Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury speaks at a programme celebrating the United Nations Day at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the city yesterday. Sitting from left are Prof Wahiduddin Mahmud and UN Resident Coordinator Renata Lok Dessallien. Photo: STAR
Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury yesterday said Bangladesh remains unswervingly committed to the goals and aspirations enshrined in the charter of the United Nations.
He said this while addressing as chief guest at a function commemorating the UN Day at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the city.
Mentioning about the role of Bangladesh at the UN peacekeeping mission Iftekhar said, "Our soldiers and policemen are serving the cause of peace in distant trouble spots all over the world."
He also laid emphasis on the leadership role of Bangladesh in social and economic issues including climate change, poverty allegation, women's empowerment and micro-credit.
About the present situation of the country, the foreign adviser said, "We have overcome many impediments. We are today on the threshold of great changes. Elections are due on December 18 which hopefully will provide Bangladesh a democracy that will be durable, stable and sustainable."
He said upon his request as chairman of the least developed countries, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had set up a task force recently to address the food security issue.
He thanked the secretary general for this and appreciated the fact that the task force has already submitted a comprehensive report for action.
The adviser said Ban Ki-moon will soon visit Bangladesh and hoped that this distinguished visitor would rejoice with Bangladeshis at their success.
He expressed his confidence that “the UN would stand by Bangladesh as we strive to realise the fruition of our dreams with the path of our destiny lit by the torch of hope.”
Speaking as special guest Prof Wahiduddin Mahmud said it is very tough to establish democracy in every underdeveloped country of the world.
"Bangladesh can be an example among the low-income countries that we will be able to move toward the democracy to reflect the desire of the people although we are under poverty, excess population and shortage of resources," he added.
UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka Renata Lok Dessallien said in a few weeks time the UN secretary general will be visiting Bangladesh at which time he himself will be conveying his deep appreciation for Bangladesh's many important contributions to the UN and the principles for which it stands.
“I am sure he will come away from his visit with a deep sense of admiration and appreciation for what Bangladesh has accomplished, the rich and beautiful culture that this country is blessed with, and the deep values for which Bangladesh stands,” she added.
Renata also read out this year's message of the UN secretary general where he said, “This is a crucial year in the life of the United Nations. We have just passed the midpoint in the struggle to reach the Millennium Development Goals-our common vision for building a better world in the 21st century.”
"We can see more clearly than ever that the threats of the 21st century spare no one. Climate change, the spread of disease and deadly weapons and the scourge of terrorism all cross borders. If we want to advance the global common good, we must secure global public goods," he added.
Mentioning that many countries are still not on track to reach the Millennium Development Goals by the target date of 2015, the secretary general said, "I am deeply concerned about the impact of the global financial crisis. Never has leadership and partnership been more important."
Sumaiyan Anjum, a student of Manarat, and Izaz Ahmed Sadi, a student of Notre Dame College, also addressed the programme expressing their dream for a better Bangladesh.
A short but lively cultural programme was also organised on this occasion.