Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday (May 15, 2023) apprehend that frequent climate-induced disasters may disrupt Bangladesh’s smooth transition from the LDC to developing country. “Bangladesh has been recommended for graduation from the LDC by 2026. However, the frequent climate-induced disasters may disrupt our smooth transition. Climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction are, therefore, policy priorities of my government,” she said. The Prime Minister expressed her apprehension in her pre-recorded video speech that was played in the 79th Annual Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) on "Accelerating Climate Action in Asia and the Pacific for Sustainable Development" held in Bangkok, Thailand. Also Read: Almost 3000 shanties damaged, but Rohingya camps spared the worst of Mocha She said that Bangladesh has been hosting 1.2 million forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. “Their overdue presence not only poses a serious security threat but also triggers a severe environmental degradation,” she said. She reiterated her call to take concerted efforts to send them back to their homes in Myanmar. Hasina put forward four proposals for UNESCAP for the betterment of the world to face the climate change. Read More: Climate Change: Leaders gather at annual UN policy forum in Bangkok to tackle the most daunting threat The proposals are: -Climate-vulnerable developing countries, especially in Asia and the Pacific, require adequate finances to implement their NAP as well as to achieve NDC targets. -International Support Measures of knowledge sharing, technology transfer and innovation-driven trade and investment are to be placed for transition towards climate resilience growth for the graduating countries. -Trade facilitation measures, digital trade and IT-enabled services should be available in the developing countries to deal with the Fourth Industrial Revolution and mitigate the challenges of climate change. -Sub-regional cooperation is to be strengthened, especially accelerating the current partnership and developing new partnerships, for promoting the climate actions for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific. The prime minister said that climate change is the real challenge of this time. The Asia and Pacific region, home to 60 percent of the world's population, is highly vulnerable to climate change. Also Read: Cyclone Mocha: 10,000 houses damaged in Cox's Bazar, inc 1200 in St Martin She said that this region is facing natural calamities like floods, cyclones, heat waves and droughts in an increased rate due to the impacts of climate change affecting lives and livelihoods. PM Hasina mentioned that Bangladesh is one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world although its contribution to global emission is very negligible. “Our development programs, therefore, focus on addressing climate-resilient development efforts,” she told the conference. She said that her government has established 'Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund in 2009’ to help vulnerable communities. About 851 projects costing around half a billion US dollars have so far been executed under the fund. Read More: Many countries can learn from Bangladesh’s approaches to reducing poverty, empowering women, adapting to climate change: WB President In October 2022, she said, Bangladesh has submitted the National Adaptation Plan-NAP to UNFCCC. It has identified 113 interventions across 8 priority areas with a costing outlay of around 230 billion US dollar up to 2050. “Bangladesh has also submitted an ambitious and updated Nationally Determined Contributions-NDC to the UNFCCC in 2021.” She mentioned that the government has adopted the 'Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100', a 100-year strategic plan, for achieving a safe, climate-resilient prosperous delta. She said that Bangladesh is also implementing the 'Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan spanning from 2022 to 2041 with the vision of setting Bangladesh's development trajectory from vulnerability to resilience. “Let us join our hands together to consolidate our partnership to fight against the perilous threats of Climate Change and make the world a safer and better place for our future generation,” she said. Read More: Fakhrul slams govt for alleged inaction on climate change impact
Bangladesh has been elected to the governing councils of all four regional institutions of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) for the period of 2022-25 in Bangkok, Thailand. Also read:Greater coordination among govt agencies, dev orgs sought The four regional institutions are the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP) situated in Makuhari, Japan; the Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information and Communication Technology for Development (APCICT) situated in Incheon City, Korea, and the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization (CSAM) situated in Beijing, China and the Asian and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM) situated in Tehran, Iran. Bangladesh is the only country besides India that is elected to the governing councils in all four regional institutions of UNESCAP. The election was held at the United Nations Conference Centre, Bangkok, Thailand as well as at the ESCAP Subregional Office for the Pacific, Suva, Fiji, and at the UN Compound, Beijing, China simultaneously on Thursday.
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) has held its 76th Commission Session on virtual platform, for the first time in the history, amid the COVID-19 pandemic stressing regional cooperation.