Home / Bangladesh / Saima Wazed recommends a dedicated climate and mental health resilience day at the COP28

Saima Wazed recommends a dedicated climate and mental health resilience day at the COP28



Saima Wazed, Advisor to the Director General of the WHO for Mental Health and Autism and
Thematic Ambassador for Vulnerability of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) has
recommended that the Commonwealth organize a dedicated climate and mental health resilient
day at the first-ever Health Day to be held at the COP28 in Abu Dhabi.
Ms Wazed, also the Regional Director-elect of WHO South-East Asian Regional Office
(SEARO) and Chairperson of Shuchona Foundation, was presenting the key-note speech at a
high-profile roundtable on “Climate Vulnerability and Mental Health: Voices of Women”,
hosted on Tuesday by Bangladesh High Commission, London and the Commonwealth in
partnership with the Shuchona Foundation on the eve of the Commonwealth Women Leaders'
Summit taking place 15-16 November 2023 at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.

She highlighted the significance of climate and mental health resilience and suggested that
Commonwealth nations collaborate more closely to address climate-related challenges and their
adverse effects on mental health since countries do not have sufficient resources to handle these
challenges on their own. She emphasized the importance of early detection and appropriate
management of mental health conditions through a collective approach and global awareness.
During her keynote speech, she also shed light on the state of mental health and universal health
coverage in Bangladesh and called for global cooperation with Bangladesh in addressing these
growing challenges. Ms Wazed is participating in a two-day Commonwealth Women Leaders'
Summit. She will chair the launching ceremony of the Commonwealth NCD Guiding
Framework on 16 November 2023.

UK Minister for Environmental Quality and Resilience Department for Environment, Food and
Rural Affairs Rebecca Pow MP, Shadow Minister for Equalities Office Yasmin Qureshi,
Conservative MP for Kensington and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing and
Homelessness Felicity Buchan and Chair of UK All Party Parliamentary Group for UN Women
Baroness Verma spoke on the occasion as special guests. Commonwealth Secretary-General RT
Hon Patricia Scotland KC, co-host of the event, made introductory remarks and High
Commissioner of Bangladesh to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem chaired the event as the host in
her capacity as the President of Women in Diplomacy Network, London.
UK Minister Affairs Rebecca Pow MP spoke highly of Bangladesh's efforts to address climate
change and mental health challenges. She commended the country's achievements in women's
empowerment, girls' education, and primary healthcare under the leadership of Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina.
Commonwealth Secretary-General RT Hon Patricia Scotland KC praised Bangladesh's
leadership on championing mental health at the Kigali CHOGM 2022 and declaration of the

Dhaka-Kigali Mental Health Compact. The Secretary-General also recalled the Commonwealth
CVF climate prosperity partnership launched at COP26.
In her opening speech, High Commissioner Saida Muna Tasneem praised the global leadership
of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at COP26 as the CVF President in voicing the climate justice,
loss and damage and reparations for displaced people due to climate change. The High
Commissioner also recalled the contribution of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh
Mujibur Rahman, who honoured 300000 women who were raped during Bangladesh’s War of
Liberation as War Heroes.
The high-profile roundtable was also participated by a large number of ambassadors, women
diplomats, academics, environmental and mental health experts and UK government high
officials including Ms Bárbara Montalvo Álvarez, Ambassador of Cuba, Ms Simona Leskovar,
Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia, Agnes Oswaha, Ambassador of the Republic of South
Sudan, Racher Croney, High Commissioner of Grenada, Lady Tunnicliffe, Chair,
Commonwealth Association for Science Technology, Professor Mala Rao, Director, Ethnicity
and Health Unit and Senior Clinical Fellow, Imperial College, London, Dr Valentina Iemmi,
Senior Lecturer in Global Public Health, University of Essex and Ms. Rawan Al Faqir, President,
Young Diplomats, London.