Observing that terrorism and violent extremism remain as two major impediments to global peace and development, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday called for a unity of all the countries to effectively address the threats.
“Terrorists don’t have any religion. Terrorism and violent extremism are global challenges. All the countries should be united to effectively address these," she said.
Hasina was delivering her speech at the general debate of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters. Like the previous years, she delivered it in Bangla.
The Prime Minister also noted that it would not be possible to sustain the development endeavours if climate change cannot be effectively dealt with. "The new development agenda makes it clear that all our actions need to be underpinned by our strong commitment to protect and preserve our planet, our biodiversity and our climate. We have only a small window of opportunity, and we must succeed to set the world on a safer, greener and more prosperous path," she said.
Hasina said this is a critical year for sustainable development. The Financing for Development Summit in Addis and the just concluded UN Development Summit here have ushered in a new hope for people around the world. "With our drive to arrive at a meaningful climate change agreement in Paris this year, we hope to transform our future by ending poverty, limiting climate change and preserving our planet."
Noting that regional cooperation is critical to fostering sustainable development as well to achieving peaceful and stable societies, she said Bangladesh has taken the lead in building regional cooperation processes such as Saarc, Bimstec and BCIM-EC. "We’ve also taken initiatives to develop infrastructures to enhance trade and people-to-people contacts among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN)."
In recent times, the Prime Minister said, the world has been witnessing unprecedented migration and human mobility reshaping history and geography, as migration has been recognised as a key enabler of development in the 2030 Development Agenda.
"Cooperation is essential among our countries to harness the full potential of migration. With this objective in mind, we’ve decided to lead the Global Forum on Migration and Development in 2016," she said.
As the country has done during the MDG-era, she said, Bangladesh will like to lead by example implementation of the SDGs in Bangladesh. In this regard, she said “Bangladesh is currently developing the next Five Year Plan for 2016-2020, giving due importance to the SDG framework.”
"Given the ambition reflected on SDGs, we surely need to scale up mobilisation of resources, public and private, domestic and international. It’s essential for developed countries to fulfill their ODA commitment of 0.7 percent of their GNI to developing countries, and 0.2 percent to LDCs," she said.
The Prime Minister went on saying, "We also need to address the challenges face by developing countries in accessing environmentally sound technologies. Without transfer of such technologies and capacity-building, I’m afraid, many development goals and targets will remain unachieved."
She also noted that her government is determined to ensure that no one is left behind in their aspiration to build a resilient, peaceful and prosperous society. "We believe sustainable development can’t be achieved in the absence of durable peace and security. We remain committed as ever to upholding peace and rule of law and end a ‘culture of impunity."
In this spirit, Hasina said, her government is pursuing the trial of culprits of war crimes - crimes against humanity, rape, and genocide committed - during the 1971 Liberation War. "Our government has attached utmost importance to preserving religious harmony and tolerance that have nurtured our social fabric through ages."
Talking about the UN peacekeeping mission, she said over the years, UN peacekeeping and peace building have emerged as its flagship activities. Bangladesh is proud of being associated with these endeavours as a leading troop contributor.
Hasina said the country's valiant peacekeepers have made their mark in 54 peacekeeping missions in 40 countries so far. "We’ve the distinction of having the highest number of female police in UN peacekeeping missions. Our contribution to UN peace operations has made us a reliable partner in UN’s peace initiatives."
Highlighting various successes of her government in different social-economic sectors, she said Bangladesh is widely recognised today as a role model for the developing world. "Bangladesh has graduated from the UNDP’s low human development category to medium, and also the World Bank’s lower-income country status to lower-middle income one."
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh's lead role in the UN in promoting the rights and wellbeing of persons affected by Autism and other neuro-developmental disabilities emanate from the government’s efforts to build an inclusive society.