Bangladesh has underscored the need for "international solidarity and partnership" in achieving the concrete commitments and deliverables of the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA) for the least developed countries (LDCs). Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, Ambassador Rabab Fatima, said these while addressing the first part of the 5th United Nations Conference on the LDCs (LDC5) in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations in New York on Thursday. Ambassador Fatima, along with the Permanent Representative of Canada Ambassador Robert Rae, co-chaired the preparatory process of this conference. The General Assembly had earlier decided to hold the LDC5 conference in two parts. The second part will take place from 5th to 9th March, 2023, in Doha, according to a message received from New York. The first part of the conference has been organised to adopt the Doha Programme of Action for the LDCs -- a decade-long development roadmap for these countries. The second part will focus on other substantive issues, where heads of states and governments are expected to attend Speaking on behalf of the two co-chairs, Ambassador Fatima highlighted the unprecedented crisis created by the pandemic and uneven and inequitable responses to tackle it. READ: Bangladesh to enjoy DFQF market access to Australia in post-LDC period She commended the commitment and solidarity of the member states to adopt the DPoA, which provides an ambitious and well-defined action agenda for the LDCs and their development partners for the decade 2022-31. She requested everyone to support the follow-up and monitoring mechanism of the DPoA with due diligence for its successful implementation. The Ambassador also urged the international community and the development partners to remain deeply engaged with the LDCs during the entire cycle of the DPOA implementation. In this regard, she underscored the need for integrating the DPOA in the strategic plans and country programmes of the UN agencies, funds and programmes to ensure that the UN’s impact on the LDCs matches their needs and ground realities. At the outset of the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, was elected as the president of the LDC5 conference. Ambassador Fatima thanked him and Qatar for the leadership and support to host the 5th United Nations Conference on the LDCs. The meeting was also attended by Lazarus Chakwera, President of Malawi, as the global chair of the LDCs and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, among others.
Winning the chairpersonship of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) by Bangladesh is a testament of the international community's trust and confidence in Bangladesh as an important contributor to international peace in some of the most difficult corners of the world, says the Bangladesh government. “We'll put particular focus on promoting global solidarity to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on development and peacebuilding," said Ambassador Rabab Fatima who was unanimously elected as Chair of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) for 2022. The elections to the Chair and Vice-Chairs of PBC were held on Tuesday at the UN Headquarters in New York. Ambassador Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, is the first woman to be elected as the PBC Chair. Read: Bangladesh elected Chair of UN Peacebuilding CommissionBangladesh has been a member of PBC since its inception. Earlier, Bangladesh served the Commission as chair in 2012. The Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) is an intergovernmental advisory body to the UN General Assembly and Security Council that supports peacebuilding efforts in the conflict affected countries upon their request, with a view to preventing relapse of conflict and ensuring inclusive and sustainable development.
Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations Ambassador Rabab Fatima has been unanimously elected as the President of the UN Women Executive Board for the year 2022. With this election, Bangladesh takes up the Presidency of the UN Women Executive Board for the first time. Read: Bangladesh deeply committed to human rights, fundamental freedoms: Rabab Fatima Ambassador Fatima earlier served as the President of the UNICEF Executive Board in 2020 and as Vice President of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board in 2021. The election of the five-member bureau was held in New York on Tuesday, which also elected the Permanent Representatives of Argentina, Ukraine, Iceland and Sierra Leone as the Vice Presidents. The Executive Board provides strategic guidance to UN Women, the UN agency dedicated to gender equality and empowerment of women. As the President of the Board, Bangladesh will be able to contribute further to the work of the UN Women. Ambassador Rabab Fatima thanked the Board members for electing her, and for their confidence in Bangladesh’s leadership to address the challenges that continue to affect women and girls across the globe, especially during the time of the pandemic. “There is no time to waste. We must ensure that all COVID recovery plans are gender-responsive, and that all stakeholders – public, private, NGOs - are mobilized to ensure that. We also need to provide UN Women with the necessary direction and resources so that it can continue to be at the forefront of all such efforts," said Ambassador Fatima. She assured UN Women that the new Executive Board will work hard to support UN Women in this challenging time. Read: Ambassador Rabab Fatima presents credentials to Peru The Ambassador applauded UN Women’s remarkable contributions in advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women worldwide. She also paid tribute to all staff and colleagues of UN Women globally, who have been carrying out their important work, with dedication and courage in the midst of the pandemic challenges. UN Women Executive Director Ambassador Sima Bahous welcomed the new President and said that UN Women looked forward to benefiting from her experience and wisdom. She expressed optimism that Ambassador Fatima would spearhead the bureau’s guidance to the work of UN Women.
The United Nations has unanimously adopted Bangladesh’s flagship resolution on the ‘Culture of Peace’. The Permanent Representative (PR) of Bangladesh to the UN, Ambassador Rabab Fatima, introduced the resolution in the General Assembly on Thursday. Ambassador Fatima said that "the resolution this year assumes greater relevance and urgency as they continue to grapple with the unprecedented, multifaceted challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic". Also read: UNGA adopts historic resolution on graduation of Bangladesh from LDC category The resolution was first adopted on 13th September 1999, during the first tenure of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Since then, Bangladesh has been facilitating this resolution in the Assembly every year and also convening a high-level forum on the Culture of Peace at the Assembly.
Bangladesh is deeply committed to the principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which is reflected in the country's engagements with the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations, said Ambassador Rabab Fatima. Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Fatima was speaking at the general debate on the report of the Human Rights Council (HRC) at the General Assembly Thursday. "As a member of the Human Rights Council, Bangladesh remains actively engaged and committed to the mandate and work of the Council," Ambassador Fatima added. She appreciated the efforts of the HRC for keeping the Rohingya issues high on its agenda and for adopting a consensus resolution in its 47th session. Also read:Rabab Fatima calls for international solidarity against terrorism Fatima also acknowledged the role and work of the Special Rapporteur and the Independent Investigative Mechanism on Myanmar. She called upon the Council to continue its efforts to ensure a safe, voluntary and dignified life for the Rohingya, free from discrimination and persecution in their homeland in Myanmar.
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.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has inaugurated the newly established Bangabandhu Lounge at the Bangladesh Permanent Mission at the United Nations (UN) in New York. The lounge has been set up marking the observance of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary. Read:UN appreciates Dhaka’s proposal for showcasing women in peacekeeping “The lounge houses a rich collection of books, photos, documentaries, and graphical displays on the life and work of the Father of the Nation. It demonstrates Bangabandhu’s trust and faith in multilateralism; particularly the UN,” said Dr Momen on Monday.
Permanent Representative (PR) of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima has urged the international community to take urgent and decisive action to resolve the longstanding crisis in Palestine. She was speaking at the joint debate on the situation in the Middle East and the question of Palestine on Thursday convened by the President of the UN General Assembly. Ambassador Fatima informed the General Assembly that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in a letter to Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas, denounced the abhorrent acts of violence against innocent civilians of Palestine, including women and children. Also read: Hasina a household name in Palestine: Envoy Quoting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, she reaffirmed Bangladesh’s unflinching commitment towards realising the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine for an independent homeland, based on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. In a strong call to the General Assembly, Bangladesh Ambassador asked for an immediate halt to the Israeli aggression and deplored repetition of such senseless cycles of violence and atrocities by the occupying Israeli forces. Ambassador Fatima highlighted some priorities towards a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian crisis and peace in the region, which included, the genuine efforts of the international community to address the root causes of the crisis and the fulfillment of the charter responsibilities by the Security Council and the General Assembly to turn around the culture of inaction and enforce compliance of all international human rights and humanitarian laws, and relevant UN resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016). She also called for engaging with all relevant actors to ensure early implementation of the Roadmap, Arab Peace Initiative and the efforts of the Quartet. Also read: Gaza attack: Dhaka seeks US’ proactive role to stop bloodshed Stressing that the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people must be met urgently, Ambassador Fatima suggested to further strengthen the capacity of UNRWA. Underscoring the importance of ensuring the accountability of the occupying Israeli forces, she said that it could be a first step towards guaranteeing justice and lasting peace in the Middle East. More than 100 UN Member States participated in the day-long Joint Debate which was also addressed by the UN Secretary General and President of the General Assembly. All speakers called for an immediate ceasefire in the Palestinian territory and an urgent resolution to the Palestinian crisis.
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.