided to work towards evolving the AAPP into Asian Parliamentary Assembly.

During the senior advisory council meeting, Hasina was assisted by Awami League presidium member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim MP, AL International Affairs Secretary Alhaj Syed Abul Hossain MP and member of AL international affairs sub committee Ambassador Mohammad Ziauddin.

Hasina met with the chairman of the sub-committee on external relations Adrian Severin yesterday and participated in a briefing on the activities of the European Commission for Democracy.

Earlier, she attended a reception on Wednesday night organised by Secretary General of the Council of Europe (CoE) Terry Davis at his residence. State dignitaries, MPs of parliament for Europe and Asia attended the reception.