UN chief pledges support
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has assured Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of giving all necessary support to cope with the challenges of global climate change.
He also gave the assurance that the UN would continue its support for further strengthening parliamentary democracy in Bangladesh.
The assurances came when the Bangladesh premier met with the UN chief at the Palais des Nations here on Thursday evening.
PM's Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad briefed newsmen after the meeting.
During the meeting, Ban Ki-moon invited the PM to attend a special UN conference of heads of government and state of 25 countries to be held on September 22 in New York ahead of the UN General Assembly session.
He highly appreciated the Bangladesh premier for her hectic efforts to improve the living standards of her country's people and restoring democracy there.
The UN chief said Hasina with her relentless struggle for democracy and people's economic emancipation has gradually become a world leader from a national leader.
He recalled that he had an opportunity to meet Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1972.
He termed Bangabandhu a towering personality and praised his farsighted leadership.
Hasina thanked the UN secretary general for his commendable role in the restoration of democracy in Bangladesh.
She specially mentioned the UN support for holding a free, fair and credible election in Bangladesh on December 29 last year.
Ban Ki-moon also appreciated different development programmes being chalked out and implemented in Bangladesh for human resource development and women empowerment, and in health and infrastructure development sectors under the able leadership of the PM.
He also lauded the premier's role in climate change issue to ensure a safe world for the next generation.
In this context, Hasina informed the UN chief that her government would do everything possible to protect its people from the disastrous impacts of the global climate change.
The present government has planned to launch capital and maintenance dredging in the country's major rivers, creating green belt across the coastal areas and setting up embankments, she said.
In reply, Ban Ki-moon said his office would extend necessary cooperation to Bangladesh in implementing its development programmes.
Later, Helen Clarke, administrator of the United Nations Development Programmes, called on the PM at her hotel suite.
During the meeting, Clarke congratulated Hasina for her assumption of the office of Prime Minister through a free, fair and credible election.
Hasina, in reply, also thanked the UNDP for its support for the restoration of democracy in Bangladesh through holding peaceful and credible polls.
In this regard, the premier said that desired development has not taken place in Bangladesh as the military rulers ruled the country for a long time.
Referring to the climate change issue, the UNDP administrator assured her for its additional support for adaptation and mitigation programmes of the government in facing the challenges of climate change.