PM reaches New York to attend UNGA

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrives the United States last night on an eight-day official visit to attend the 70th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Star file photo

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived the United States last night on an eight-day official visit to attend the 70th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

A British Airways flight carrying the prime minister and her entourage landed at John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport around 10:10pm (NY time).

Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA M Ziauddin and Bangladesh Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN AK Abdul Momen received the prime minister at the JFK Airport.

A large number of expatriate Bangladeshis, including the leaders of US chapter of Bangladesh Awami League, were present at the airport to welcome the premier.

Sheikh Hasina left Dhaka for London on Wednesday morning by a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight. After over a three-hour stopover at the Heathrow International Airport in London, she flew to New York by a British Airways flight.

After a warm reception at the JFK Airport, the Prime Minister was taken to Hotel Waldorf Astoria New York through a ceremonial motorcade. She will stay at the hotel during her visit to the USA.

This year's UNGA is being considered as very important for Bangladesh as the ‘Champions of the Earth’, the highest environment-related award of the UN, and the ‘ICTs in Sustainable Development Award’ of the International Telecommunication Union would be handed over to the Bangladesh Prime Minister.

Besides, the agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be adopted during the 70th UNGA will succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that were forged in the year 2000. Countries like Bangladesh have made commendable progress in achieving most of the goals set in MDGs (2000-2015).

The prime minister will receive the prestigious ‘Champions of the Earth Award’ from Executive Director of UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Achim Steiner on September 27.

Sheikh Hasina will also receive the ‘ITU Award’ from International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Secretary General Houlinzhao on September 26.

During her stay in New York, the Prime Minister along with other heads of state and the government will attend the opening session of the 70th UN General Assembly on September 28.

On the day, Sheikh Hasina will join a reception to be given by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as well as a luncheon to be hosted in honour of the heads of state and government attending the assembly.

She will deliver her country speech in the general debate of the UNGA on September 30 and is expected to highlight issues like global peace and security, democracy, good governance, women empowerment, poverty eradication, right of migrant workers, climate change and achieving Millennium Development Goals.

Like the previous years, the prime minister will give her speech in Bangla following the Bangla speech given by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1974.

Apart from attending the general debate of the UNGA, Sheikh Hasina will join the high-level roundtable on South-South Cooperation to be held on September 26 at the UN Headquarters.

The following day, she will attend the ‘Global Leaders' Meeting on Gender Equality hand Women's Empowerment: A Commitment to Action" at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

On that day, the prime minister will co-chair an interactive dialogue titled "Fostering Sustainable Economic Growth, Transformation and Promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production" with the Prime Minister of Belgium.

Besides, she will address the plenary session of the "UN Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda" on September 27highlighting Bangladesh's priorities.

In her speech, she is expected to reiterate country's commitment towards sustainable development targets and government activities to this end.

On the occasion of her visit to the USA, Sheikh Hasina will be accorded a community reception by the expatriate Bangladeshis living in the USA at Hilton Midtown Hotel on September 27.

On September 28, Sheikh Hasina will co-chair the ‘High-Level Summit on Peacekeeping’ with US President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The Summit will be co-hosted by the USA, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Japan, Netherlands, Pakistan, Rwanda, Uruguay and the UNSG.

On September 29, the Prime Minister will attend the ‘Global Leaders' Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism’ to be organised by the US president.

The prime minister will also join a function on ‘Moving from MDGs to SDGs: Bangladesh Experience and Expectations’ as the chief guest, while high-ranking UN officials and leaders of different countries will participate.

Besides, Sheikh Hasina will also address a press conference at the Bangladesh Permanent Mission in New York on this day.

On the sidelines of the UNGA, Sheikh Hasina will address the World Leaders Forum on ‘Girls Lead the Way’ at Columbia University on September 25.

The same day, she will exchange views with the Business Council for International Understanding of the United States of America at the Hotel Waldorf Astoria in New York.

Besides, the premier will hold bilateral meetings with a number of heads of state and government, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Nepalese Prime Minister Shushil Koirala.

On her way back home, Sheikh Hasina will stay in London for a day where she will be accorded a community reception at a hotel on October 2.

The prime minister will return home on October 3.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam BSc, PM's Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam, Economic Affairs Advisor Dr Moshiur Rahman and International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi, State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroz Chumki, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, State Minister for Health Zahid Malek, former foreign minister Dr Dipu Moni, MP, ex-environment and forest minister Dr Hasan Mahmud, MP, Secretary to the Prime Minister Office Suraiya Begum, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque and PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim are, among others, accompanying the Prime Minister.

Besides, a 119-member business delegation led by FBCCI President Abdul Matlub Ahmed is also accompanying Sheikh Hasina during her visit to the USA.


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