President of the General Assembly (PGA) Abdulla Shahid has applauded Bangladesh’s “remarkable leadership, productive engagement and significant contribution” in recent times in various aspects of the United Nations.
The PGA was talking to Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen at a bilateral meeting held at the UN Headquarters on Thursday.
On 7 June 2021, the United Nations General Assembly elected Abdulla Shahid of Maldives as President of its seventy-sixth session, which runs from September 2021 until September 2022.
Shahid mentioned that Bangladesh is now holding three important positions – President of the UN Women Executive Board, Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission, and co-facilitator of the IMR. “All these signifies Bangladesh’s leadership role at the UN.”
At the outset of the meeting, Momen presented two proposals to the PGA.
These are, according to the Bangladesh Mission at the UN, to organize a high-level event on ‘Review of the implementation of SDGs’ and to take initiative to create a forum of the Finance, Foreign and Development Ministers for developing countries under South-South Cooperation (SSC).
The foreign minister expressed concern on the funding gaps in the implementation of SDG, particularly in view of the Covid -19 pandemic.
He also mentioned that most of the funding has been diverted to deal with the Covid situation.
The proposed high-level event will bring an opportunity to review the progress made towards implementing SDGs and the way forward to meet the funding gaps, Momen said.
Regarding the forum of the Finance, Foreign and Development Ministers, Momen said this forum will create a suitable platform to have substantive dialogue on South-South Cooperation.
The PGA welcomed the proposals.
The foreign minister also mentioned that under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has been able to maintain a satisfactory GDP growth even amidst this pandemic.
He informed the PGA on how Bangladesh has dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Momen reiterated the prime minister’s call to treat the COVID-19 vaccine as “Global Public Good”. In response, the PGA commended Bangladesh’s development trajectory including the GDP growth and applauded COVID-19 mitigation measures.
Regarding the Rohingya issue, the foreign minister highlighted the steps taken by the Bangladesh government on various issues including Covid management, providing education to Rohingya children in their own language, etc.
Momen also expressed his dissatisfaction for the fact not a single Rohingya has been repatriated to Myanmar yet.
In reply, the PGA commended Bangladesh’s role in providing shelter and humanitarian assistance to the Rohingyas.
Momen invited the PGA to visit Bangladesh which the PGA accepted.
Momen is visiting New York to attend the high-level event on ‘Galvanizing momentum for universal Vaccination’ and also to present Bangladesh’s amended documents to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) at the UN.