FM urges all to help create a mindset of respect, tolerance
“Without peace and stability, no country or region can prosper, achieve their goals. Of late, varieties of media, including social media, at times promote venom of hatred and intolerance,” he said.
In order to have a sustainable world of peace and stability, Dr Momen said, it is important that they all help create a mindset of respect for each other, of tolerance irrespective of ethnicity, colour or religion.
To inculcate such a mindset, he urged everyone – parents, guardians, teachers, opinion builders, think tanks, community leaders, leaders of Mandirs, mosques, synagogues, churches and the governments to join hands and work together.
The Foreign Minister was addressing the inaugural session of the three-day ‘Dhaka Global Dialogue 2019’ in the city.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Dialogue at Hotel InterContinental jointly hosted by Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) and India’s Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
ORF President Samir Saran and BIISS Director General AKM Abdur Rahman also spoke.
Dr Momen said they are truly living in the Asian century and the countries in the South Asia – India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and many others in the South East and East Asia are growing at a much faster rate than other countries.
However, he said, it is not only the rate of growth, but the sustainability and just distribution of benefit of that growth that makes these fast growing economies so important.
“I personally see a vast area of possible future cooperation among us. It is undeniable fact that intra-regional trade and physical connectivity are still insignificant compared to their true potential,” Dr Momen said.
So through Dhaka Dialogue Global Dialogue, he said, their active collaboration and cooperation will be further successful to expand the areas of cooperation and understanding for common benefit.
On Rohingya issue, the Foreign Minister said Bangladesh has given shelter to 1.1 million forcefully displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar.
“Now, it is the responsibility of the global community, including our neighbuors, to do more to ensure their quick and sustainable repatriation and reintegration in Myanmar,” he said.
The Foreign Minister said this is an issue created by Myanmar and the solution also lies with them.
He said voluntary return of the Rohingyas to their homes in the Rakhine State in safety, security and dignity is a crying need of the hour.
SDGs Implementation Requirements
On Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Dr Momen said they consider implementation of SDGs as a continuation of MDGs efforts.
Bangladesh was one of the few countries who did attain almost all of the MDG targets.
The Foreign Minister said realisation of the MDGs helped Bangladesh towards graduation from the LDC status, fulfilling all three criteria for graduation. “Now we intend to do the same with the implementation of SDGs.”
For this, he said, they took a three pronged approaches – mobilisation of resources, both fund and technology, capacity building and people’s empowerment at all stage of decision making process.
The Foreign Minister said implementation of SDGs requires much greater, long-term and sustained flow of resources.
He said the preliminary assessment reveals that in Bangladesh, they may require around $930 billion of additional synchronised expenses for full implementation of the SDGs.
For a developing country like Bangladesh, he said, even with its impressive growth rate and social innovations, the burden is truly great.
“Therefore, we need partnership; regional partnership, government to government partnership, government and business partnership, government and academic plus NGOs, Think Tank and philanthropic partnership, the South-South and North cooperation and innovative finances and technology to achieve the goals,” he added.
Moreover, to face the upcoming advent of 4th Industrial Revolution, a dramatic technological innovation, they are building partnerships, where government, private sector, academia, community and civil society – all are working together, said the Foreign Minister.
Bangladesh has now the 2nd largest pool of ICT freelancers in the world, almost 600,000.