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Prime Minister’s full speech at the 77th session

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সেপ্টেম্বর ২৫, ২০২২ ৩:৫৫ অপরাহ্ণ
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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addressed the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly. He delivered this speech on Saturday (September 24) morning Bangladesh time (Friday afternoon local time). In the speech, he called for a solution to the Rohingya crisis as well as an end to the Russia-Ukraine war. The full details of the Prime Minister’s speech are given below- Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim Dear President, Assalamu Alaikum and good afternoon. I congratulate you on being elected as the President of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly. I assure you that my delegation will give you full cooperation throughout the session of the General Assembly. At the same time congratulate your predecessor Mr. Abdullah Shaheed. I applaud the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, for his strong commitment to making the United Nations more vibrant in its responsibilities. The theme of this year’s general debate is: ‘A critical juncture: transformative solutions to interconnected adversities.’ Our planet Earth today is plagued by multiple complex and multidimensional adversities such as climate change, violence and conflict, the Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s theme calls for the united aspiration of all to confront these challenges and find ways to build a peaceful and sustainable world by revitalizing our economy. And to achieve this goal we need to take a collective initiative now. Mr. President, The Russia-Ukraine conflict has pushed the world into renewed food insecurity, energy and economic uncertainty as the world begins to cope with the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic over the past two and a half years. Aid-seeking vulnerable countries now face further challenges in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Today we are passing through a critical time, when mutual solidarity must be shown more than at any time in the past. We need to prove that the United Nations is the backbone of the multilateral system in times of crisis. Therefore, to gain the trust and confidence of the people at all levels, the United Nations must lead from the front and work to meet the expectations of all. Antagonism like war or economic sanctions, counter-sanctions can never bring good to any nation. Dialogue is the best way to resolve crises and disputes. In this context, I thank the UN Secretary General for setting up the Global Crisis Response Group. As a champion of this group, I am working with other world leaders to determine a global solution commensurate with the gravity of the current situation and the depth of the crisis. Mr. President, The main motto of the foreign policy formulated by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation of Bangladesh, is “friendship with all, enmity with none”. Bangladesh has been following this motto-derived policy of non-alignment since birth. In his first address to this Great Assembly on 25 September 1974, he said: Quote “Our absolute commitment to peace is born of the realization that only in a peaceful environment can we enjoy the fruits of our hard-earned national freedom and eliminate hunger, poverty, disease and misery. , will be able to employ all our resources and energies in the struggle against illiteracy and unemployment. We therefore welcome efforts aimed at reducing global tensions, limiting the arms race, and promoting peaceful co-existence in every part of the world, including Asia, Africa and Latin America.” unquote This speech of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is still equally relevant in the current global context. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib believed that peace is the reality of the hopes and aspirations of all the men and women of the world. Humankind, especially children and women, suffer tremendously as a result of war. How many people become refugees? Mr President, Since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic in Bangladesh, we have decided on a three-pronged strategy to deal with this crisis. First, we expanded national health care to prevent the transmission and spread of epidemics; Second, we have provided strategic fiscal stimulus to protect our economy; And thirdly, we have secured people’s livelihood. These initiatives have helped reduce the number of deaths due to epidemics as well as reduce human suffering. Vaccination is the key to our safe passage from the pandemic. We thank the World Health Organization and its COVAX system and our partner countries for providing this vaccine. As of August 2022, we have vaccinated 100% of people eligible for vaccination in Bangladesh. Mr. President, We are working towards sustainable economic growth, creating equal opportunities for all and realizing an inclusive peaceful society and social harmony. Bangladesh is now one of the five fastest growing economies in the world. We are 41st in terms of GDP. We have reduced the poverty rate from 41 percent to 20.5 percent in the last decade. Our per capita income has tripled to US$2,824 in just a decade. Before the outbreak of Covid-19, our GDP growth rate was 8.15 percent in FY 2018-19. Earlier, we achieved GDP growth of over 7 percent for three consecutive years. Even during the pandemic, the economy of Bangladesh expanded at the rate of 6.94 percent in the fiscal year 2020-21. Ukraine-Russia War and Or As a result of economic sanctions and counter-sanctions, there has been a disruption in the supply system and an abnormal increase in the prices of various consumer goods including fuel, food. Due to this, the economy like ours is under severe pressure. Inflation has increased. We are taking various initiatives to overcome this situation. In 2026, Bangladesh is going to pass from a least developed country to a developing country. We are working towards transforming Bangladesh into a knowledge-based developed country by 2041 and a prosperous and climate-resilient delta by 2100. Mr President, Bangladesh has achieved significant progress in universal primary education, food security, reduction of maternal and child mortality, gender inequality, women empowerment etc. The literacy rate has increased from 50 percent to 75 percent in the last decade. We have laid more emphasis on ensuring IT-based education system. Our infant mortality rate has come down to 21 per thousand and maternal mortality rate has come down to 173 per lakh live births. The average human life expectancy is now more than 73 years. We have given special attention to the most vulnerable people in the society so that no one in the society is left behind. The scope of the existing social safety net has been extended to ensure social and financial security of widowed women, widows, aged and disabled persons, third gender and other marginalized groups. At present, about 1.7 million people are benefiting under the social safety net. Improved physical infrastructure serves as the foundation for a strong economic structure. That is why we are building sustainable large-scale infrastructure, including under-river tunnels, elevated expressways and mass rapid transit systems. Recently added to our road communication system is our own funded “Padma Multi-purpose Bridge”. It will facilitate Bangladesh’s local and international trade and enhance regional connectivity. This bridge will contribute to GDP growth at the rate of 1.2-3 percent. Mr. President, The greatest threat to mankind is the effects of climate change. We have seen in the past a vicious cycle of climate promises being made and broken. We need to get out of this situation now. Bangladesh has taken numerous steps to combat the adverse effects of climate change in line with the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. While chairing the Climate Vulnerable Forum, we adopted the ‘Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan’, which aims to move Bangladesh “from a path of risk to a sustainable path of climate resilience and climate prosperity”. Our national plans and policies on climate change and natural disasters are gender sensitive. We stand ready to help other countries at risk develop their own climate resilience plans. I call on world leaders to promote inclusive climate action. Mr President, Migrants still face precarious conditions on their migration journey. They are being deprived of their rights. To overcome this situation, we must increase global partnership and solidarity. The ‘Global Compact on Migration’ and its ‘Declaration of Progress’ have given us an excellent roadmap in this regard. Today, these complex global crises are halting the development progress of many developing countries over the past few decades. At the moment, implementing the 2030-Agenda seems like an elusive dream to many of them. They need specific support in disaster-affected areas including health, education, employment and agriculture. Now is the time to harness the potential of science, technology and innovation. We see how new technologies are rapidly changing the world. Fair and equal access to these technologies is essential for all. The growing technological divide must be bridged. 16 countries including Bangladesh are now on the way to be promoted from the list of least developed countries. But the escalating global crisis poses serious obstacles to our sustainable transition. We call for enhanced and effective cooperation from our development partners. We welcome the Doha Program in this regard. Mr. President, After the peaceful settlement of maritime boundaries with the neighboring countries, the Sunil economy has opened new doors for the development of Bangladesh. We are committed to working with global partners for the sustainable use, conservation and management of our marine resources to accelerate socio-economic development. Effective implementation of the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is essential for the sustainable management of marine resources. I call upon Member States to work closely to overcome any weaknesses in this regard and to be more proactive in enacting the much-needed international law known as “BBNJ” for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Mr President, We are committed to complete disarmament, including the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. We signed the historic Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in 2019. We have consistently implemented our commitment to peacekeeping operations. As a reflection of our peace-oriented foreign policy, we currently rank among the top troop and police contributors to UN peacekeeping operations. They are helping the people of these regions to build a sustainable society through peacekeeping, capacity building of national and local institutions, protection of civilians, empowerment of women and other disadvantaged groups. Many of our peacekeepers have been killed in the line of duty. We believe that sustainable peace cannot be achieved without addressing the root causes of conflict. As the current President of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, we strive to create a platform for multidimensional stakeholders to work together to support conflict-affected countries. We are also committed to continuing efforts to strengthen the Women, Children, Peace and Security agenda. We have adopted a ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards terrorism and violent extremism in Bangladesh. We do not allow any kind of terrorist activity or any activity that harms the people to take place on the soil of Bangladesh. In addition, I call upon Member States to work together to develop an internationally binding agreement to combat cyber-crime and cyber-violence. Mr. President, As a responsible member state, Bangladesh is committed to protecting and promoting the human rights of its people. We have adopted a holistic and inclusive approach to ensure the political, economic, cultural and social rights of the people. For example, we have enacted relevant laws and regulations to ensure the necessary rights and welfare of the Hijra community. We are implementing a project titled ‘Ashrayan’ to provide free housing to all the landless and homeless families of the country. Since 1997, during the tenure of the government led by me, in the last 18 years, more than 3.5 lakh people have been provided with housing. Mr President, Our support to the occupied Palestinian people will continue. Reiterating Bangladesh’s unequivocal support for the two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders and the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Mr. President, I will now draw your attention to the forcibly displaced Rohingya population from Myanmar. Last month marked five years since they entered Bangladesh en masse after being displaced from their homeland in 2017. Not a single Rohingya has been repatriated to their homeland despite discussions with bilateral, trilateral and other stakeholders, including the United Nations, to create the necessary environment for the safe and dignified repatriation of Rohingya to Myanmar. Ongoing political unrest and armed conflict in Myanmar have made the repatriation of displaced Rohingyas more difficult. Hopefully, the United Nations will play an effective role in this matter. The prolonged presence of Rohingyas in Bangladesh has had serious impacts on Bangladesh’s economy, environment, security, and social and political stability. The uncertainty of their repatriation has created widespread frustration at all levels. Cross-border crime, including human trafficking and drug smuggling, is on the rise. This situation can even fuel extremism. If this crisis continues, it can have a serious impact on global security and stability, including this subcontinent. Mr. President, The biggest lesson for us from the Covid-19 pandemic is that ‘until everyone is safe, no one is safe’. Based on this experience, we should make practical and necessary reforms to our other institutional structures, including the United Nations, so that we can prepare more effectively to deal with such disasters in the future. We are passionate about poverty alleviation, climate change mitigation, conflict prevention and transformative solutions to global challenges such as financial, power and energy crises. But we have to realize that socio-economic development is not possible without ensuring peace and stability. We want an end to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Punishing a country through sanctions, counter-sanctions, women, children and all Mankind is punished. Its impact is not only limited to one country but the livelihood of all people falls into great crisis. Human rights are violated. Deprived of food, shelter, medical education. In particular, children suffer the most. Their future is lost in darkness. My appeal to world conscience, stop arms race, war, sanctions. Give children food, education, health care and safety. make peace We want to see a peaceful world – where there is increased cooperation, solidarity, mutual prosperity and united efforts. We have only one world and it is our responsibility to leave this planet a better place for future generations. Mr. President, Now I will tell you about a terrible tragedy. On August 15, 1975, my father, the father of the nation, the then president of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was brutally murdered. At the same time my mother Fazilatun Nescha Mujib, my three younger brothers – freedom fighter Captain Sheikh Kamal and his newly wed wife Sultana Kamal, freedom fighter Lieutenant Sheikh Jamal, his newly wed wife Parveen Rozi, my ten year younger brother Sheikh Russell were brutally killed. My uncle freedom fighter Sheikh Abu Nasser, uncle Abdur Rab Serniabat, his daughters 13 year old Baby Serniabat, 10 year old Arif Serniabat and 4 year old Sukant, my brother-in-law freedom fighter Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni and his pregnant wife Arju Moni, Brigadier Jamil, PuThe assassins killed 18 people including LISH officer Siddiqur Rahman. I pray for the forgiveness of their souls. My younger sister Sheikh Rehana and I survived because I was in Germany on August 15, 1975. Have to stay abroad as a refugee for 6 years. In 1971, the Pakistani army invaded Bangladesh and killed three million people. Brutally tortured two lakh mothers. Remembering them with respect. After my father was arrested in 1971, he was taken to an unknown location in Pakistan. In Dhaka, my mother, two younger brothers Sheikh Russell and Sheikh Jamal, younger sister Sheikh Rehana and I were arrested and kept at home in a one-story satse. My first child Sajeeb Wazed Joy was born in that prison. No furniture was provided in our room. There was no provision of medical care. Getting daily food was also uncertain. So, as a victim, I can understand the horrors of war, the suffering and suffering of people in the killing-que-conflict. So I don’t want war, I want peace; I want human welfare. I want people’s economic development. We want to ensure a peaceful world, prosperous life for future generations. My plea, stop the war, the arms race. Human values ​​should be uplifted. Let’s take everyone together and work hand in hand to build a better future. Thank you all. God is Hafez. Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu May Bangladesh live forever.

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