UN chief arrives in Dhaka Sunday

N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is set to arrive in the capital Sunday on the first leg of his three-nation official tour in South and South-East Asia that would also take him to Thailand and Indonesia.

The key purpose of his visit is to showcase the progress and leadership of the three countries – Bangladesh, Thailand and Indonesia – in the advancement of women’s and children’s health in the context of the “Every Woman Every Child” effort he initiated in 2010.

The UN chief will arrive at 7:30pm at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, where he will be received by Dr Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, state minister for women and children affairs.

During his stay in Bangladesh, Ban will visit a community clinic in the north-east region of Moulvibazar on Tuesday, where community health workers are being trained in a government-led effort to drastically increase the number of women who give birth with a skilled birth attendant.

He will also visit a joint project of the government and non-government organization BRAC, which illustrates how empowering women through microfinance impacts the health of their communities, a UNICEF release said.

Jointly with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Secretary-General will address the Climate Vulnerable Forum and inaugurate the district information centre on Monday.

The same day, he will pay tribute to the contribution of Bangladesh to UN peacekeeping efforts by visiting the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training (BIPSOT), where he will meet with the families of those peacekeepers who perished in the line of duty.

On Tuesday, the secretary-general will deliver a public address at the University of Dhaka, where he will also be bestowed an honorary degree.

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