STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF BANGLADESH TO THE UNITED NATIONS, ON AGENDA ITEM 72: PROMOTION AND PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, AT THE THIRD COMMITTEE OF THE 72ND SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, NEW YORK, 13 OCTOBER 2017
Thank you Madam Chair,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, humankind is awash with spectacular socio-economic developments and prosperity. But in stark contrast, millions of them are still denied of basic human rights due to multifaceted challenges arising out particularly of conflict situations; climate change; migrants and refugee flows; and under-development. Ensuring human rights therefore, remains as one of the main preoccupations and pursuits of the UN, unfortunate though. And the imperilled humanity continues to come back to the UN for redress.
The principles and provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights have been enshrined in the Constitution of Bangladesh. Accordingly, we are fully committed to safeguarding human rights and fundamental freedoms of all people around the world. In addition to its international obligations, Bangladesh has all the domestic acts and laws in place to protect and promote the rights of its peoples particularly, women, children, minorities and other vulnerable groups.
Bangladesh, as the current member of the Human Rights Council, has been working with the other member states in promoting human rights and implementing various human rights instruments to the best of its ability. We have also floated our candidacy for the Human Rights Council for the term 2019-2021 election for which will be held next year. I take this opportunity to convey our best wishes to the Member States who will contest for the term 2018-2020 at the elections to be held next week.
When it comes to human rights, we have universal parameters to look up. Yet it would be unjust to ask each Member State to attain and implement all in entirety. It has to be adjusted as per country equilibrium and specificities. We have seen UN’s review mechanisms such as the UPR to have emerged as an effective instrument for advancement of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Bangladesh successfully completed two cycles of reviews of UPR and recently completed the 3rd one held in June 2017 in Geneva. We reviewed and accepted a large number of its recommendations. We feel it is important that the national or domestic mechanisms be respected and strengthened in order to transform UPR commitments into positive developments on the ground.
We have witnessed in the past two months an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe unfolding near our eastern border. Due to the ongoing atrocities against Rakhine Muslims in the northern Rakhine State of Myanmar, more than half a million of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals have crossed into Bangladesh. We share the unfathomable pain and sufferings of these hapless people. We are extending to them as much humanitarian support as possible. But for a long term and sustainable solution, the root causes of the problem, ethnicity based deprivation, discrimination and exclusion; insecurity of Rakhine Muslims all of which constitute serious human rights violation, have to be addressed. It falls upon the international community to ensure that the basic human rights of these people including the right to return to their place of abode in Myanmar in safety, security, liberty and dignity are upheld.
We take this opportunity to thank the Secretary-General as well as his SRSGs, Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts as well as various committees and working groups for their tireless and humongous efforts in ensuring enjoyment of human rights worldwide.
Finally, I would like to reiterate that the people and government of Bangladesh under the leadership of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would continue to strive to eradicate poverty, hunger, disparity and discrimination to build a prosperous and inclusive society without any violation of human rights and dignity. We seek the continued support and understanding of the international community in our endeavours.
I thank you.