Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today received a special memento from UNESCO in recognition of her outstanding contribution to promotion of girls' and women's education.
UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova presented the memento titled "Tree of Peace" to the Prime Minister at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre here on the occasion of the International Literacy Day 2014.
Receiving the memento, Sheikh Hasina dedicated it to all women and children of the country.
Before handing over the memento, the UNESCO director general said: "Her Excellency Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is a strong advocate on world stage in girls and women education, a certain prerequisite for political and economic empowerment."
"Last but not least, you're a close friend, UNESCO, particularly I was hounoured that H. E. joined me in launching the Global Partnership for Girls and Women Education in 2011," Bokova said.
Indeed, under her (Sheikh Hasina) leadership, Bangladesh became a champion country of "Global Education First Initiative", the UNESCO director general said amid thunderous clapping of the audience.
"For all these reasons, Her Excellency, dear Prime Minister, I wish to express a recognition to you by presenting a "Tree of Peace", which is a symbol of understanding, peace and freedom," she said.
On the occasion of the International Literacy Day 2014, Sheikh Hasina opened a daylong "International Conference on "Girls' and Women's Literacy and Education: Foundations for Sustainable Development" at Bangabandhu International Conference Center.
The programme was organized by the government of Bangladesh in partnership with UNESCO and in support of the UN Secretary General's Global Education First Initiative (GEFI).
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Yun-young and Chinese Charge d'Affaires QU Gungzhou also spoke at the function, while Primary and Mass Education Minister Advocate Mustafizur Rahman delivered the welcome address.
Ministers, parliament members, diplomats, academics and high civil and military officials were present on the occasion. Besides, international autism expert and PM's daughter Saima Hossain Putul was present.
Representatives from some 36 countries across the world took part in the conference.
Earlier, the Prime Minister handed over UNESCO Literacy Award 2014 to seven representatives of six countries including the USA, Spain, South Africa and Algeria which are champions in mass literacy.
-Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)
Photo: Yeasin Kabir Joy