PM HASINA SEEKS GLOBAL SUPPORT FOR WAR CRIMES TRIAL
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaks during the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly on Saturday in New York. AFP Photo
She reaffirms Bangladesh’s zero-tolerance policy to terrorism
New York: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday sought support of the international community to the ongoing trial process of war criminals in Bangladesh for the sake of justice, human rights and the rule of law.
“The highly transparent, impartial and independent International Crimes Tribunals, Bangladesh, have already completed the trials of a few key criminals who perpetrated heinous crimes against humanity. We look towards the international community’s full appreciation of the aspirations of our people for this long-awaited justice,” she said.
The Prime Minister was delivering her speech at the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly held at the UN Headquarters. President of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly Sam Kahamba Kutesa chaired the session.
“To uphold peace and the rule of law and end a culture of impunity, my government remains pledge-bound to bring to justice the culprits of war crimes, crimes against humanity, rape, and genocide committed during our 1971 Liberation War,” she added.
The Prime Minister also noted that Bangladesh government maintains a zero-tolerance policy to all forms of terrorism, violent extremism, radicalisation and religion-based politics.
She said the anti-liberation forces continue to remain active in destroying the progressive and secular fabric of the nation as they resort to religious militancy and violent extremism at every opportunity.
Hasina said her government is also entrenching democracy, secularism and women’s empowerment to ideologically defeat terrorism and extremism.
“We have also significantly enhanced transparency and accountability in governance by strengthening our Election, Anti Corruption, Human Rights and Information Commissions,” she said.
Noting that sustainable development could not be archived in the absence of durable peace and security since the volatile global security situation continues to pose significant challenges to international development, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh believes that threat to peace anywhere is a threat to the entire humanity.
“In conformity with our principled position, we continue to express our full solidarity with the Palestinian people in their legitimate struggle for self-determination,” she said.
Hasina went on saying, “We condemn the systematic killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians, including women and children, by Israel during the recent offensive in Gaza. We seek a permanent solution to this longstanding conflict through the creation of an independent and viable state of Palestine, based on the pre-1967 borders and with Al Quds Al Sharif as its capital.”
About the Post-2015 development framework, she said it must fulfill the aspirations of building an equitable, prosperous and sustainable world where no person or nation is left behind. It must also contribute to a strengthened multilateralism, go beyond national policy space and forge international collaboration.
Hasina said the MDGs have been the most successful global anti-poverty push in history. It is due to MDGs that the world witnesses 50 percent less poverty than it did in 1990, more girls in school, lesser number of children dying and more people having access to safe drinking water and sanitation.
She, however, said the progress has been uneven and unequal within and among countries and regions. “Sadly, over 1.3 billion people still live in abject poverty. As we reflect on the new and emerging developmental challenges, eradication of poverty must remain at the center of the Post-2015 Agenda; and build linkages with all other Goals.”
Hasina said the new framework must secure a balance of the three pillars of sustainable development, particularly being mindful of the need for access, unique circumstances and diverse needs of countries like Bangladesh.
She hoped that the future Development Agenda must meaningfully address the longstanding resource and capacity constraints of the low-income developing countries and respond to the emerging risks and vulnerabilities.
“Greater resources would be a key to the success of the Post-2015 Agenda. There is a need for a robust and broad-based global partnership, based on the principles of mutual trust and respect, common but differentiated responsibility,” she added.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh would particularly stress on a clear resolve on financing of sustainable development by next year, particularly from the Financing for Development process.
“While it is encouraging that some of the developed countries have fulfilled their commitment of contributing 0.7 percent of their GNI and 0.2 percent of GNI as ODA to the LDCs, most others still remain to fulfill those,” she added.
At the same time, Hasina said, in a globalised economy the least developed and climate-vulnerable countries like Bangladesh require greater support in respect of the Official Development Assistance (ODA), science-technology-innovation and capacity-building.
“All products from all LDCs must be granted duty-free and quota-free access to all developed country markets,” she added.
Hasina noted that the world today is witnessing unprecedented human mobility, within and beyond borders. Bangladesh has emerged as a key stakeholder in global migration.
In her speech, the Prime Minister also noted that no challenge is as complex, widespread and formidable as climate change to countries like Bangladesh. “We have a crucial need for adequate, predictable and additional climate finance; access to locally-adaptable technologies; and support to capacity and institution-building,” she said adding.
The Prime Minister renewed her call to this august assembly to recognize Bangla, spoken by more than 300 million people, as an official language of the UN as Bangladesh proposed flagship resolution at the UNESCO, secured in 1999 recognition of “21 February as the ‘International Mother Language Day” for the peoples of the world.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2014