Bangladesh Parliament

Bangladesh : Society

Bangladesh is surrounded by India to the west, north and east. It borders Myanmar in the south-east. The Bay of Bengal is to the south. Bangladesh is mainly low-lying delta, but mountains separate it from Myanmar and parts of India. There is a large area of swamp forest in the south. 

Key facts

  • Region: Asia
  • Population: 161 million (2018) 
  • Area: 147,570 square kilometres 
  • Capital: Dhaka 
  • Joined Commonwealth: 1972, after independence from Pakistan 
  • Commonwealth Youth Index: 38 out of 49 countries 

Secretariat support for Bangladesh 

Countering violent extremism 

In July 2019, the Secretariat helped bring together the Bangladeshi government and researchers working to prevent violent extremism in education.  

In December 2019 and February 2020, the Commonwealth Secretariat's Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Unit delivered part of its Amader Porichoy (‘Our Identity’) project in Bangladesh. The project will raise awareness of what causes extremist violence. 

Youth 

In 2018-19, the Secretariat helped 6 young people from Bangladesh build understanding on terrorist propaganda.  

The CVE Unit supported a programme for youths to create positive stories to challenge hate and division and promote peace and tolerance instead. 

In May 2018, a Commonwealth workshop helped build 28 young Bangladeshis’ skills as leaders to encourage understanding of different faiths and cultures. 

The Secretariat helped senior officials from Bangladesh develop national policies to encourage young people to set up businesses.

Elections 

The Commonwealth sent observers to Bangladesh’s parliamentary elections in December 2018. 

Sport 

The Secretariat helped Bangladesh use sport to meet development goals in, for example, gender equality and human rights. 

Trade 

The Secretariat helped Bangladesh improve investment in its economy. This included encouraging citizens who now live overseas to invest money in the country. 

Blue Charter

Bangladesh is a member of the Sustainable Aquaculture and Mangrove Ecosystems and Livelihoods Action Groups.

Connectivity Agenda

Bangladesh is a member of the Digital and Regulatory Connectivity clusters of the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda. The Connectivity Agenda is a platform for countries to exchange best practices and experiences to trade and investment and undertake domestic reform.

Bangladesh in the Commonwealth 

Muhammad Yunus, Founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, delivered the 6th Annual Commonwealth Lecture, on ‘Halving Poverty by 2015’, in 2003. 

2 Bangladeshi-born writers have won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Best First Book award: Adib Khan (1995) and Tahmima Anam (2008). 

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