Rumi Forum hosted Mr. Akramul Qader, Ambassador of Bangladesh on April 23, 2014. Alysaa Ayres moderated the talk, which was held at Rumi Forum’s new offices located at 750 First St. NE Suite 1120 Washington DC 20002.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 23, 2014 12:00 PM – 01:30 PM
In his remarks, Mr. Qader talked about both the amazing socio-economic developments of Bangladesh in the recent years and highlight the much-debated post-election political situation in Bangladesh. In addition, he encapsulated various crosscurrent aspects of the Bangladesh society and culture that led the country to its war of independence in 1971 and successfully put the country on the trajectory of democracy and development. Bringing in his four-decades of experiences to operate in international arena as a career diplomat, he touched upon important historical events that shaped today’s Bangladesh, and highlighted the values and principles that encompass the socio-cultural life of the people of Bangladesh namely, humanism, universalism and inclusiveness.
Socio-economic developments in Bangladesh were initiated with a discussion of major positive economic indicators with particular focus on Bangladesh’s outstanding success stories in achieving Millennium Development Goals. The transition of Bangladesh fromed a major aid-recipient country to one of the largest RMG exporting countries in the world was discussed along with the recent developments in US-Bangladesh trade relations. The commitment and contribution of all the stakeholders including the Government of Bangladesh and its development partners were discussed in this regard. The importance of Bangladesh’s staying in course on the road to secular-democracy, development and counter-terrorism in regional security perspective were also highlighted.
A career diplomat with a cabinet rank of State Minister, Mr. Akramul Qader has served as the Ambassador of Bangladesh to the United States since November 2009. In December 2010, he also assumed the role of Ambassador to Mexico. Mr. Qader served as Deputy Chief of Mission/Ambassador at the Embassy of Bangladesh in Brussels, Belgium, with concurrent accreditation to the European Commission, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (1990-1994), as well as Counselor and later Deputy Chief of Mission in the High Commission of Bangladesh in New Delhi, India. He was Ambassador to Thailand, with concurrent accreditation to Cambodia from 1996 to April 1999, followed by high commissioner to South Africa, with concurrent accreditation as high commissioner to Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho until 2002.
The talk was moderated by Alyssa Ayres, Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan, and South Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. She served most recently as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia during 2010–2013, covering all issues across a dynamic region of 1.3 billion people (India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, and Bhutan), and providing policy direction and support for four U.S. embassies and four consulates. Trained originally as a cultural historian, she has experience in the nonprofit, government, and private sectors, and has carried out research on both India and Pakistan.