Dhaka, May 4, 2021
A senior officials’ meeting (SOM) was held on the BOITHOK virtual platform in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. Foreign Secretary (Senior Secretary) Mr. Masud Bin Momen chaired the meeting. Mr. Shabbir Ahmad Chowdhury, Secretary (West), Ms. Mashfee Binte Shams, Secretary (East), Rear Admiral (Retd.) Md Khurshed Alam, Secretary (MAU), Additional Foreign Secretary and Directors General from all wings of the Ministry were present at the meeting.
Foreign Secretary interacted with the wings to take stock of the ongoing activities of different wings of the ministry in the backdrop of the current pandemic situation. He was apprised of the recent involvements of the ministry in a plethora of diplomatic initiatives and offered his guidelines for the betterment of the service delivery by the ministry. In these interactions, a wide range of issues starting from diplomatic relations to consular services, public diplomacy and economic diplomacy initiatives etc. were discussed. The meeting lasted for approximately two and half hours.
In his remarks, Foreign Secretary appreciated the new and Bangladesh-made virtual conferencing platform 'Boithok' for its security and potentials for smooth operability. He also applauded the initiative of the ICT Division, in particular, the Hon'ble ICT Adviser to the Hon'ble Prime Minister, Mr. Sajeeb Wazed and the Hon'ble State Minister for ICT, Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, for the creation of this home-grown platform. He emphasized on its use for more proceedings as this will facilitate the vital data safety due to its hosting at the National Data Centre, our own data preserving facility in Gazipur. As data security is a prime concern in holding virtual events on digital platforms, Foreign Secretary highly encouraged its use.
Foreign Secretary said that the platform will surely evolve to be at par with the other globally leading video conferencing tools available in the market with a few improvements. He mentioned that it is still in beta version, and with the feedbacks and suggestions implemented, the platform could become a daily usable application for the ministry and other users. On this note, he thanked the ICT Division for handing it over to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before anyone else.
Senior Officials present at the meeting suggested the use of the internet and communication channels to be more inclusive and richer in content for greater reach and creation of goodwill. They also welcomed the new platform with positive opinions and reiterated the need for constant monitoring and improvement. They shared their valuable insights on the platform ranging from the number of participants to viewing options, while praising an important feature of this platform, the unlimited time frame. They lauded the indigenous efforts for creating this video conferencing platform which will have significant national security implications in future.