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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh urges UN to delineate outer continental shelf

The determination of outer continental shelf will enable Bangladesh to explore the natural resources, says Rabab Fatima

Update : 09 Dec 2020, 04:54 PM

Bangladesh has called upon the United Nations to delineate outer limit of Bangladesh’s continental shelf that would unleash new opportunities in the county’s pursuit of “blue economy”.

“The determination of outer continental shelf will enable Bangladesh to explore the natural resources, which is critical for achieving our development agenda,” said Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima.

She was speaking at the 38th Plenary Meeting of the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations on Tuesday at the UN Headquarters in New York under the agenda “Law of the Sea”, according to a press release received on Wednesday.

She said under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has already resolved its maritime boundary disputes with India and Myanmar, and has also submitted technical information in support of its outer continental shelf in the Bay of Bengal to the UN.

Focusing on other important issues related to ocean, especially sea-level rise, the Bangladesh ambassador pointed out that the continuous sea-level rise would exacerbate existing vulnerabilities relating to water and food security, health, and livelihoods, impeding timely achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

Also Read - Rabab Fatima elected vice president of UN bodies' Executive Board

She called for implementation of the various provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, in a coordinated manner to tackle this global challenge.

Referring to the extreme vulnerability of Bangladesh to climate-induced sea level rise, the Ambassador shared various initiatives undertaken by the government of Bangladesh including the adoption of Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan in 2009.

“Bangladesh is at the final stage of enacting Maritime Zones Act, to ensure efficient utilization, conservation, and scientific management of our marine resources”, she added.

The Bangladesh ambassador also stressed the need for capacity building and technical assistance to developing nations for the implementation of legal and policy framework in addressing sea-level rise and maritime security.

The General Assembly adopted two resolutions on law of the seas and marine fisheries. Bangladesh supported both the resolutions.

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