Statement by Mr. Shah Asif Rahman, Counsellor on behalf of Bangladesh delegation to the UN at the General Debate of the Third Committee of the 73rd Session of the UNGA on 30 October 2018 at UNHQ, New York

Statement by Mr. Shah Asif Rahman, Counsellor on behalf of Bangladesh delegation to the UN at the General Debate of the Third Committee of the 73rd Session of the UNGA on 30 October 2018 at UNHQ, New York

Agenda ITEM 72: Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance And

ITEM 73: Right of peoples to self-determination

Mr. Chair,
Bangladesh delegation aligns itself with the statement made by Egypt on behalf of Group of 77 and China. Our delegation appreciates the reports of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and that of the Special Rapporteur. We thank the Secretary General for his report on Rights to Self- determination. Mr. Chair, Drawing on the ethos of our liberation war, the people of Bangladesh denounce any form of oppression, deprivation and discrimination and rejects any notion of dominance in the narrow parlance of superiority based on racism, religion and culture. Our Constitution guarantees that all citizens are equal before the law and there is no discrimination on the rounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. The present government will continue its endeavor to cater to uphold the human rights of its people side by side ensuring the sustainable development through its “whole of society approach.

As a state party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Bangladesh remains committed to fulfilling our obligations, including those concerning reporting. With the advent of easily available ICT, we are alarmed in the use of social media and internet platform to spread hatred and intolerance. We stress the need for international cooperation, understanding, awareness building as well as political will to overcome this adversary.

We underscore the importance of promoting and protecting the rights of migrants and refugees and of safeguarding against unwarranted racial discrimination and attacks as well as xenophobia. We urge Member States to adhere to the underlying values and principles of the Global Compact on Refugees and Migrants negotiated in the context of the UN.

Bangladesh also strongly condemn any racial profiling along ethnic or religious lines. We underscore the need for curbing growing ultra-nationalist tendencies sweeping across various parts of the world, including in our neighbourhood. We remain concerned over political use of Islamophobia to serve vested interest and cover up root causes of socio-cultural fractures and alienation. We lend support to the OIC initiatives in this regard.
Mr. Chair, Bangladesh due to its history of struggle for self-determination as mentioned earlier, has been fully supporting the cause of inalienable rights of the Palestinian people for self-determination.

We understand that right to self-determination is a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights. The same has been recognized and enshrined in the United Nations charter. The right to self-determination is also upheld in the article 1 of both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The Assembly and the main organs of the United Nations has adopted over the years a number of resolutions that addressed the issue of self-determination. The international community should take ‘positive steps’ as it has an obligation to promote the realization of the right to self-determination.

The Secretary General’s report also concluded that the effective implementation of the right of peoples to self-determination will contribute to greater enjoyment of human rights, peace and stability, and thereby prevent conflict.

Bangladesh will continue to support the efforts of the international community to this end to see that people will be able to freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

I thank you.