The International Labour Organization (ILO) and Bangladesh Business and Disability Network (BBDN) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a ceremony held on March 23rd, 2023 at Police Plaza. The MoU signing ceremony was attended by distinguished guests from both organizations, including Mr. Tuomo Poutiainen, the Country Director of ILO Country Office for Bangladesh and Mr. Ardashir Kabir, Chairman BBDN.
Murteza Khan, the Chief Executive Officer of BBDN, provided an overview of the MoU and emphasized the importance of having an agreement that allows both parties to conceptualize new areas of intervention by mobilizing resources jointly. The overview was followed by an open floor discussion where BBDN members and partners that included representatives from the World Bank, GIZ, BASIS, BRAC, CDD, BSCAN, Carers and CSR Centre, amongst others, provided their valuable inputs to foster greater collaboration amongst key stakeholders. Mr. Salahuddin Kasem Khan, Chairman of the Advisory Council, BBDN, reflected on the journey of the private sector towards becoming progressively inclusive over the last 15 years when Mr. Monsur Ahmed Choudhuri, Trustee of BBDN and an illustrious figure in the disability movement of Bangladesh acknowledged the major milestone of executing this agreement which can lead to meaningful change, once implemented. This was followed up by speeches from Mr. Ardashir Kabir and Mr. Tuomo Poutiainen. Mr. Kabir expressed his appreciation for the partnership between ILO and BBDN and the potential of their collaboration to create positive impact in the long run. Mr. Poutiainen also shared his views on the importance of social protection and employment generation and skills development for persons with disabilities.
Mr. Gunjan Dallakoti, SME Development Specialist, ILO, gave the vote of thanks, expressing his expectations and optimism towards the MoU and thanked BBDN for their commendable work in creating employment for persons with disabilities.