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Bangladesh is UN’s key partner, Guterres tells Hasan

United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has termed Bangladesh as a key partner of UN for the country’s “significant contributions” to various UN initiatives, including peacekeeping, achieving sustainable development goals and climate adaptation.

He made the recognition at a meeting with visiting Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud at the UN headquarters in New York on Thursday afternoon, a foreign ministry’s press release said in Dhaka.

“We consider Bangladesh an important partner of the UN as the country has made significant contributions to various UN initiatives, including international peace and security, sustainable development, and combating climate change,” Guterres said.

During the meeting, the UN Secretary General expressed deep gratitude for Bangladesh’s generosity towards the Rohingyas and voiced concern over the current situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

He praised Bangladesh’s capacity to adapt to and manage the adversities of climate change.

In response to Foreign Minister Hasan’s request for UN assistance to address the challenges of Bangladesh’s transition from a low-income country, Guterres assured him of full support from the global organization.

“Bangladesh deserves to be rewarded, not punished, for its progress,” said the US Secretary General.

Hasan thanked the Secretary General for his leadership in tackling the world’s challenging issues, including the ongoing conflict in Gaza, Palestine.

He noted that the peace-loving people of the world appreciated the Secretary-General’s personal presence in Rafah to avoid conflict.

The Foreign Minister urged the UN to maintain global focus on the Rohingya crisis and ensure the dignified, safe, and sustainable repatriation of the nearly 1.3 million forcibly displaced people sheltered in Bangladesh,

He also urged the UN to put its efforts more towards improving the conflict-ridden situation in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

Guterres praised Bangladesh’s remarkable progress over the past decade.

Hasan highlighted that due to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visionary and skilled leadership, Bangladesh has surpassed Pakistan in all social, economic, and humanitarian indicators and has also outpaced India in several indicators in recent years.

He mentioned that, according to IMF statistics, Bangladesh’s per capita income surpassed India’s in 2021.

Foreign Minister Hasan expressed gratitude for the steadfast partnership and development assistance from the UN over the past 50 years and extended a cordial invitation for Guterres to visit Bangladesh to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Bangladesh’s membership in the United Nations.

The meeting was also attended by Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Muhammad Abdul Muhith, along with members of the Foreign Minister’s delegation and mission officials, according to the release.