US reportedly wants to provide Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for Bangladesh
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday has expressed hope that the US will honour Bangladesh by providing AstraZeneca vaccine apart from other vaccines, saying Bangladesh sought 2 million doses of the vaccine from the country.
"The US government told us that they will give us vaccines. They are yet to decide how many doses of vaccine they will be able to provide us. Naturally, there'll be a push to that end so that we get it at the earliest," he said.
While talking to a small group of journalists at his office, the foreign minister said Bangladesh needs at least 1.5 million doses of AstraZeneca immediately but sought around 2 million doses from the US. "I think they will honour us. Let's see."
The US reportedly wants to provide Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for Bangladesh and Bangladesh is in discussion with China and Russia over vaccine procurement.
On June 3, the White House announced plans to share vaccines directly with Bangladesh as part of a framework to provide 80 million US vaccine doses globally by the end of the month. This includes seven million doses destined for Asia.
The foreign minister said he will visit New York soon to attend the General Assembly Plenary and related meetings.
A senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told UNB that the Foreign Minister is likely to leave for New York on June 13.
Asked whether he will travel to Washington too, the Foreign Minister said it is not decided yet.
He welcomed the win of his counterpart of Maldives Abdulla Shahid as the President of 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). "It's a good news for us," he said.
Bangladesh has been elected vice president of the upcoming 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) from the Asia-Pacific Region for a one-year term starting September this year.
The election was held on Monday at the UNGA where Bangladesh was elected unanimously.
Along with Bangladesh, Kuwait, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, and the Philippines were also elected as vice presidents from the Asia-Pacific.
Bangladesh last served as vice president during the 71st session of the UNGA in 2016-2017.
After the election, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima said: "Bangladesh is a flag bearer of multilateralism and believes in the leadership of the UN in addressing the complex challenges facing the current world."
"The country maintains principled and constructive position in various global discourses in the field of development, peace and security and human rights. Today's election demonstrates the trust reposed by the international community in Bangladesh at the multilateral fora" she added.
The 76th session of the UN general assembly will be of particular significance as the world recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic and its multidimensional impacts, said the Bangladesh Mission at the UN Tuesday.
The UNGA consists of all the 193 member states and serves as the main deliberative, policymaking, and representative organ of the UN for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the UN Charter.
The UN organ meets under its president in annual sessions, which generally starts from September at headquarters in New York.