Speakers at a seminar in the city on Friday criticised Saarc for its inaction in implementing the declarations adopted in Saarc Climate Change Summits in Dhaka (2008) and Thimpu (2010).
The 18th Saarc Summit which is scheduled to be held in Kathmandu on November 26-27 should promote connectivity for human development rather for only profit, they said at the seminar 'Alternative People' s Regionalism, Saarc Challenges in Climate Change and Food Security' held at the Dhaka Reporters Unity.
The People's SAARC Bangladesh Process Group represented by Bangladesh Poribesh Andoloan (BAPA), BERDM, Bangladesh Nari Progoti Sangha (BNPS), Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD), Institute of Environment and Development (IED), Khani Bangladesh, Nagorik Uddoygue and Sushanoer Jonny Procharavizan (SUPRO) organised the seminar.
Dr Rashid E Mahbub, Chair of People's SAARC Bangladesh Process Group, presided over the seminar moderated by its member Rezaul Karim Chowhudry of Equity BD.
Former Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni, also Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Ministry, was present at the seminar as the chief guest, said a press release.
Other speakers include Sahnaz Sumi of BNPS, Alision Baroi of SUPRO and Gloam Sarwar of Bangladesh Agriculture Farm Labour Federation (BALF).
Keynote presentations were given by Syed Aminul Haque and Mujibul Haque Munir of EquityBD and Bangladesh Farmers Forum respectively.
Syed Aminul Haque of EquityBD in his keynote paper clarified the concept of alternative regionalism which is to take overarching goal of people welfare, visa-free regime and access in employment opportunity and demilitarisation to invest in human development across the region.
He mentioned that most of the declaration commitments from Dhaka and Thimpu summits on climate change are yet to be implemented.
Aminul urged the Saarc countries to form an inter-governmental expert group on climate change, establish Saarc climate change fund and a centre for technology development in South Asia.
Mujibul Haque Munir in his presentation said in fact Saarc food bank clauses are ineffective and Saarc seeds bank clauses are in favour of private company development in this regard, which should be revisited.
Dr Dipu Moni in her speech agreed that the overarching goal for connectivity should be people-oriented first.
She also expressed solidarity with the demand for equitable water management, saying the Bangladesh government is in favour of region or basin-wise water management plan. ?UNB