Statement by H.E. Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN at the High-Level event of the HLPF on “Multilateralism after COVID 19: what kind of UN do we need at the 75th anniversary?” Friday, 17 July 2020

I thank you, Madam President, for organizing this important debate.  I the Secretary General, and other speakers for sharing their important perspectives about the UN in the post-COVID world.

We are going through extraordinary times; and an unprecedented crisis.  We are seeing how are hard-won gains as charted in the Agenda 2030 are at increasing risk of a slide back.  In this uncharted journey, our fates are intertwined.  We all are vulnerable, no matter how resourceful we may be. This should be our moment of reckoning to set aside our differences and summon all our power to rise as ‘one humankind’ to fight all future adversities.

Right now, what we need the most is the political willingness of member states. We have to demonstrate strong commitment to multilateralism and empower the UN. At the same time, UN has its own role to play. The pandemic has given UN the opportunity to prove its mettle. Success would largely depend on its ability to gain the people’s trust; to help the world emerge stronger out of this crisis. It is crucial that the UN system as a whole, and its main organs rise to the occasion and demonstrate action and delivery-oriented competencies and responsibilities adhering to the Charter principles.

ECOSOC as the custodian of 2030 Agenda, has one of the most crucial roles to play in building back from the pandemic. Implementation of the 2030 Agenda followed by robust monitoring, review and course correction can bring real changes in the lives of common people; this should be our loadstar.  ECOSOC should be able to leverage the pandemic as the rallying point to do so and bring ultimate success to the UN thereby.

I wish to highlight a few areas where UN@75 should put particular focus in light of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development to project a better brand for itself and ensuring that: “no one is left behind”:

  • Halting rise of poverty by better utilizing the tools at its disposal and preventing this health crisis to turn into a poverty crisis.
  • Supporting public health emergency by ensuring enhanced access to vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics to all.
  • Supporting climate actions by helping the national efforts of the climate vulnerable countries, and ensuring climate financing.
  • Leveraging science, technology, and innovation for closing the digital divide and facilitating technology transfer and know-how to less advanced countries, the LDCs and other vulnerable countries.
  • Addressing migrant workers’ crisis through proactive role to tackle multidimensional challenges faced by migrant workers and migrant sending developing countries. The economies of migrant sending countries are heavily dependent on the remittances they send; and no less is their contribution to their host economies. The pandemic should not turn into a migrant crisis.
  • Supporting LDCs and graduating countries to tackle the pandemic-induced adversities and preventing any slide back.

Bangladesh stands ready to play its due role in building back from Covid-19.

I thank you.