Ambassador Rabab Fatima
The UN office in Bangladesh has said the vast experience of Ambassador Rabab Fatima, newly appointed UN Under-Secretary-General, has made her a powerful voice for the vulnerable peoples.“Her immense experience in leading highly climate-vulnerable countries, graduating LDCs makes her a powerful voice for vulnerable peoples. We look forward to working with her,” UN office in Bangladesh tweeted, congratulating Ambassador Fatima.Earlier on June 9, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, as High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS). Also read: Rabab Fatima appointed UN under-secretary generalThe German Mission to the UN also tweeted saying Ambassador Fatima will be a leading advocate for the interests and perspectives of 91 states in the UN.The high-level appointment of Ambassador Fatima at the UN is a testament to Bangladesh's deep and intense engagement in multilateral diplomacy and the recognition of true professionalism of Bangladeshi diplomats, Bangladesh says.For the first time, a female diplomat from the Bangladesh Foreign Service has been appointed as an UN Under-Secretary-General. Also read: Rabab Fatima elected UN Women Executive Board PresidentWith this appointment, Rabab Fatima becomes the highest ranking official among the Bangladesh nationals currently working in the UN system.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said the adoption of a resolution at the United Nations (UN) by consensus for the first time on the “situation of human rights of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar” has a political value and it has a pressure on that particular country. “It’s a great day for us. We’re very happy,” he told reporters after attending a programme at Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS). Dr Momen said the countries which used to create barriers like Russia and China also want solutions to the Rohingya crisis and he had discussion with Russia while China has taken some initiatives. “They (Rohingyas) must go back to their country for a better future. All countries want a peaceful solution to the Rohingya issue,” he said. Read: UK MoS calls on PM, finds common ground on issues As fundamental issues regarding the Rohingya crisis were not included in the resolution in June, Bangladesh decided to abstain. “We strongly made our position clear explaining why we abstained at that time,” Dr Momen said. He said restoration of democracy in Myanmar was highlighted but the return of Rohingyas was not mentioned. “We said resolution will be meaningless if you don’t talk about the Rohingyas.” Responding to a question, the Foreign Minister said the General Assembly resolution is not a mandatory one while the Security Council resolution is a mandatory one. “We’re yet to see any resolution passed by the UNSC. We’re hopeful that in the future we can see progress there, too.” “The adoption of the Rohingya resolution, for the first time by consensus, demonstrates the international community’s strong resolve to end this crisis,” said Ambassador Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations during the adoption of the resolution on Wednesday. The resolution was jointly tabled by the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the European Union (EU). In the resolution, the member states commended Bangladesh for its generosity in hosting the Rohingyas, and for providing humanitarian assistance to them and also for including them in the national COVID-19 vaccination drive.
The vast and unexplored resource frontiers of the oceans have the potentials to bring transformative changes to the lives and livelihoods of more than one billion people in the LDCs, Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Rabab Fatima has said. "And the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) can indeed be the pathway to an ocean of opportunity for them," she said. Ambassador Rabab Fatima was speaking at a high-level event of the International Seabed Authority on the opportunities offered by UNCLOS to LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS. Read: Bangladesh deeply committed to human rights, fundamental freedoms: Rabab Fatima The event held on Tuesday was moderated by Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority Michael W. Lodge. A significant number of Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives including the LDC Chair also attended the event. As LDCs are among the world’s most resource-constraint economies in the world, the Permanent Representative urged the International Seabed Authority to ensure the fair share of various benefits and opportunities for LDCs in the deep-sea particularly in the areas of marine scientific research, capacity building and access to marine technologies for exploration of resources in the high sea. Ambassador Fatima is co-chairing the Preparatory Committee for the LDC5 Conference to be held in Doha in January 2022. Read:AIBTRI holds development programme on Bangladesh's LDC graduation Referring to the dedicated focus of the Draft Doha Program of Action on the devastating impacts of climate change on oceans, she stated that various forms of pollution are seriously disrupting the balance of marine food webs and ecosystems. She emphasized the importance of scaling up global efforts to combat marine pollution and uncontrolled activities in the deep sea. The Ambassador concluded her remarks with a call to create more space for the women and youth of the LDCs to have enhanced access to the new and emerging opportunities that the ocean can offer.
The United Nations General Assembly has adopted unanimously a historic resolution on drowning prevention globally. The Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, Ambassador Rabab Fatima on Wednesday introduced the first ever one-off UNGA resolution on “Global Drowning Prevention” which acknowledges the ‘silent epidemic’ for the first time in UN’s 75-year history. Co-led by Ireland, the resolution was co-sponsored by a total 81 Member States. The resolution recognizes that drowning affects every nation of the world and provides a framework for action for an effective response to the unacceptably high number of drowning deaths. The resolution further identifies that drowning is a preventable cause of mortality that disproportionately affects children and adolescents within and among nations. A new UN Day for drowning prevention, 25 July, was also proclaimed to promote awareness and encourage national action, as well as share best practices and key solutions to drowning. Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN in New York has been working since 2018 to ensure that this global and preventable epidemic secures much-deserved political space internationally. In introducing the resolution at the plenary of the General Assembly, Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima stated that “The Government of Bangladesh recognizes the urgency to have a resolution to generate greater political commitment to prevention of drowning and is honoured to lead this effort at the UN”. Ambassador Fatima stressed, “We have reduced child mortality rates globally, however, if we cannot bring death from drowning to ‘zero’, our success in primary healthcare, and therefore, achievement of SDG 3 will remain unaccomplished”. In view of the fact that 90 percent of drowning deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, with Asia carrying the highest burden, Bangladesh Ambassador observed, “Drowning is not just an injury, it is an inequity”. Since drowning incidents affect mostly poor families, drowning prevention could also contribute to achieving several other SDGs, including SDG 1 on elimination of poverty, Ambassador Fatima remarked. Referring to number of deaths from drowning, which is around 18000 every year in Bangladesh, Ambassador Fatima mentioned that the Government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working to ensure that no more precious lives are lost to water. A cross-governmental taskforce was established on drowning prevention – led by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, with representation from 12 departments (including Fire and Civil Defence, Ministries -such as Education, Women and Children’s Affairs, Social Welfare, and Youth and Sports). The task force is working to prepare a ‘National Drowning Reduction Strategy’.
Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations Ambassador Rabab Fatima has said the lack of infrastructure, especially in the areas of ICT, health, and education is acutely felt during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "Therefore, it should be our urgent priority to build adequate infrastructure in all these areas," she said. The envoy made remarks while speaking at a virtual panel discussion on ‘Accelerating infrastructure investments for a sustainable and resilient recovery and restoring trade’ at the ECOSOC (United Nations Economic and Social Council) Forum on Financing for Development in New York on Tuesday. Highlighting the critical importance of digital infrastructure for providing vital services to people, Ambassador Fatima urged the developed countries to ensure much needed technology transfer to LDCs and other vulnerable countries. Also read: ECOSOC chief focuses on pandemic, SDGs, climate action She also underscored the importance of ensuring fast recovery from the pandemic as well as better resilience against current and future shocks. Ambassador Fatima called for the integration of the disasters and climate change issues into investment decisions to build long-term sustainability and resilience. Underlining the weaknesses of the global supply chain infrastructure, she emphasized the need for further improvement of trade infrastructure including in the areas of transit, transportation, and shipping etc. The envoy put specific focus on the grants and long-term concessional financing in infrastructure investment, public-private financing, blended financing, south-south and triangular cooperation etc. She urged the advanced economies to fulfill their unmet promises in the areas of DFQF market access and other trade benefits to LDCs. Also read: Bangladesh elected ECOSOC member The 2021 ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development is being held from 12-15 April 2021 in New York. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal is leading the Bangladesh delegation. He delivered a pre-recorded statement at the special segment of the Forum held on April 12. Bangladesh also participated in the Special High-level Meeting with the Bretton Woods Institutions (World Bank and IMF), WTO and UNCTAD on Tuesday.
Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York and the concurrently accredited Ambassador of Bangladesh to Peru with residence in New York has presented her copies of credentials to the Foreign Minister of Peru, Allan Wagner Tizon. At a virtual ceremony held on Thursday, Ambassador Fatima conveyed the greetings of the President and Prime Minister of Bangladesh to the Peruvian Government and people. Also read:Rabab Fatima calls for international solidarity against terrorism She mentioned that her presentation of credentials coincides with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence. The Ambassador reiterated her commitment to work towards strengthening the ties of friendship and excellent relations between the two countries and peoples, at all fronts, bilateral as well as multilateral. She conveyed the best wishes of the government of Bangladesh for the continued progress and prosperity of Peru, especially during this challenging time brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ambassadors of 13 countries presented their copies of credentials to the Foreign Minister of Peru on the same day. Due to the extraordinary situation posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Peruvian authority organized this virtual event, which concurrently accredits Ambassador Fatima as non-resident Ambassador of Bangladesh to Peru. Also read:Rabab Fatima appointed Bangladesh's envoy to UN The formal ceremony for presenting the credentials to the Peruvian President will be held at a suitable date later. There are some Bangladeshi nationals in Peru. The Permanent Mission in New York extends necessary cooperation and support to them as required.
Overcoming the disruptions caused by the pandemic, particularly in women’s economic empowerment, will require strong and visionary leadership, and a whole of society approach towards inclusive and resilient recovery, said a Bangladesh envoy posted at the UN. Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York Ambassador Rabab Fatima made the statement while speaking at a side event on “Women's Economic Empowerment: Good Practices in Covid-19 Response and Recovery” organised as part of the 65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women virtually on Wednesday. “We’re fortunate to have Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina lead us from the front in this battle against the pandemic,” she said. The event was jointly organised by the Permanent Missions of Bangladesh, El Salvador and Rwanda to the UN and the International Trade Centre. It gathered women entrepreneurs from three cross-regional countries who shared their experiences of resilient recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Also read; Don’t let Covid-19 reverse achievements in women empowerment: PM Apart from the Bangladesh Ambassador, the Permanent Representative of El Salvador Ambassador Egriselda López and the Permanent Representative of Rwanda Ambassador Valentine Rugwabiza presented various recovery initiatives and stimulus measures announced by their respective governments targeting the women. ITC’s New York representative moderated the panel discussion. Referring to the compounded economic impacts of the pandemic on women globally, Ambassador Fatima underscored that pandemic response and recovery efforts must take women’s particular vulnerability into account. Also read; Icons of women's empowerment recognised in Anannya's Top 10 Awards 2019 She also stressed that women must be able to play an equal and effective role in the efforts to help societies build back better. Ambassador Rabab Fatima said recognising the disproportionate impact of Covid on women, including those employed in the informal and service sectors, RMG workers and returnee women migrant workers, the Bangladesh government has announced stimulus packages and targeted support measures. “We’ve also announced interest and mortgage-free loans for women entrepreneurs, and providing skill development projects in all districts in an effort to support women to recover from job and income losses, including through re-skilling training, alternative livelihood opportunities, and facilitating their access to digital economy” she added. Ambassador Rabab Fatima acknowledged the role and contributions of Bangladesh’s private sector, civil society and media in this regard. Kohinoor Yeasmin, CEO of Tarango, participated in the event as a panelist and shared how her organisation sustained its business despite the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown through home-based production and digital marketing. She also recognised how the government funded financial packages helped her pay the salaries to the workers during the lockdown.
Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations Ambassador Rabab Fatima has said the determination of the outer continental shelf will enable Bangladesh to explore natural resources, which is critical for achieving its development agenda.
Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative (PR) to the United Nations Ambassador Rabab Fatima has been elected as Vice President of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Executive Board.