Remarks made by H.E. Ambassador Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the Meeting of the Groups of Friends on Climate Change (3 February 2020, 3-4:30 pm, Trusteeship Council, UNHQs)

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I thank the delegations of France and Morocco for convening today’s meeting; we are very happy to have the Secretary General with us.

Mr. Secretary General, we deeply appreciate your commitment to raise ambition by the Member States for climate action and shake off our ‘business as usual’ approach. We thank you for emphasizing urgent action on climate change through global dialogue and for anchoring this in your priorities for 2020.
Bangladesh has for decades been at the forefront of action on climate change and has consistently called for reductions in carbon emissions, enhanced support in the way of finances for climate adaptation and loss and damage associated with the adverse impacts of climate change. This position is based on our reality; climate change is an existential threat for us. We are exposed to cyclones, storm surges and flooding rendered more intense with climate change, alongside slower yet equally disastrous coastal erosion and salinity intrusion.
By eroding natural resources that form the basis of subsistence, livelihoods, habitat and cultural heritage, climate change has implications on the lives of millions globally, as it threatens the safety, dignity and human rights of those affected. This drives migration and displacement, creating potential security threats in regions where they did not previously exist. However, instead of securitizing the discourse on climate change and migration, it is important to consider the human security implications of climate change and to ensure the protection of people on the move and their host communities.
Emphasizing that climate change could potentially compound displacement risk in Bangladesh and in other climate vulnerable countries, especially small island states, our Prime Minister has been calling for the creation of a new protection framework for climate migrants and displaced.
In this context, we welcome the recent decision by the Human Rights Committee that recognized climate change as a pressing and serious threat to the ability of current and future generations to enjoy the right to life, and the obligation to protect those vulnerable to such displacement due to climate change.
Sustainable development and building resilience against climate change are our greatest priorities. We attach high importance to the implementation of the Paris Agreement and other environment-related agreements both at the national as well as global level.

Bangladesh has taken up the chairmanship of the 48-member Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) for 2020-21. We would like to see this Forum emerge as a strong platform for voicing the need for more financial resources and technology transfer for the vulnerable countries, particularly for their adaptation.

We hope that in the lead up to the Glasgow COP, this Group of Friends on Climate Change will make progress to build consensus in New York around the vital issues that failed to have success in Madrid.

COP25 failed to deliver more on international cooperation. Efforts were far from adequate to meet the climate finance goal of 100 billion dollars by 2020. We would also like to see more tangible progress on loss and damage issue, which is of vital importance for the climate vulnerable countries. We stand ready to contribute to any efforts that would lead to constructive and productive outcome in Glasgow.

I thank you.