Calling on the United Nations to play an effective role in resolving the Rohingya crisis, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina warned that the problem could affect the security and stability of the entire region, and beyond if it persists.
She made the call during her speech at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Friday.
As in previous years, she addressed the UNGA in Bengali. The theme for this year’s General Debate is “A Decisive Moment: Transformative Solutions to Interrelated Challenges”.
Hasina said last month Bangladesh marked five years since the Rohingya mass exodus in 2017.
“Not a single Rohingya has been repatriated to their ancestral home in Myanmar, despite our bilateral engagements with Myanmar, our discussions with our partners in the trilateral format and our engagements with the UN and other partners to help Myanmar create the necessary conditions for a safe and dignified repatriation,” she said. said.
The prime minister said the ongoing political unrest and armed conflicts in Myanmar have made the repatriation of Rohingya more difficult.
She said the prolonged Rohingya presence in Bangladesh has had serious repercussions on its economy, environment, security and socio-political stability.
“The uncertainty surrounding the repatriation has led to widespread frustration. Organized cross-border crime, including human and drug trafficking, is on the rise.
She expressed concern that this could potentially fuel radicalization.
Speaking about the war between Ukraine and Russia, she demanded an immediate end to the fighting and the resulting sanctions for the sake of the lives and livelihoods of people around the world.
“We want an end to the Russian-Ukrainian war. Due to sanctions and counter-sanctions, not a single country, but rather all of humanity, including women and children, is being punished,” she said.
The Prime Minister mentioned that the impact of the war does not remain confined to a single country, but rather endangers the lives and livelihoods of people of all nations and undermines their human rights. “People are being deprived of food, shelter, health care and education.”
Hasina said children in particular are suffering the most and their future is dark. “I urge the conscience of the global community to stop the arms race, war and sanctions. Provide food and safety for children. Establish peace.
The Prime Minister said she wants to see a peaceful world with stronger cooperation and solidarity, shared prosperity and collective action. “We share a planet and we owe it to our future generations to leave it better.”
She said everyone believes that antagonism like war or economic sanctions, counter-sanctions can never bring good to any nation. “Dialogue is the best way to resolve crises and disputes.”
In this regard, the Prime Minister thanked the UN Secretary General for the establishment of the Global Crisis Response Group.
“As champion of this group, I am working with other world leaders to determine a comprehensive solution commensurate with the gravity and depth of the current situation.”
Hasina said the war between Ukraine and Russia, economic sanctions and counter-sanctions have led to supply chain disruption and skyrocketing prices for fuel, food and consumer goods.
“It has put the economy like ours under enormous pressure. Inflation has increased. We are taking various initiatives to overcome this situation,” she noted.
Regarding the impact of climate change, the Prime Minister said it was one of the greatest threats to humanity.
She said that the government of Bangladesh has taken many transformative measures to combat the perilous impacts of climate change in line with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
During Bangladesh’s chairmanship of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, he launched the Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan, which aims to put Bangladesh on a sustainable path of vulnerability, Hasina said.
“Our national plans and policies on climate change and natural disasters are gender sensitive and take into account the essential role of women in adaptation and mitigation.”
The prime minister said Bangladesh stands ready to help other vulnerable countries develop their own prosperity plans. She called on world leaders to promote inclusive climate action.
She reiterated Bangladesh’s zero tolerance policy towards terrorism and violent extremism.
“We do not allow our territory to be used by any party to incite or provoke terrorist acts or harm others,” she said.
The Prime Minister also called on UN Member States to work together for the conclusion of a binding international instrument to combat cybercrime and cyberviolence.
Hasina said that Bangladesh, as a responsible UN member state, is fully committed to protecting and promoting the human rights of its own people. “We have adopted a holistic and inclusive approach to guarantee the political, economic, cultural and social rights of people.
She said that Bangladesh wants to seek transformative solutions to reduce poverty, mitigate the effects of climate change, prevent conflicts and the financial, fuel and energy crises currently facing the world.
The Prime Minister, however, stressed that socio-economic development cannot be achieved without ensuring peace and stability.
SUPPORT FOR PALESTINIANS
Hasina said Bangladesh would continue to support the Palestinian people.
She reiterated Bangladesh’s unequivocal support for the two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders and the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
She said the biggest lesson learned from the pandemic is that “until everyone is safe, no one is safe”.
“We must use the hard-won lessons to drive essential and much-needed reforms to our institutions, including the United Nations, to better prepare for such calamities in the future,” the Prime Minister said.