Bangladesh Mission by Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs (6-9 December 2012)

09 Dec 2012

1. Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, visited Bangladesh from 6 to 9 December 2012 at the request of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.  He was accompanied by Mr. Neal Walker, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh,  Mr. Craig Jenness, Director of the Electoral Assistance Division, and Mr. Hitoki Den, Team Leader for South Asia in the Asia and the Pacific Division, of the Department of Political Affairs.  

2. During his stay in Dhaka, Mr. Fernandez-Taranco met with the prime minister, the foreign minister, leaders of the major political parties, including the chairperson of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. He also met with the chief election commissioner, as well as representatives of civil society, the media and the diplomatic community, to exchange views on the country‚Äôs present political situation and the ongoing UN electoral assistance to Bangladesh.  

3. Mr. Fernandez-Taranco stressed to all interlocutors that the next parliamentary elections should be peaceful, inclusive and credible to give voters a real choice at the polls.  He said that from the UN perspective, free, fair and credible elections would present an opportunity for the nation to further consolidate its democracy and that a credible election and strengthened democracy would contribute to inclusive economic growth and social achievements as well.    

4. To create a conducive environment, he encouraged all electoral stakeholders, in particular political parties, to work together and engage in constructive dialogue in order to achieve inclusive and successful parliamentary polls.  He also called on political parties, civil society and media to engage constructively with the Bangladesh Election Commission to ensure a suitable and enabling environment in which it can effectively operate and fulfill its mandate.   

5. Mr. Fernandez-Taranco said that the UN maintains a strong local presence in Bangladesh, that it will continue to work in support of the people of this country, and that it will continue to provide technical assistance to the Bangladesh Election Commission, through a UNDP supported project.    

6. Mr. Fernandez-Taranco underlined that a conducive environment for free, fair and credible elections must be promoted by national actors through political dialogue and supported by the people. In this context, he regretted the violence that erupted during the road blockade on 9th December 2012 which resulted in death of several people and the injury of many others.     

Dhaka 9 December 2012

Contact Information

For further information please contact: Mahtab Haider, Communications Analyst, UNDP via email: mahtab.haider@undp.org, ph: +88 02 815 0088, ext. 1805, mob: +88 01713 014 604