On the auspicious occasion of the International Human Rights Day, I, on behalf of the Government and the People of Bangladesh, join the international community in reiterating our unflinching commitment to the promotion and protection of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Since its adoption in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights remains the cornerstone of our resolve and determination to uphold human rights and fundamental freedom for all people. This year, the pandemic has made the human rights situation in many parts of the world more vulnerable. The theme of this year’s celebration ‘Recover Better- Stand Up for Human Rights’ mandates us to respect human rights across the spectrum, including economic and social rights, and civil and political rights, as we undertake various measures to tackle the pandemic.
A country born out of a long heroic struggle to establish the rights of its people, Bangladesh is strongly committed to advancing and safeguarding human rights and fundamental freedom of its people. Our enduring experience of being oppressed guided us to formulate a Constitution incorporating the principles of the Universal Declaration. Our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman himself stated in his maiden speech in the United Nations General Assembly in 1974 that “the souls of our martyrs join us in pledging that the Bangalee nation fully commits itself to the building of a world order, in which the aspiration of all men for peace and justice will be realized.”
Guided by the vision of the Father of the Nation, the Government of Bangladesh has duly prioritized the human rights issue in its development trajectory. We have taken a whole of society approach and have been relentlessly working to ensure that no one is left behind in our development interventions.
As a signatory to almost all major international human rights treaties and as an active member of the UN Human Rights Council, Bangladesh is taking all possible measures to secure the rule of law, human rights, and fundamental freedom, equality, justice, political, economic, and social rights for all citizens. In our response to the COVID- 19, we have ensured that human rights remain at the center of all prevention, preparedness, containment, and treatment efforts. Globally, Bangladesh has engaged itself in resolving conflicts and establishing peace and protecting human rights all around the world.
On the 72nd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it is a sad reality that injustice and oppression are persistent in many parts of the world. The brutal persecution of Rohingyas in Myanmar is a glaring example of the decades of human rights violation. As a responsible member of the international community, it was Bangladesh which opened its border and protected the basic rights of these persecuted people of Myanmar. The continued violation of the human rights of Rohingyas in Myanmar and the denial of their right to return to their homeland raise questions about the efficacy of the international accountability framework.
Today as we celebrate the International Human Rights Day, let us commit to translate the words of the Declaration into action and work together to establish a discrimination-free and just world for all.
Joi Bangla, Joi Bangabandhu May Bangladesh Live Forever