Moon Desk: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said Bangladesh’s active participation in all important meetings in the UN General Assembly (UNGA) would strengthen Bangladesh’s position in multilateral forums along with widening the field of international cooperation on issues relating to the country’s interests.
“During the UN assembly, Bangladesh actively participated in all important meetings and I hope that this participation would strengthen Bangladesh’s position in multilateral forums and widen the field of international cooperation on issues relating to Bangladesh’s interests. Overall, I think Bangladesh’s participation in this session was very successful,” said the premier in a written speech at the outset of a press conference about her just-concluded official visit to the United Kingdom and the United States.
In her speech, Sheikh Hasina touched a number of important issues, including climate change, the Rohingya crisis and the global crisis erupted from the Russia-Ukraine war. She attended a reception at the invitation of US President Joe Biden when she invited the US President and First Lady to visit Bangladesh.
As the members of the Bangladesh delegation to the UN session, the foreign minister, education minister, health and family welfare affairs minister, state minister for foreign affairs, members of Parliament and senior officials participated in various important meetings and bilateral talks.
For over five years, she said Bangladesh has been giving shelter to more than 11 lakh Rohingya people who were forcibly displaced from Myanmar. Bangladesh has given temporary shelter to the persecuted Rohingya population on humanitarian ground, she said.
The prime minister said she participated in a high-level side event organized jointly by Bangladesh along with European Union, the USA, the UK, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia and Gambia jointly on the Rohingya issues on September 22.
Bangladesh has taken bilateral, trilateral and multilateral initiatives so that the Rohingyas can return to their home of origin with dignity and safely . But, due to the lack of political will of the Myanmar government, the safe repatriation of the Rohingyas has not been possible yet, she added.
The premier said she called upon the United Nations to play an effective and strong role in putting pressure on Myanmar to create a safe environment for return of the Rohingyas in Rakhine State and to execrate the repatriation process of Rohingyas.
Sheikh Hasina said the Prime Minister of Barbados and she jointly chaired a session on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) titled “One Health Global Leaders Group on AMR”. She also joined a roundtable arranged by US-Bangladesh Business Council where she invited the US business leaders to invest in Bangladesh’s industrial zones, including information technology, renewable energy, shipbuilding, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, medical industry, marine industry, 100 special economic zones and several hi-tech parks.
In her speech in the General Debate of the UNGA, she put emphasis on showing mutual solidarity more than at any time in the past aiming to tackle the food and fuel crisis and economic uncertainty caused by the corona virus pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
She said developing countries, including Bangladesh, are being affected more because of all these crises and for this reason she called upon the international community to resolve crises and disputes through dialogue rather than imposing economic sanctions and counter-sanctions.
During the speech, the premier said she highlighted Bangladesh’s various actions and achievements and urged the world leaders to stimulate inclusive climate actions to address the adverse impacts of climate change and implement the Paris Agreement and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Sheikh Hasina said she highlighted the Bangladesh’s commitment to and participation in nuclear disarmament, preventing terrorism and the UN peacekeeping and peace-building activities to establish global peace. I reiterated our support for the establishment of just rights for the Palestinians in the Middle East.
The prime minister said she joined some important bilateral meetings during the UN general assembly. On the sidelines, she held meetings with the President of Slovenia, the President of Ecuador, the President of Kosovo, the Prime Minister of Cambodia, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the Executive Director of UN Habitat, the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the President of the UN’s High Representative, Global Affairs Meta, the World Economic Forum Executive Chairman and the UN Secretary General. In all these bilateral meetings, I discussed various issues relating to mutual and global interests.
On September 24, she virtually participated in a reception party hosted by Bangladeshi expatriates living in the United States.
During her stay in Washington DC, influential US media outlets Energy-Environment News, CBS, The Washington Post and The Politico interviewed Sheikh Hasina. Various issues like climate change, the Rohingya crisis, the global crisis resulted from the Russia-Ukraine war, and internal politics were discussed in these interviews.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina went to London on September 15 to attend the funeral of the Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.
On September 18, she and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana attended a reception in honor of heads of state and government hosted by the King of the United Kingdom at Buckingham Palace.
After paying last respects to the Queen Elizabeth II, in the condolence book, the Prime Minister wrote in Bangla, ‘I am on behalf of the people of Bangladesh, my family and my younger sister Sheikh Rehana expressing profound sympathy’.
Sheikh Rehana wrote on the condolence book “She is the queen of our hearts and always will remain so”.
On September 16, the President of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Lord Karan Bilimoria of Chelsea paid a courtesy call on me.
She paid tributes to Lord Bilimoria’s late father Indian Army General Faridun Bilimoria, recalling his contribution to the Bangladesh’s Liberation War. Lord Bilimoria as the Chancellor of the University of Birmingham expressed his interest to develop partnership with Bangladesh on higher education.
Leader of the Opposition and Labour Party in the UK Sir Keir Starmer paid a courtesy call on her on September 17 and expressed satisfaction at the increasing number of representatives of Bangladeshi origin elected from Labour Party.
Lord Swraj Paul of Marylebone also paid a courtesy call on her.