STATEMENT BY H.E. MASUD BIN MOMEN, AMBASSADOR AND PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF BANGLADESH TO THE UNITED NATIONS AT THE THIRD COMMITTEE OF THE 73RD SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, NEW YORK, 18 OCTOBER 2017
Agenda item: 74 (b) Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms and 74 (c) Human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives
Thank you, Mr. Chair,
Bangladesh along with the international community is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. All these years, we have strived for upholding the high ethos of human rights in keeping with significant global socio-economic developments. Yet, we see around us human rights being violated in so many pretexts with teeming millions struggling daily for their rights! The rampant violence and conflict are often driven by hostile nationalism coupled with a resurgence of racism, xenophobia, hate speech and other forms of discrimination. Right to development is still elusive for many with rising inequalities and discrimination. We, therefore, should review our efforts and need to calibrate our development efforts to include alternative approaches for upholding and improving human rights and fundamental freedoms.
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 our people as well as all people around the world. To live up to our commitment, Bangladesh opened its borders to shelter helpless Rohingyas who had been forced to flee Myanmar due to egregious human rights violations there. Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has stood beside these ‘most persecuted’ people of the world. Our commitment to human rights has led us to the task of ensuring justice to the victims of genocide and crime against humanity, unleashed on us during our War of Liberation in 1971. We voice our strong concern for the continued violation of the rights of the people of Palestine, and elsewhere. As the Chair of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, we shall continue to work with the international community for resolution of the Palestine issue.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has restored the core values of our Constitution and reinforced respect for human rights. Under her visionary leadership, Bangladesh is now marching towards people’s empowerment, towards achieving a prosperous and inclusive society; a society which is free from poverty, hunger, inequalities, fear and discrimination, where no violation of human rights and dignity will be tolerated. Our inclusive development agenda compliments our vision to ensure, ‘human rights for all’.
We did our Universal Periodic Review in May this year during which the international community highly appreciated our good practices in upholding human rights. With the engagement of all concerned actors, implementation of UPR recommendations are regularly followed up.
Over the past few years, Bangladesh has successfully submitted, with deep involvement of the civil society, many reports to human rights treaty bodies. We have and will facilitate the work of various human rights related mandate holders and mechanisms. In the last 5 years, the National Human Rights Commission has been strengthened substantially. Budgetary allocation has been increased up to 172%. Independent Judiciary continues to play its due role as an effective resort to justice. We continue to maintain our ‘zero tolerance’ policy with regard to criminal liabilities of the law enforcing agencies.
We are steadfastly and as promptly as possible addressing all incidents of violence against religious and ethnic minorities. We have always been benefited by the proactive and constructive role of civil society, NGOs and media. Bangladesh is known internationally for its success in women’s political, economic and social empowerment thereby promoting their human rights. We pursued a rights-based approach in the negotiation of the Global Migration Compact to ensure the human rights of migrant workers. We have also launched massive welfare-based reform in the labour sector. To ensure the citizens’ right to social security, the Government has adopted the National Social Security Strategy. In our modest capacity, we are also addressing within the domestic context major global challenges of climate change and natural disaster, terrorism and violent extremism, cyber-crimes, drugs and related crimes as well as frontier issues which impact the enjoyment of human rights.
The government remains engaged in reviewing and updating old domestic acts and laws and strives for their effective implementation to protect and promote the rights of its peoples particularly, vulnerable groups.
We seek the continued support and understanding of the international community in our endeavours.
We take this opportunity to thank member states for their support to Bangladesh to serve at the Human Rights Council for the term 2019-2021. Bangladesh is fully committed to redeeming its pledges and commitments that we have made and upholding the high objectives of the Council. Elections to the Council twice during the terms of the present government is a recognition of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s unstinting efforts to uphold the rights and dignity of people.
We thank the new High Commissioner for Human Rights for her statement earlier in her first interaction with the Committee and assure her all cooperation.
We thank the Secretary-General, his SRSGs, Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts as well as various committees and working groups for their tireless efforts in ensuring enjoyment of human rights worldwide. The insights they bring to the Committee are indeed valuable. We appreciate the reports that they so painstakingly prepare with objectivity and recommendations.
We reiterate our commitment to promoting, preserving and strengthening multilateralism and the multilateral decision-making process through the UN with the aim of creating a just and equitable world order and a global democratic governance.
I thank you.