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Ambassador to Speak at U.Va. on Recent Bangladesh Election

February 11, 2009 — Humayun Kabir, Bangladesh's ambassador to the United States, will speak Feb. 16 at the University of Virginia as part of the 2009 Ambassadors' Forum series.

Kabir's talk, sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for International Programs, will focus on the recent elections in Bangladesh. Kabir will speak at 5 p.m. in the Dome Room of the Rotunda. The address is free and open to the public.

"Bangladesh has recently held a general election in which power has been transferred from a military-backed caretaker administration to a democratically elected government," said Gowher Rizvi, vice provost for international programs. "Bangladesh is a remarkable story of a moderate Muslim state with a population of nearly 150 million with a deep and passionate commitment to democracy."

The series is part of U.Va.'s initiative to promote global education by bringing distinguished scholars and statesmen to the University.

"It gives our students an opportunity to listen to and interact with these global leaders," Rizvi said.

As the world becomes more interdependent, students must become global citizens and need to be more familiar with the world outside their own country, he said.

After his talk, Kabir will dine with faculty and students whose work involves southern Asia.

"Kabir is a career diplomat and very thoughtful analyst," Rizvi said.

Rizvi hopes to take advantage of the University's proximity to Washington to give students and community members access to scholars and dignitaries, said Laura D. Casteen, the interim assistant vice provost for international programs.

As part of the ambassador series, Danish ambassador to the U.S. Friis Arne Petersen is scheduled to visit the University in April. He will present a lecture on sustainability and work with students in the Environmental Sciences Department.

— By Matt Kelly

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