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Assistant Secretary General Mr. Michael O’Neill praises Village Courts Project Performance

Mr. Michael O’Neill, Assistant Secretary General and Director at the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy, UNDP attended a review meeting on Village Courts project on October 28, 2014 at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka. This was Michael’s first visit to Country Office in Bangladesh since assuming his office in February 2014. During his visit, Mr. O’Neill attended in the discussion with senior officials of the Bangladesh government particularly from Local Government Division (LGD) and European Union (EU) representatives. Mr. Monzur Hossain, Senior Secretary of Local Government Division, Ms. Pauline Tamesis, Country Director, Ms. Blerta Cela, ACD, Mr. Rustam Pulatov, ACD a.i., Mr. Salahuddin Khan, Programme Analyst, UNDP Bangladesh and Ms. Anna Lixi, Head of Governance and Economic Development Section, Mr. Luc Patzel, Programme Manager European Union (EU) delegation to Dhaka were attended in the meeting along with other officials from LGD and UNDP.

Ms. Shamima Nargis, Joint Secretary, LGD explained the Assistant Secretary General about Village Courts, its nature and functions together with the success and achievements of the AVCB Project. She explained the basic features of the village courts system, its policy framework and future prospects in terms of the AVCB project and village courts function as a whole in Bangladesh. Referring to the strong national ownership at the highest policy level as well as in the community, Ms. Pauline Tamesis, Country Director, UNDP Bangladesh reiterated on partnership among UNDP, GOB and EU in light of the successful experiences gained in the current phase and increased public and policymaker demand toward second phase targeting more than thousand UPs.

Mr. Monzur Hossain, Senior Secretary of LGD reiterated GOB’s interest to come forward to sustain the success achieved in Phase I as well as continue partnership with UNDP and EU for a larger scale second phase of the project. Ms. Anna from EU applauds VCs potentials toward sustainability while Mr. Sarder Asaduzzaman, Project Manager referred Village Courts can lead establishing peace and unity at the locality for building resilient nation. Mr. O’Neill expressed his deep satisfaction on continuous partnership among parties toward activating village courts that can enhance restoring societal cohesion in fighting against local issues including poverty reduction.

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