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Dhaka Tribune

Vaccine equity, Rohingya crisis, climate change on top of PM Hasina’s UNGA agenda

The prime minister will address the UNGA on Sept 24, says foreign minister

Update : 16 Sep 2021, 06:07 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to focus on the issues relating to equity in vaccine sharing, sustainable recovery, climate change and Rohingya crisis at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

"Covid-19 vaccines should be a public good without any discrimination," said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday sharing the key engagements of the prime minister.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen were, among others, present at the press conference.

Prime Minister Hasina is scheduled to leave Dhaka on Friday morning on a two-week official visit to attend the UNGA in New York and other engagements with a stopover in Helsinki, Finland.

The theme of this year’s UNGA is “Building resilience through hope-to recover from Covid-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalize the United Nations.”

Dr Momen said the prime minister will address the UNGA on September 24 in Bangla and in person.

The prime minister will highlight Bangladesh’s impressive development journey, inclusive economic development and success in the health sector, said the foreign minister.

He said Bangladesh will host a side event on the Rohingya issue, titled “Rohingya crisis: Imperatives for a sustainable solution”, where many countries are expected to voluntarily join.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), and European countries have already responded positively.

Also read - PM flies for Finland Friday morning on her way to UNGA

Dr Momen said there will be a number of bilateral meetings on the side-lines of the UNGA.

The prime minister will deliver a speech at a program titled “UN Common Agenda: Action to achieve Equality and Inclusion”.

A high-level meeting titled “UN Food Systems Summit” will also be held this year. Another high-level meeting titled “International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons” will be held on September 28.

On September 22, the prime minister will deliver her speech at “White House Global Covid-19 Summit: Ending the pandemic and building back better”.

The prime minister is expected to plant sapling on the UN headquarters premises, marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Ahead of the COP26, the UNGA will discuss the climate change issue, which is very important for Bangladesh.

"We will seek to keep the global temperature below 1.5° Celsius, funding for both mitigation and adaptation,” said Dr Momen.

The prime minister is scheduled to leave for New York from Helsinki on September 19 after her stopover there on September 17-18.

Wrapping up her official visit to New York, the prime minister will visit Washington, DC where she will stay from September 25 to 30.

She is scheduled to leave Washington for Dhaka on September 30 and will return home on October 1 after a stopover in Finland.

This is going to be Prime Minister Hasina’s first overseas visit since the outbreak of the Covid-19 in March 2020.

Earlier, she addressed the UNGA for 17 times and this will be her 18th time joining the UNGA.

The Covid-19 pandemic has proved to be the most challenging period the world has seen since the Second World War, said the UN secretary-general on Tuesday.

Newly sworn in General Assembly president, Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives, opened the new 76th session, noting that his country’s flag is “flying at the highest peak today”.

He spoke of near-universal “collective anxiety” and hopelessness, not all of which is pandemic-related, saying: “The narrative must change”, and that the General Assembly “must play a part in this”.

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