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PM for South-South cooperation to fight terrorism

43Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday called for a triangular South-South cooperation to fight terrorism and combat human trafficking and climate change consequences, and thus foster development and achieve peace and security.
“I believe the South-South and triangular cooperation has immense potential to foster development, achieve peace and security, fight terrorism and violent extremism, as well as combat human trafficking and climate change consequences,” she said.

The Prime Minister, now on a three-day official visit to Indonesia, was addressing the Plenary Session 2 of the Asian African Conference Commemoration Indonesia 2015 at BalaiSidang Jakarta Convention Center (JCC). It was co-chaired by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

“Durable peace and security are pre-conditions to sustainable development. Indeed, the volatile regional and global security situation, terrorism and violent extremism continue to challengedevelopment gains and our efforts towards peace and prosperity,” Hasina told the Summit.

She said a set of transformative goals and targets are being identified in the context of the post-2015 development agenda. “I would like to emphasise three development issues– fight against hunger and inequality, combat terrorism and violent extremism, and close and sustained cooperation.”

Hasina laid emphasis on work with united efforts for the betterment of the countries in Asian and African regions, which is knows as global South.

“Let’s renew our commitment to work together in achieving a peaceful and prosperous global South. I believe, together we could build a stable, prosperous and just world – free from oppression, intolerance, violence and extremism,” she expressed her firm optimism.

The Prime Minister mentioned that despite remarkable development gains, 2.2 billion people of the world still live below the poverty level; more than 800 million people suffer from chronic hunger, and over 200 million people hard-hit by climate change. “It is, therefore, critical that Southern economies work together to overcome the development challenges to ensure pro-people, pro-poor, pro-planet strategy.”

About the potentiality of the Asian and African countries, Sheikh Hasina said the South accounts for half of the world’s GDP, produces half of its economic output and conducts more than half of global trade. “Therefore, the South-South cooperation is critical for attaining sustainable development and building resilience of Southern countries.”

Pointing at the unprecedented human mobility and migration in recent times, she said these are recognised as key drivers and enablers of development process.

Focusing on the home front, Hasina mentioned that her government maintains a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy towards all forms of terrorism and extremism. “Terrorists have no religion or ethnicity. We remain firm in our resolve not to allow any terrorist individual or entity to use our soil against any heinous acts.”

Nationally, she said, her government is steadfast in tackling the anti-liberation forces who continue to remain active in destroying the moderate, progressive and non-communal fabric of our nation.

“My government is also re-enforcing the forces of democracy, secularism and women empowerment to ideologically defeat terrorism and extremism,” she mentioned.

To uphold peace, the rule of law and end the culture of impunity, the Prime Minister said, the government remains pledge-bound to bring to justice those who committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide during our War of Liberation in 1971.

Giving a brief description of her government’s various development activities, Hasina said the development paradigm in Bangladesh is based on peace and development. “We believe, empowering people, particularly women, can add significant value to the progress and prosperity of the country. We are experiencing impressive results in reducing poverty from 40percent in 2010 to below 24 percent today.”

She said Bangladesh has already met most of the MDGs and maintained an average 6 percent GDP growth despite global economic slowdown during the last six years.

To address climate change, the Prime Minister said, we have introduced stress-tolerant crop varieties and set up the Climate Change Trust Fund with our own resources.

“However, it is not possible for a single country to tackle the climate change challenges. I look forward to seeing a strong
commitment to address climate change in the region,”Hasina added.

Chinese President Xi Jin Ping, Viet Nam President Truong Tan Sang, President of Myanmar U Thein Sein, President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe, King of Jordan Abdullah Ibne Al Hossein, Prime Minister of Nepal Sushil Koirala, Prime Minister of Palestine Dr. Rami Hamdullah, Japanese Prime Minister Shinjo Abe, Prime Minister of Singapore Lee
Heisen Loong and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen are among the world leaders taking part in the Summit.

Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister of Qatar Ahmad bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Jakarta Convection Centre.