TAKE EFFECTIVE STEPS TO STOP ALL WARS, PM URGES WORLD LEADERS
UN chief lauds Bangladesh’s success on economic front…
New York, Sept 27: Highlighting a 15-point roadmap for Bangladesh’s future engagements in the UN, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has made an ardent appeal to world leaders to take effective steps to stop wars and conflicts across the world with the UN playing the central role.
“I appeal to world leaders to take effective steps to stop wars and conflicts across the world with the UN playing the central role. Let’ s reject wars and work for peace. Bangladesh commits to working with all to make that a reality,” she said.
Hasina was delivering her speech at the 40th Anniversary Commemorative Event On Bangladesh’s membership to the UN held at the UN Headquarters on Friday. UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon and representatives of member states were present.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh and the UN have a common mission which is to empower people and make the world safer for succeeding generations. “We wish to have the UN and member States on our side in realizing our Vision 2021 towards a knowledge-driven Middle-Income Economy before our 50th Anniversary at the UN.”
On this historic occasion, Hasina listed a 15-point roadmap for the country’s future engagements at the UN.
These are Bangladesh will remain steadfast in its commitment to international peace, security and development; continue to remain UN’s leading peacekeeper with priority given to safeguarding civilians in danger; work together with member states to enhance UN’s capacity to effectively respond to wars, conflicts and armed violence; contribute its home-grown experiences to nation-building at the peace-building Commission.
During the last four decades, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh has remained at the forefront of UN’s efforts for global peace and development.
She said Bangladesh’s peace-centric foreign policy had prompted the country to emerge as a leader in UN Peace-keeping operations. More than 128,000 ‘blue helmets’ from Bangladesh served in 54 UN peace missions in four continents.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh’s membership to the UN on 17 September 1974 is a momentous event in the nation’s foreign relations. The newly independent Bangladesh under the visionary leadership of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu, was then in search of international recognition and support for the nascent nation.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal, The Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Gennadiy M. Gatilov, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, UNESCO director general Irina Bokova and UN Under Secretary General Ameerah Haq, among others, spoke on the occasion.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the United Nations and he himself look forward to deepening this relationship in shared pursuit of peace, development and human rights for all.
As a Foreign Service officer posted in New Delhi, Ban Ki-moon said he was part of the team that was responsible for establishing his country’s diplomatic ties with Bangladesh. “When I visited for the visit time, I was deeply humbled by what I saw, because your country reminded me so much of mine at the end of the Korean War.
There were so many shortages I had to tear small strips of paper for my counterpart at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for him to be able to write me a memo!,” He said at the same time, despite the poverty, destruction and human misery there was a burning determination to build a new country. “I have made many visits since. Each time, I’ve been struck by the enormous progress that has been made,” Ban Ki-moon added.
The UN Secretary-General said that Bangladesh has built a thriving economy and made important gains towards the Millennium Development Goals as he particularly commended the work that Bangladesh has accomplished in disaster risk reduction at a time of climate change.
And of course, Bangladesh is one of the top contributors to United Nations peacekeeping. “I’m pleased that the dream of ‘Sonar Bangla’ [Golden Bengal] that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had for his country is steadily becoming a reality,” he said.
US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal said Bangladesh made huge progress in different fields, including the MDGs under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“Bangladesh has been turned into a food-surplus country from a food-deficit one under your leadership,” she said, adding the United States is proud of has been a partner of development of Bangladesh.
Biswal said once Bangladesh used to seek help from other countries. “But now other countries seek help from Bangladesh,” she said. About the Dhaka-Washington ties, the US assistant secretary of state said this relation is not the government-to-government.
“This tie is the people-to-people, citizens-to-citizens and friends-to-friends one,” The Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Gennadiy M. Gatilov said his country highly values the constructive role of Sheikh Hasina in establishing world peace and security. “The uncompromising policy of Sheikh Hasina in establishing peace and security in the world has been widely recognised,” he said. He also said Sheikh Hasina’s firm stance against terrorism and militancy has been acclaimed worldwide.
Recalling the deep relations between Moscow and Dhaka, Gennadiy Gatilov said: “We’re happy that Bangladesh-Russia tie is on the right track.” In this connection, he mentioned that Russia always stood beside Bangladesh whenever it sought Moscow’s help in the United Nations.
Highly appreciating Bangladesh’s stunning uplift in different sectors, including human resources development, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said she was astonished by seeing the success. In this connection, she recalled the visit of remote Char Kukri Mukri village of southern Bangladesh during inauguration of union information service centres.
UNESCO director general Irina Bokova said Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had delivered the powerful speech in the United Nations in the history of the world body.
Through the historic speech, she said, the great leader ensured the rights of the people of Bangladesh. At the outset of the speech, Irina Bokova greeted the audience with ‘Shubho Aporahnno’ in clear Bangla. She said Bangladesh has made tremendous development in the fields of girl child and women education.
UN Under Secretary General Ameerah Haq appreciated Bangladesh’s contribution towards UN peacekeeping missions, saying that Bangladesh’s peacekeepers made highest sacrifice to this end. In this connection, the UN under secretary general recalled a guard of honour given to her by Bangladesh’s women police contingent in Congo.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2014