Intervention by Ambassador Rabab Fatima Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the Meeting of the OIC with the Secretary General on 22 May 2020

Madam Chair, thank you for giving me the floor.

Mr. Secretary-General and Mr. President, thank you for joining us and sharing your valuable insights.

The pandemic is having profound impact on all and OIC countries are no exception. We are making great efforts to enhance joint action and intensify cooperation in the Ummah to confront the pandemic. UN’s collaboration with OIC countries would make our efforts more effective.

Mr. SG, your global ceasefire appeal has had important impact on cessation of violence in some of the conflicts in Islamic countries. Yet, in some places it has not and the pandemic is worsening the situation. We request for your continued dedicated attention there.

It is alarming and distressing at the pandemic is being abused to increase hate speech, hostility and xenophobia targeting Muslims, and the Rohingya crisis is a glaring case in point. You global appeal to the religious leaders on countering hate speech and xenophobia was timely and effective. We would expect your continued good offices role in this regard. The observance of 14 May as a day of prayer goes a long way in promoting religious harmony. We need more of such initiatives.

Our community and religious leaders are playing an important role in mobilizing public opinion for implementing health and safety measures in their respective communities and places of worship; adjusting religious practices in greater public interest; providing spiritual support; and promoting tolerance, secular values and inter-communal harmony. And they are doing it regardless of the faith construct of the community.

In Bangladesh, effective engagement of our faith leaders was critical in slowing the spread of the virus. Their messages of tolerance and harmony are leading to an inclusive response to the pandemic.

Finally, Mr. SG, would like to know from you, how do you think the UN can help OIC countries’ response to the pandemic.

I wish you all, Excellencies, dear colleagues, a joyful Eid ul Fitr. Eid Mubarak!

I thank you.