United Nations Develop-ment Programme (UNDP) country representative Neal Walker told journalists on Sunday that whenever the next national election is held, the political dialogue should be held between two opposing parties to ensure a level playing field, which would ensure a congenial political climate.
Walker said United Nations has earlier appealed to two major political leaders to create a political environment and the appeal remains the same even today.
On the 40th anniversary year of UN-Bangladesh partnership, the UNDP country chief was addressing a meet organised by Diplomatic Correspondents Association of Bangladesh (DCAB) on Sunday morning at the National Press Club. Walker was flanked by DCAB President Mainul Alam and Secretary Angur Nahar Monty.
For the establishment of democracy, participatory election was essential to accommodate all political parties to contest the elections.
In response to a question, whether UN has any plans to warm up the cold relationship between the two major parties, the UN chief said that the two political parties have to initiate a dialogue within the country's prescription.
He refused to talk about any UN plan to neutralise the political tension between the rival parties, but said it has to be initiate from inside the country.
Regarding the trial of war criminals of 1971, he said that the United Nations support efforts to address impunity and stress the importance of best norms of due process and human rights.
"UN does not endorse death penalty, but respects individual country's laws for trial to end impunity." Walker remarked.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and urged her to postpone the death penalty of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Kader Mollah.
Walker lauded Bangladesh's social service sector and said despite change of governments since 1990, the country made significant progress in achieving most of the social development indicators, which most developing countries are trailing behind.
War ravaged Bangladesh in 1971was poverty stricken nation of 75 million and has come a long way to achieve the global social development targets. What is truly incredible to the outsider is how the country has pulled itself up by the hard work of its people. The country's food production has increased by 3.5 times, exports have gone up by 85 times and the credit rating is among the top in the Asia region, said the excited UN country chief.
One key element of the country's success can be linked with the commitment to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), whether it was Awami League, BNP or caretaker government, the attainment of social development benchmark were not compromised, Walker remarked.
The pro-people MDGs helped eliminating hunger, ensuring access to employment, education, and health and achieving environmental sustainability.
While ODA has played a crucial role, it is also true that success in Bangladesh has come as a result of commitment of the government's investment in social services and a proactive NGO sector, said the UN country chief.
UN Resident Coordinator said that these three elements of government investment, and NGOs as development partners, have enabled Bangladesh to lead the world in innovative development.
The country is on track to achieve MDGs in the areas of poverty reduction, reducing the prevalence of underweight children, increasing enrolment at primary schools, lowering the infant mortality rate and maternal mortality ratio, improving immunisation coverage and reducing the incidence of communicable diseases, he said.
Bangladesh should be given credit for its legitimate pride that performance towards MDG's has been even better than several other countries like India, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan.
"Perhaps it is Bangladesh's own experience of building a nation out of ashes that has inspired the country to actively participate across a spectrum of UN Peacekeeping activities," Walker quipped.
On the role of peacekeeping, he said that when Bangladesh joined the efforts with the UN Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group (UNIMOG) in 1988, that year UN Peacekeeping Operation received global recognition and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
For three decades of contributing to international peacekeeping reflects Bangladesh's strong commitment to world peace, he added.
Bangladesh is among the top troops contributor to the UN. As of this July there are 8,841 Bangladesh soldiers and officers from armed forces and police serving the UN in various conflict zones across the world.
Unfortunately 118 Bangladeshis died in serving the world peace while in duty in 53 missions in 39 countries during the last three decades achieving peace and security in a complex world.
The Bangladesh partnership with the UN in protecting peace around the world synchronizes with the eloquent words of the founder of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at th