Remarks by Ms. Shanchita Haque, Minister, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh at “Changing the Trajectory: Integrated Resilience Thinking and COVID-19 Recovery Towards 1.5°C” organized by the Belize, Bhutan and IFRC on 15 June 2020

I thank Belize, Bhutan, and IFRC for organizing this event. Also, I appreciate the speakers for their thoughtful perspectives.

I am happy to hear the discussions today. It has rightly tried to frame the COVID 19 recovery with our response to climate crisis. The lives and the livelihoods of the people across the world are being devastated by the COVID 19 pandemic. Ambassadors of Belize and Bhutan have given a comprehensive picture of the impacts of COVID in our countries. I will repeat them. What is important is that this unprecedented phenomenon has once again brought home the point that our preparedness as well as our actions to address the root causes are woefully inadequate particularly in the SIDS and the LDCs in the face of disasters.

The COVID recovery plans should be comprehensive. It should look at the pre-existing vulnerabilities of the countries such as their climate vulnerability. The phenomenon of climate change has been shattering the lives of almost two billion people globally every year with disasters that have increased in frequency and intensity. Just a few weeks back, the coastal areas of Bangladesh and India were ravaged by the super cyclone Amphan. The climate induced disasters are jeopardizing development and forcing more people into poverty in the LDCs and SIDS. In this backdrop, for Bangladesh and many other developing countries, adaptation and resilience building are central to our climate actions. Therefore, our post-Covid actions should aim at better preparedness, build back better, and create strong resilience against any future shock or calamities. It has to start with the COVID recovery plans which must be able to catalyze the global climate actions. Our development partners must come forward to support us in building back better by providing additional financial and technological means.

I am happy to share with you that Bangladesh had taken up the Presidency of the 48-member Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance for the term 2020-2022. Last week we joined the Group of Friends of Adaptation and Resilience as its steering committee member. From all these platforms Bangladesh will make efforts to mobilize political will and collective sustainable actions to address the existing gaps in the global climate actions that could have contributed to address the vulnerabilities particularly of the LDCs and the SIDS.

I thank you.