Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today inaugurated the South Asian Regional Office of Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) in Bangladesh urging all countries to increase their "determined contributions" to combat the climate change menace and execute the 2015 Paris Agreement.
"As the climate change is a global affair, I would like to call upon the countries to enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions by December 31st this year in tackling the menace as well as implement the 2015 Paris Agreement," she said.
The prime minister along with GCA Chair and former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon jointly opened the GCA regional office in Bangladesh virtually.
The opening of the regional adaptation centre in Dhaka has been dedicated to the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The premier expressed hope that this office will serve as a 'Center of Excellence' and a solution-broker for climate adaptation measures in this region.
"I hope this regional office will share best adaptation practices of Bangladesh as well as other countries and exchange practices within the region," she said.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the GCA Chair joined the virtual function, while Chief Executive Officer of GCA in Rotterdam Prof Dr Patrick V Verkooijen delivered the welcome speech.
Bangladesh Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Shahab Uddin as well as ministers concerned of South Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Nepal, the Maldives and Bhutan spoke at the inaugural function.
Hasina also expected that GCA Dhaka office would provide support during the Chairmanship of Bangladesh to Climate Vulnerable Forum and Vulnerable-20, two climate-based important international bodies under the UNFCCC process – during next two years.
The premier simultaneously urged the GCA to explore the opportunity of supporting the Delta Coalition on a long-term basis.
Hasina also called for greater cooperation and collaboration among the nations to fight the impact of coronavirus.
She said South Asia is the most vulnerable region to climate-induced natural disasters like cyclone, flood, tidal surge, drought, Glacial Lake Outburst Flood, landslides and avalanches. Even a 1.5 degree Celsius rise of temperature will have severe consequences for Bangladesh and the region.
"We also must not forget the vulnerability of the children, women, elderly people and people with special needs against disasters," she added.