Welcome to Dhaka Tribune’s live coverage of the United Nations general assembly’s general debate, where Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presents her priorities to the international stage
5.57: Sheikh Hasina thanks the audience and concludes, after about 25 minutes, by saying: “To conclude, I would like to say, we do not want war. We want peace. We want people’s wellbeing – not destruction of humanity. We want sustainable development. Let this be our collective goal.”
5.55: Prime minister announces a contribution of $100,000 from Bangladesh for the UN Peace Building Fund (PBF). She also announces a contribution of $100,000 to the sexual exploitation and abuse victim support fund.
5.51: “The 1971 genocide included targeted elimination of individuals on the ground of religion, race and political belief. The intellectuals were killed brutally.”
“To pay homage to the victims of the genocide, our parliament has recently declared 25th March as “Genocide Day,” Hasina said.
5.44: The prime minister remembered the martyrs from the 1952 Language Movement to 1971 Liberation War.
5:40: Hasina proposes the following actions on Rohingya crisis:
1. Myanmar must unconditionally stop the violence and the practice of ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine State immediately and forever.
2. UN Secretery General should immediately send a fact-finding Mission to Myanmar.
3. All civilians irrespective of religion and ethnicity must be protected in Myanmar. For that “safe zones” could be created inside Myanmar under UN supervision.
4. Ensure sustainable return of all forcibly displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh to their homes in Myanmar.
5. The recommendations of Kofi Annan Commission Report must be immediately implemented unconditionally and in its entirety.
5.35: “We are currently sheltering over 800,000 forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar. The ongoing atrocities and human rights violations in the Rakhine State of Myanmar once again aggravated the situation at the Bangladesh-Myanmar Border,” the prime minister said.
5.32: “These people must be able to return to their homeland in safety, security and dignity,” Hasina told the UN General Assembly.
5.30: “I have come here just after seeing the hungry, distressed and hopeless Rohingyas from Myanmar who took shelter in Cox’s Bazar. This forcibly displaced people of Myanmar are fleeing an ‘ethnic cleansing’ in their own country where they have been living for centuries,” she said.
Like the previous years, the prime minister starts her speech in Bangla following the Bangla speech given by father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1974.
5.29: Hasina has begun speaking.
Mauritius’ Prime Minister has ended his speech.
The theme of this year’s general debate is – “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.”
The record for longest speech goes to Cuba’s former president Fidel Castro, who in 1960 held the podium for four hours and 29 minutes.
A reminder of the general debate rules: each nation’s representative is given 15 minutes to speak, though the lure of the international stage inspires many to extend their speeches beyond that allotment.
Sheikh Hasina is slated to make her speech next.
Mauritius’ Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth is now addressing the general assembly.