The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (PFII) welcomed the progress toward the implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord. The Forum made this observation in its report of the 22nd Session held from 17 to 28 April in New York.
The members of the Forum engaged with the delegation of Bangladesh as well as with a large number of civil society members and individuals belonging to the ethnic minorities throughout the Session and discussed the status of the CHT Peace Accord. Welcoming the progress made in this regard, the Forum called upon Bangladesh to make further efforts towards full implementation of the Accord through constructive dialogue and cooperation with the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council, the three Hill District Councils and the Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Resolution Commission.
The Government of Bangladesh is committed to achieving inclusive and sustainable development of all its people including the ethnic minorities, and recognizes the importance of implementing the historic CHT Peace Accord, which was signed in 1997 under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“Implementation of the CHT peace accord is integrally linked to our vision for an inclusive and peaceful Bangladesh. The Government’s efforts have already brought visible changes in the lives of the ethnic minorities in Bangladesh, which will continue”, said Ambassador Muhith, the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, who effectively steered the engagements of the Bangladesh delegation with the Forum.
The delegation highlighted various initiatives undertaken by the Government of Bangladesh in ensuring socio-economic development of ethnic minorities in Bangladesh and increasing their participation in decision-making processes as well as measures for protection of their unique cultural heritage, language and diversity.
The Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council which is mandated to address issues related to the rights of indigenous people.