Diplomatic Correspondent: The UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Mr. Oliver de Schutter called on State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam, MP at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Sunday. During the meeting the Special Rapporteur debriefed about his visit to Bangladesh. He appreciated the remarkable progress of Bangladesh in reducing the upper poverty line from 48.9% to 18.7%, and the lower poverty line from 34.3% to 5.6%. The State Minister underscored that a deeper understanding of the political and socio-economic background would be essential to gauge the extent and degree of the progress Bangladesh made in reducing poverty. Mentioning a number of innovative and effective interventions of the Government of Bangladesh, he highlighted the competitiveness of the RMG industry- the prime export industry of Bangladesh that Bangladesh takes pride in, and the key role it played in the realization of economic, social and political rights including, inter alia, through women empowerment.
The Special Rapporteur reflected on his findings regarding the challenges posed by climate change and the Rohingya crisis, and underscored the need for redoubling commitments and contributions on the part of the international community. While making a few recommendations, the Special Rapporteur also underscored the linkages between the economic, social and cultural rights and the civil and political rights, and opined that this has an important bearing on making the progress sustainable. In this regard, the State Minister underscored the critical importance of due diligence, neutrality and objectivity of all, including the UN system as well as the CSOs that are active in the arena of human rights. The State Minister also highlighted Bangladesh’s ongoing collaboration with the UN Human Rights mechanism.
The Special Rapporteur will present his report on this visit to the Human Rights Council in June 2024.
The UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Mr. Oliver de Schutter visited Bangladesh on 17-28 May 2023, at the invitation of the Government of Bangladesh. During his visit, he met a number of key dignitaries of the Government. He also visited Rangpur and Kurigram districts, and the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar. He also met members of civil society organizations.