As a responsible UN member state and elected member of the Human Rights Council (HRC), Bangladesh attaches the highest priority to fulfilling its commitment to ensure the human rights of all of its citizens, Law Minister Anisul Huq has said.
He was accompanied by State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, both of whom met with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva.
The meeting was held in response to the high commissioner’s invitation to hold a discussion on collaborating on various human rights issues.
The law minister said that Bangladesh holds democracy, human rights and secularism at the core of its national values and ethos.
He added that the nation has always endeavoured to remain alert and watchful to misperceptions about its human rights situations.
Within the capabilities and with clear intention to do the needful, Bangladesh has responded to issues or comments on human rights situations brought to the attention of its government, he further said.
Both he and the state minister also clarified the position of the nation’s government on the concerns allegedly raised against it, including violence against women, discrimination of religious and other minorities, child marriage, Rohingya issues, death penalty, International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh (ICTBD), human rights violations by security forces, and shrinking of democratic space and freedom of expression.
UN High Commissioner Al Hussein commended Bangladesh’s continued efforts toward fully realising human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, including promoting democracy, rule of law and good governance at all levels.
He also lauded Bangladesh’s commitment to the principles of “no one left behind” and “Reaching the farthest first” as part of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
He particularly praised Bangladesh’s role in remaining engaged with the UN Human Rights mechanism on important issues.
Bangladesh Ambassador and Permanent Representative in Geneva M Shameem Ahsan also attended the meeting.