Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus has called for immediate action to create a Palestinian state. In a statement released from the Yunus Centre on Sunday (October 22, 2023), he said: "The conflict between Israel and Palestine is a very old problem which has become much more complicated now because of the treatment that the people of Palestine have been receiving from Israel.” It has been brewing over time and suddenly recently it became very explosive and unacceptable against any civilised standard, added the statement. Read: Blinken, Austin say US is ready to respond if US personnel become targets of Israel-Hamas war “The solution right now is the creation of two states, something which the United Nations has a resolution on but which remains unimplemented. There is no way to escape from this resolution if we want to bring peace to the region. The top-most priority right now is to implement the long ignored UN resolution on creating two states. Otherwise we don't know where this conflict will lead us to. It has the potential to set the whole region on fire and suck in a larger part of the world into that fire,” it further reads. "We must create the state of Palestine with extreme urgency. The key actor in bringing this to reality is the United States. If the US moves fast others will follow. The Biden administration must lead the world on this vital and urgent issue without delay. Read: Stop Israel-Palestine war, save women and children: PM Hasina urges world leaders "I urgently call upon all parties engaged in the conflict to immediately cease hostilities, ensure the safety and well-being of the innocent children and civilians caught in the midst of this crisis. It is imperative to facilitate and expedite the delivery of vital humanitarian aid to the suffering population. It is time to focus on saving human lives, protect dignity and get to work on a permanent solution," he said. "Let us join hands to put an end to the suffering, ensure uninterrupted humanitarian access, and foster an environment conducive to meaningful peace negotiations and work out the modalities to create Palestine state at the fastest pace. In this day and age, we should collectively recognize that war and bloodshed are inconsistent with the values and progress of our modern civilization. The world is watching and it is our shared responsibility to work towards a future where both Palestine and Israel can co-exist in harmony and peace together with friendly collaboration,” the statement concluded. Read: Israel has right to statehood, so does Palestine: Chinese Ambassador
Bangladesh has voted in favour of the UN resolution titled, “Territorial Integrity of Ukraine: Defending the Principles of the UN Charter" as the country strongly believes in the purposes and principles of the UN Charter regarding respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity. While briefing the media at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam shared Bangladesh’s position regarding the resolution passed at the 11th emergency special session of the UNGA on Russia-Ukraine war. The UN General Assembly passed the resolution by a large majority on Wednesday night. The results were 143 Member States in favour, with five voting against, and 35 abstentions. The countries who voted against were Belarus, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Nicaragua, Russia and Syria. A majority of those countries abstaining were African nations, alongside China and India. "Bangladesh remains respectful to the UN charter always,” said the state minister. Bangladesh said peaceful settlement of all disputes must be complied universally for everyone, everywhere under all circumstances, without any exception. “As member states of the UN, we must continue to work together to promote peace and development," Bangladesh said in its explanation of vote (EOV) at the UN. Bangladesh also said it believes that sovereignty and territorial integrity of any country within its internationally recognized borders should be respected. Bangladesh specially underscored the need to take similar uniform stand by the international community against the annexations of Palestinian and other Arab lands by Israel. Bangladesh remains “deeply concerned” by the continuation of the conflict in Ukraine and its global socio-economic implications. Bangladesh believes that antagonism like war or economic sanctions, counter-sanctions cannot benefit any nation. “Dialogue, discussion and mediation are the best ways to resolve crises and disputes.” As a firm believer of multilateralism, Bangladesh said, they will continue to stand with the United Nations and the office of the SG and supporting them in every way they can. "We urge that in order to gain the trust and confidence of the people at all levels, the United Nations and the office of the SG must lead from the front and work to fulfill the expectations of all." Bangladesh, therefore, urged all parties in the conflict to play a positive role for de-escalation and resume immediate diplomatic dialogue in order to settle all disputes by peaceful means, and refrain from taking any action that may endanger international peace and security.
Russia vetoed a U.N. resolution Friday that would have condemned its referendums in four Ukrainian regions as illegal, declared them invalid and urged all countries not to recognize any annexation of the territory claimed by Moscow. The vote in the 15-member Security Council was 10-1 with China, India, Brazil and Gabon abstaining. The resolution would also have demanded an immediate halt to Russia’s “full-scale unlawful invasion of Ukraine” and the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all its military forces from Ukraine. U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said before the vote that in the event of a Russian veto, the U.S. and Albania who sponsored the resolution will take it to the 193-member General Assembly where there are no vetoes, “and show that the world is still on the side of sovereignty and protecting territorial integrity.” That is likely to happen next week. Britain’s U.N. ambassador, Barbara Woodward, echoed Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ statement that Russia’s actions violate the U.N. Charter and must be condemned. “The area Russia is claiming to annex is more than 90,000 square kilometers,” she said. “This is the largest forcible annexation of territory since the Second World War. There is no middle ground on this.” The council vote came hours after a lavish Kremlin ceremony where President Vladimir Putin signed treaties to annex the Russian-occupied Ukrainian regions of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, saying they were now part of Russia and would be defended by Moscow. Thomas-Greenfield said the results of the “sham” referendums on whether the regions wanted to join Russia were “pre-determined in Moscow, and everybody knows it.” “They were held behind the barrel of Russian guns,” she said. Adding that “the sacred principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity” at the heart of the U.N. Charter must be defended, she said, “All of us understand the implications for our own borders, our own economies, and our own countries if these principles are tossed aside.” “Putin miscalculated the resolve of the Ukrainians,” Thomas-Greenfield said. “The Ukrainian people have demonstrated loud and clear: They will never accept being subjugated to Russian rule.” Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia defended the referendums, claiming that more than 100 international observers from Italy, Germany, Venezuela and Latvia who observed the voting recognized the outcomes as legitimate. “The results of the referendums speak for themselves. The residents of these regions do not want to return to Ukraine. They have made a an informed and free choice in favor of our country,” he said. Nebenzia added: “There will be no turning back as today’s draft resolution would try to impose.” He accused Western nations on the council of “openly hostile actions,” saying they reached “a new low” by putting forward a resolution condemning a council member and forcing a Russian veto so they can “wax lyrical.” Under a resolution adopted earlier this year, Russia must defend its veto before the General Assembly in the coming weeks. Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun said that “the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be safeguarded.” But China abstained, he said, because it believes the Security Council should be using trying to calm the crisis “rather than intensifying conflicts and exacerbating confrontation.” Brazil’s ambassador, Ronaldo Costa Filho, said the referendums “cannot be perceived as legitimate” and his country stands by the principle of territorial integrity of sovereign states. But it abstained because the resolution didn’t contribute to de-escalating tensions and finding “a solution for the conflict in Ukraine,” he said.
The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously adopted the first-ever UN resolution on vision impairment, committing access to eye healthcare for the 1.1 billion people living with preventable sight loss by 2030. Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN in New York, Ambassador Rabab Fatima introduced the resolution on behalf of the Friends of Vision, an informal like-minded group at the UN that advocates for greater access to eye healthcare for over two billion people currently living with various levels of visual impairment. The resolution titled 'Vision for Everyone: Accelerating Action to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals' is unique as it is the first agreement among the member states of this highest global body that is designed to tackle preventable sight loss, the Bangladesh Mission at the UN said on Saturday. READ: Bangladesh, Ireland initiate first-ever UN resolution on 'Global Drowning Prevention' The other two co-chairs of the group are Antigua & Barbuda and Ireland, who joined Bangladesh in proposing the resolution. A total of 115 member states co-sponsored the resolution adopted on Friday. Ambassador Fatima dedicated the resolution to all people around the world who are visually impaired or handicapped. She urged all countries in the world to set a target for vision for everyone by 2030 by ensuring full access to eye care services for their populations. This resolution has a strong mandate and is expected to send a strong message of hope to the millions of visually impaired. Ambassador Fatima said the adoption of the resolution on vision is a watershed moment in global efforts for vision care. “1.1 billion people live with preventable sight loss. Preventable sight loss is a global challenge that needs a global solution – and that is what we have agreed today. What we agreed today will make a world of a difference to the lives of billions and their families and communities”. Referring to a global survey data, the Bangladesh Ambassador said that vision impairment and blindness pose an enormous global financial burden with the annual global costs of productivity losses estimated to be US$ 411 billion. However, access to eye care can not only reduce children’s odds of failing in the class by 44%, but it can also increase the odds of obtaining paid employment by 10%. This is also an equity issue as 55% of the blind people are women and girls; and they are 8% more likely to be blind than men, she added. READ: It’s a strategic decision: FM about UN resolution on Rohingyas Ambassador Fatima said millions of people globally lose their visions, needlessly. “And this phenomenon largely impedes their ability to contribute to their full potentials to the socio-economic development of their societies. The resolution before us has the potential to reverse this situation”. The resolution called upon the member states to make eye health integral to their nation’s commitment to achieving the sustainable development goals. The resolution also asked for international financial institutions and donors to provide targeted finances, especially to support developing countries in tackling preventable sight loss. It called on relevant UN institutions to support global efforts to achieve vision for everyone to achieve the sustainable development goals. The resolution also called for new targets on eye care to be included in the UN’s sustainable development goals at its next review. About 90% of the people who do not have access to proper eye healthcare live in low- and middle-income countries. In Bangladesh, according to a 2018 estimate, the number of blind people aged 30 and above is 750,000 and more than six million people in Bangladesh need vision correction. READ: Bolton says N. Korea missile tests violated UN resolutions The government of Bangladesh is one of the signatories to the global initiative launched in 1999 known as Vision 2020.
The UN Human Rights Council has unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a solution to the Rohingya crisis. Since the massive influx of the Rohingya refugees from Myanmar into Bangladesh in August 2017, this is the first time that any resolution on the issue was adopted in the UN without a vote, due to the intense diplomatic efforts made by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in Geneva. Read: FM seeks clear roadmap from UN for Rohingya repatriation The resolution on the 'Human Rights Situation of Rohingya Muslims and other Minorities in Myanmar' was unanimously adopted on Monday at the ongoing 47th session of the Human Rights Council. The adoption of the resolution by consensus is a big milestone for Bangladesh, said the Bangladesh Mission in Geneva on Tuesday. Earlier, at the initiative of Bangladesh, all member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) presented the draft before the Council. In the context of the existing political situation in Myanmar, there had been strong divergences and differences among the UN member states on various elements of the text from the outset. After tough and lengthy negotiations at several phases, the resolution was adopted by the Council. Read: Int'l community's stronger role sought for Rohingya repatriation
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’.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Sunday said they have no displeasure against the countries which abstained from voting in the UN resolution and voted against it saying it is a “strategic” decision.