Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday demanded immediate end to the Russia-Ukraine war and lifting sanctions for the sake of lives and livelihoods of people worldwide.
“We want the end of Russia-Ukraine war. Due to sanctions, and counter-sanctions, not a single country, rather the entire mankind including women and children is punished,” she said.
The Prime Minister made the call while delivering her statement at the 77th session of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Like previous years, she delivered her statement in Bangla. The theme of this year's general debate is “A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges”.
She mentioned that the impact of Russia-Ukraine war does not remain confined to one country, rather puts the lives and livelihoods of the people of all nations in greater risk, and infringes their human rights. People are deprived of food, shelter, healthcare and education.
She said Children suffer the most in particular and their future sinks into darkness. “My urge to the conscience of the world community- stop the arms race, war and sanctions. Ensure food and security of the children. Establish peace,” she said.
“We share one planet, and we owe it to our future generations to leave it in a better shape,” she said.
“Dialogue is the best way to resolve crises and disputes,” she added.
In this context, she thanked the UN Secretary General for setting up the Global Crisis Response Group.
“As a champion of this group, I am working with other world leaders to determine a global solution commensurate with the gravity and depth of the current situation,” said the Bangladesh premier.
“This (war) has brought economies like ours under tremendous pressure. Inflation has gone up. We (Bangladesh) are taking various initiatives to overcome this situation,” she noted.
Rohingya crisis may affect regional stability and beyond
Talking about the forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar, Sheikh Hasina said, Last month Bangladesh witnessed five years of the 2017 mass exodus of Rohingyas to Bangladesh from their home country.
“Not a single Rohingya was repatriated to their ancestral home Myanmar, despite our bilateral engagements with them, discussions with partners in trilateral format and engagements with the UN and other partners to assist Myanmar to create necessary conditions for safe and dignified repatriation,” she complained.
In this connection, she said the ongoing political turmoil and armed conflicts in the country has made possibilities of Rohingya repatriation more difficult. “I hope the United Nations will play an effective role in this regard,” the PM added.
Talking about the prolonged presence of Rohingyas in Bangladesh, she said, it has caused serious ramifications on the economy, environment, security, and socio-political stability in Bangladesh.
“Uncertainty over repatriation has led to widespread frustration. Cross-border organized crimes including human and drug trafficking are on the rise,” she said, adding that this situation can potentially fuel radicalization.
“If the problem persists, it may affect security and stability of the entire region, and beyond,” she cautioned.
Promote inclusive climate action
Regarding the impact of climate change she said it is one of the biggest threats for humankind. “In the past, we have seen a vicious cycle of promises being made and broken. We must now change this course,” she said.
In Bangladesh, she mentioned that the government has led to many transformative measures to tackle perilous impacts of climate change consistent with implementing the Paris Agreement and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
During Bangladesh’s Presidency of Climate Vulnerable Forum, it launched ‘Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan’, which aims to put Bangladesh on a sustainable trajectory from “one of vulnerability to resilience to climate prosperity,” she said.
“Our national plans and policies on climate change and natural disaster are gender responsive and take into account the critical role of women in adaptation and mitigation,” said Hasina.
She said Bangladesh is ready to support other vulnerable countries to develop their own prosperity plans. “I call on world leaders to promote inclusive climate action,” she said.
Zero tolerance policy on terrorism and extremism
The Prime Minister reiterated Bangladesh’s stance of 'zero tolerance' to terrorism and violent extremism. “We do not allow our territory to be used by any party to incite or cause terrorist acts or harm to others,” she said.
She also called upon the UN member states to work together for the conclusion of an internationally binding instrument to tackle cyber-crimes and cyber-violence.
Bangladesh fully committed to protecting human rights
As a responsible member state, Bangladesh is fully committed to protecting and promoting human rights of its own people, PM Hasina said. “We have adopted a holistic and inclusive approach to ensure the political, economic, cultural and social rights of the people.”
She said Bangladesh is interested in looking for transformative solutions to poverty alleviation, mitigating climate change effects, preventing conflicts and finance, energy and fuel crises that the world is grappling with now.
Dhaka to continue supporting Palestine
The premier said Bangladesh will continue to extend its support to the occupied Palestinian people.
She reiterated Bangladesh’s unequivocal support for the two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders and the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Briefly describing the success of Bangladesh in controlling COVID-19, she said, as of August 2022, hundred percent of the eligible population of Bangladesh have been vaccinated.
Besides, in the 77th UN General Assembly 2022, Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina highlighted the economic progress of the country, its successes in different sectors including education, food security and health, and gender inequality.