On the occasion of Bangladesh’s 52nd anniversary of independence, the United States Congress introduced a resolution on March 29 — recognizing and commending Bangladesh and its remarkable socioeconomic progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Republican Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina introduced the resolution at the Congress as the co-chair of the Congressional Bangladesh Caucus.
Joe Wilson Sr. (born July 31, 1947) has been serving as the US representative for South Carolina's 2nd congressional district since 2001.
He earlier served as the South Carolina state senator from the 23rd district from 1985 to 2001.
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While placing the resolution, Congressman Wilson recalled that 51 years ago on April 4, 1972, the United States recognized Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan.
During the nine-month-long Bangladesh Liberation War, members of the Pakistan Armed Forces and pro-Pakistani militias killed hundreds of thousands of people and injured many more, the resolution said.
The war for independence was a struggle for democracy and freedom led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, it noted.
It said Bangladesh has made enormous strides in the last five decades from one of the poorest nations to having one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with the GDP per capita increasing to $2,457 in 2021 according to the World Bank which now exceeds that of its regional neighbors.
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The resolution mentioned since its independence in 1971, Bangladesh's economy has grown from $9 billion to $450 billion, life expectancy has risen from 47 years to 73 years, and the adult literacy rate has risen to more than 75 percent.
Bangladesh, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has made substantial socioeconomic progress in food production, disaster resilience, poverty reduction, improved health, education, and women's empowerment, it noted.
The resolution said Bangladesh has successfully maintained a moderate Muslim society and curbed extremism in the country, and its people have sought to maintain support for democracy and rule of law rather than descending into authoritarian rule.
The resolution said the United States and Bangladesh have extensive cooperation on matters of regional and global security, counter terrorism, and climate change.
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The US is the largest export market for Bangladesh and one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment, it said, adding the nation of Bangladesh has also contributed to the US economy through bilateral trade and international security cooperation in return.
The resolution said the American people appreciate the generous and indispensable role that Bangladesh performs in accepting and sheltering more than 1 million Rohingya people from a genocide perpetrated by its neighbor, Myanmar. The United States has contributed the largest amount of humanitarian aid to address this crisis, totaling more than $2 billion.
It said the American people welcome that Bangladesh is one of the world's largest contributors to United Nations’ peacekeeping efforts globally. Both countries seek to enhance their people-to people and government-to-government relationship for shared prosperity.
The resolution mentioned that Bangladesh has expressed gratitude to the United States for contributing more than 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the people of Bangladesh.
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The resolution said the American people recognize and commend the nation and people of Bangladesh as they celebrate five decades of independence. The United States extends its sincere determination to remain a constructive partner of Bangladesh in achieving mutual economic, social and national security objectives now and into the future, the resolution concluded.