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UNGA discussion will help continue int’l pressure for Rohingya repatriation: PM

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said international pressure on Myanmar would continue for a permanent solution to the protracted Rohingya crisis as the issue was widely discussed in the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session.

“The issue of the Rohingya crisis and its permanent solution was discussed elaborately in the UNGA session which I believe will (help) continue global pressure on Myanmar for taking back their Rohingya nationals from Bangladesh,” she said.

The premier said this in a written statement while briefing newsmen about the outcome of Bangladesh’s participation in the 76th UNGA session.

She hoped that participation of the Bangladesh delegation in the session would strengthen Dhaka’s position in the multilateral forum and expand the scope of getting international cooperation to the issues involving Bangladesh’s interest.

Sheikh Hasina said she went to New York on September 19 to attend the 76th UNGA in person which was her maiden foreign tour after two years since the COVID-19 outbreak began.

“I had passed busy days during my stay in New York (from September 19-24) and joined 10 meetings including main session ofthe 76th UNGA and eight bilateral talks there. I also took part in the inaugural day of the general debate,” she said.

She said foreign minister, state minister for foreign affairs, lawmakers and high-level government officials accompanied her.

The Prime Minister said that she later went to Washington DC from New York on September 25.

She said that she also inaugurated “Bangladesh House” in Maryland of the USA that carries the memory of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Sheikh Hasina said the main focus of this UNGA session was sustainable transition from the pandemic, pining point “expectation” in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said the universal accessibility and availability of COVID vaccines and sustainable recovery from the pandemic have
naturally dominated the discussion.

Besides, issues like climate change, women’s empowerment, equality and inclusion, racism, sustainable development goals, disarmament of nuclear weapons etc have also come up in the discussion, the premier added.

Sheikh Hasina said in the very first day of her visit on September 20 she was conferred with “SDG Progress Award” by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) for Bangladesh’s highest success in attaining SDG during 2015-2020.

SDSN President and renowned economist Professor Jeffery Sachs handed over the award to her, she said.

“This award is a global recognition of Bangladesh’s steadfast development even during the Covid-19 pandemic, and that’s why I dedicated this award to the people of the country in my thanksgiving speech,” the premier said.

She said the special attraction of this visit was setting up a “Permanent Bench” and planting a centenary tree sapling at the UN
headquarters on the occasion of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. “It is notable that this
is the first such initiative to pay homage to any political leader on the premises of the UN headquarters, which is undoubtedly a rare honor for Bangladesh,” she said.

The Prime Minister said on September 24, 2021 she addressed the general debate of UNGA where she spoke in Bengali this time too like
every time.

“In my speech, I’ve emphasized ensuring universal and affordable availability of Covid-19 vaccines in order to build a corona virus free world, and simultaneously urged the world leaders to consider Covid-19 vaccine as a ‘global asset’ in eliminating vaccine inequality,” she said.

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