Bangladesh has no name in the United States Democracy Conference

Bangladesh is not on the list of those invited to the Democracy Conference to be held next month at the initiative of US President Joe Biden. The U.S.-based political journal Politico has published a list of hundreds of countries or governments considered for Biden’s invitation. According to the list, India, Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan have been invited to the region.

Contacting Bangladeshi officials in Dhaka and Washington DC, it is learned that they are also keeping an eye on various news regarding the preparations for President Biden’s conference. However, at present they have no statement in this regard.

According to the news agency Reuters, President Biden is preparing to address the conference to prevent deviations from democracy and freedom around the world. However, many of the invited leaders have questions. Because many of those leaders are accused of practicing dictatorship.

Biden administration officials say the conference is just the beginning of a long discussion about democracy. The next conference is planned for next year. To participate in that conference, countries need to fulfill their commitment to reform.

The United States has been critical of democracy and the human rights situation in Bangladesh for years. This criticism has intensified since the 5th parliamentary elections on January 5, 2014. On March 30, the US State Department’s “Country-Based Report on Human Rights Practices 2020” accused Bangladesh of widespread human rights abuses, including massive irregularities, disappearances, torture, and extrajudicial killings.

This year, the report of the US-based Freedom House also said that the exercise of political rights and civil liberties in Bangladesh is very low. Bangladesh is on the list of ‘partially independent’ countries out of 210 countries and regions in the world.

According to a source close to the leaked list of politicians and the process of inviting countries or governments, the list includes mature democracies such as France and Sweden, as well as countries like the Philippines and Poland, which are disputed due to their democratic status. Japan and South Korea, US allies in Asia, were invited, but Thailand and Vietnam were left out. Among those invited from the Middle East are Israel and Iraq. However, the United States is not inviting its allies Egypt and NATO ally Turkey to the conference.

Human rights groups have welcomed US President Joe Biden’s stance on democracy, but have also criticized the Biden administration for making concessions on democracy and human rights in various countries to counter China’s strategic influence. In particular, they have questioned the invitation of some countries, such as India, to the Conference on Democracy, which is critical of human rights and democracy.

Imtiaz Ahmed, an international relations analyst, said, “I think Bangladesh will go if invited.” Even if you are not invited, there is nothing to worry about. Because the United States itself now has many problems in the democratic system.

He added that Biden’s conference was being attended by many countries whose situation was more fragile than Bangladesh’s. If the conference is convened with China in mind, there will be questions at the outset. If this is clear, it will be seen that many countries are being represented at the ministerial or official level instead of at the top level.

In the end, if Bangladesh is not invited to the democracy conference, then whether it is a message for the country, Imtiaz Ahmed said, there may be a message. If you are not invited again, you have to see if any of the ‘lobbying’ behind it has worked. All over the world, democracy is now limited to the formality of elections. People like Donald Trump were also elected through this election.


Source: Bhorer Kagoj by

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