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UK vaccine to be available to Bangladesh, no clinical trial here: Dickson

UK with Bangladesh to help address climate, Rohingya challenges, he says.

British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Robert Chatterton Dickson on Wednesday said the Oxford vaccine would be available to Bangladesh once it is produced and ready for use.

He, however, said there will be no clinical trial of the British vaccine in Bangladesh.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in his UNGA speech, said the Oxford vaccine is now in stage 3 of clinical trials, and in case of success AstraZeneca has already begun to manufacture millions of doses, in readiness for rapid distribution.

They have reached an agreement with the Serum Institute of India to supply one billion doses to low and middle-income countries.

The UK is giving importance to equal access to vaccines by all the countries.

The British High Commissioner said the UK remains beside Bangladesh in addressing climate-related challenges and helping to resolve the Rohingya crisis apart from deepening trade and investment relations with Bangladesh.

High Commissioner Dickson made the remarks at DCAB Talks held virtually.

President of Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) Angur Nahar Monty also spoke at the event. DCAB Secretary General Touhidur Rahman was present.

On the situation in Rakhine, Dickson said the situation in Rakhine is not very encouraging.

The High Commissioner said they are very actively supporting the mechanism that exists to ensure accountability for the crimes committed against the Rohingyas.

He said Myanmar will continue to face pressure at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The British High Commissioner said the UK, as a pen-holder for Myanmar on Rohingya issues, will make sure that Rohingya issues remain on the agenda in the UN Security Council (UNSC).

He said this is a very important partnership with Bangladesh. “We’re working very closely with Bangladesh and international partners.”

The High Commissioner laid emphasis on safe, dignified and voluntary return of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State. “We’re doing everything we can.”

The diplomat also highlighted the citizenship issue which can boost confidence among Rohingyas to return to their homes in Myanmar.

Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and two attempts to send back Rohingyas were failed amid trust deficit as Rohingyas do not believe the Myanmar government.

Dickson said he sees a very exciting time in Bangladesh-UK relations. “We’re seeing a lot of interest in British businesses and in the government (to enhance trade relations).

He said the UK provides very high quality goods and services in Bangladesh.