Bangladesh’s image brightened in UNGA: PM

Publish: 1:20 PM, October 3, 2018 | Update: 1:20:PM, October 3, 2018

DHAKA – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said that her government had been able to brighten the image of Bangladesh by playing a strong role in the just held 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

“I along with my entourage members attended various forums of the UNGA from September 23 to September 28. We tried to project a positive Bangladesh before the global leadership,” she said.

The Prime Minister said this in a written speech at a press conference at her official residence Ganobhaban this afternoon on the outcome of her recent visit to New York attending the 73rd UNGA.

She informed that Bangladesh had approved five joint declarations during the last UNGA session, including one on global peace, and two related to the operations on protecting global peace.

About the Rohingya problem, Sheikh Hasina said her government has been continuing diplomatic efforts over the last one year in various multilateral forums and bilaterally to resolve this.

“I had placed a five-point proposal during the 72nd UNGA last year to resolve this Rohingya problem. During this UNGA session, I highlighted various initiatives taken by our government in some high-level meetings to have a sustainable solution to this Rohingya problem and I also sought their cooperation in this regard,” she added.

Referring to her meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sheikh Hasina mentioned the demand for extradition of Rashed Chowdhury, a convicted killer of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and also handed over a letter in this regard.

On September 27, Sheikh Hasina addressed the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) at the UN Headquarters in New York and held a meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

In her address delivered in Bangla like in the past, the Prime Minister said she had highlighted the successes of her government over the last nine and a half years in various sectors including in education, health, power, women’s empowerment, establishing Digital Bangladesh, and upholding the continuity of democracy.

“Side by side, I also highlighted various important issues like Rohingya problem, establishing global peace, safe migration and protecting the rights of the Palestine’s people,” she added.

On the sidelines of the UNGA, the Prime Minister said she held bilateral meetings with a good number of eminent personalities including Dutch Queen Maxima, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, President of the 73rd UNGA Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and US Senator Jeffrey Alan Merkley.

“During these meetings, the issue of Rohingya problem came up for discussions alongside issues related to mutual interests,” she added.

The premier attended a Welcome Reception hosted by US President Donald J Trump.

Sheikh Hasina said she also joined a number of high-level events on the Rohingya crisis, cyber security, peacekeeping, women empowerment, girl education, sustainable development in fourth industrial revolution, climate change and global drug problem.

Besides, she joined a luncheon and roundtable meeting arranged by the US Chamber of Commerce.

During the UNGA, the prime minister said she received the “International Achievement Award” from the Inter Press Service News Agency for her exemplary humanitarian response to more than one million displaced Rohingyas of Myanmar by giving them shelter.

Global Hope Coalition’s Board of Directors also adorned her with “2018 Special Recognition for Outstanding Leadership Award” for her farsighted leadership to deal with the Rohingya crisis.

Sheikh Hasina attended a civic reception accorded to her by expatriate Bangladeshis living in the USA. Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader and Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali were present on the dais while PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim moderated the press conference.