In a meeting with UN team, the Bangladesh foreign minister highlights issues such as RMG sector, overseas jobs, Rohingya repatriation, SDGs and climate change
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has stressed close collaboration and strong partnership between Bangladesh and the United Nations to manage the impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
He made the remarks during a meeting with a five-member UN Bangladesh team, led by Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo on Wednesday at the state guest house Jamuna, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.
During the meeting, the foreign minister highlighted the negative impact of Covid-19 in ready-made garment and expatriate employment sectors, two of the mainstays of Bangladesh economy.
He expressed concern about the returnee migrant workers and sought UN assistance for re-skilling, re-employment and re-integration of them.
Dr Momen expressed hope that considering the large population size, Bangladesh would receive a substantial allocation from the UN's response and recovery fund.
While thanking the UN agencies for their continued support on the Rohingya issue, the minister expressed deep concern that there is no progress in repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar.
The ongoing violence and continued military offensive and resultant instability in the Rakhine state are forcing Myanmar nationals to flee and take perilous journeys by the land and sea in search for safety and security, he said.
This has broader ramifications on the overall repatriation as Myanmar is failing to create conditions conducive for safe and sustainable return of the Rohingyas, Dr Momen said.
In this regard, he pressed the UN to work with Myanmar more constructively under the framework of the existing tripartite mechanism.
The foreign minister also informed that, despite the onslaught of Covid-19, Bangladesh successfully submitted on time its second voluntary national response of SDG implementation.
However, Covid-19 may impede the progresses in the area of SDG achievements and the country's advancement trajectory, he feared, placing emphasis on the need for a coordinated partnership with the UN so that the ongoing endeavours remain on track.
The foreign minister highlighted the climate vulnerability of Bangladesh and reminded about the responsibility of the developed countries in mitigation of climatic impact in light of the Paris Agreement.
He sought support from the UN bodies for the establishment of the global climate adaptation centre as well as an innovation and knowledge centre to promote South-South Cooperation.
The UN team thanked the foreign minister for highlighting issues of importance to Bangladesh and providing guidance on how the UN agencies in Bangladesh can effectively partner with Dhaka in its journey towards economic prosperity.
The UN resident coordinator assured of full support for Bangladesh to recover from the socio-economic shocks of the Covid-19.
The team reiterated the UN’s commitment to continue efforts on the issue of Rohingya repatriation, through more constructive engagement with Myanmar.