Bangladesh reaffirms commitment to achieve SDG-14: Foreign Minister

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen speaks at the plenary session of the 2nd UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon on Thursday, June 30, 2022. Photo taken from BSS

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has reaffirmed Bangladesh's commitment to achieve all targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 that aims to "conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development".

"To eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, the government of Bangladesh declared an area totaling about 8.8% of its Exclusive Economic Zone as the Marine Protected Areas and implemented in its National Plan of Action in 2019," he said.

The foreign minister made the remarks while representing Bangladesh at the plenary session of the 2nd UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon on Thursday.

Rear Admiral (Retd) Md. Khurshed Alam, foreign ministry's Maritime Affairs Unit secretary, and Tarik Ahsan, ambassador of Bangladesh to Portugal, accompanied the foreign minister at the conference among other officials in the delegation.

In his statement, Momen said under the dynamic leadership and guidance of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh settled the maritime boundary issues with both the neighbours and is poised to collaboratively utilise the marine resources.

He attached importance to marine science for eradicating poverty, contributing to food security, conserving the world's marine environment and resources, helping to predict and respond to natural and anthropogenic events and promoting the sustainable development of the oceans and seas.

Momen said Bangladesh government has amended "Bangladesh Ship Recycle Act 2018" and set a target of compliance of the Hong Kong Convention by 2023.

Bangladesh also announced new actions aimed at ensuring safe ship recycling by 2023 and is the first amongst developing countries to take initiative to ban manufacture of single use plastic shopping bags, he added.

Stressing the importance of capacity development and even distribution of scientific knowledge, the minister opined that the disparities in scientific capacity in terms of financial, technological, and human resources between developed and developing countries must be addressed for sustainable management of the ocean.

He affirmed that Bangladesh is ready to cooperate in keeping with its capabilities to actively engage with the developed countries willing to transfer marine science and marine technology on fair and reasonable terms and conditions in accordance with the provisions of part XIV of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Momen arrived in Lisbon on Thursday on a two-day visit to Portugal to lead the Bangladesh delegation to the conference.


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