Statement by H.E. Rabab Fatima, Ambassador & Permanent Representative of Bangladesh at the General Debate of the Second Committee of the 76th Session on 06 October 2021

I thank you, Madam Chair, for giving me the floor.

I warmly congratulate you and other members of the bureau on your elections.

My delegation aligns itself with the statements made by the Chairs of the G77 and China and the LDCs. Let me share a few thoughts in my national capacity.

Madame Chair,

The Secretary General’s reports on the different agenda items provide a grim picture. Millions of people have been pushed into poverty and hunger. The inequalities both within and across societies are on the rise. The LDCs and graduating countries are at high risk of sliding back. The climate vulnerable countries are facing double jeopardy—both due to the pandemic and increased natural calamities.

Against this backdrop, the theme of this debate “Crisis, Resilience and Recovery” is very timely. We need a bold and ambitious global roadmap to put us back on SDGs track and ensure a sustainable and resilient recovery from the pandemic. As the UN Secretary General has put it, this is a “breakdown or breakthrough” moment for us.

Let me share some specific thoughts in this regard:

First, ensuring universal and affordable access to vaccines should be our top most priority. The growing vaccines inequality has given rise to an uneven recovery trajectory. While the countries in the North are nearing full vaccination, in many low income countries, the rate is below 1%.

We must address this inequality urgently. I reiterate our call to announce COVID 19 vaccine as a global public good. Vaccine production and distribution capacity must be scaled up urgently to ensure vaccines for all by immediate transfer of vaccine technologies to developing countries that have production capacities.

Second, the SG’s climate dialogue, Food System Summit, and Energy Summit created a strong impetus towards a climate resilient recovery. We must build on this momentum to achieve bold and ambitious outcomes in the upcoming Climate and Biodiversity COPs.

As the President of the 48-member Climate vulnerable Forum, my Prime Minister reiterated our call for limiting global temperature rise, enhancing climate finance, facilitating technology transfer, and upscaling adaptation measures. She also highlighted the need for enhanced investments and technology support for agricultural R&D,efficient food systems,and renewable energy.

Third, we need to leverage the strength of digital technologies for closing the gaps in our SDGs implementation, especially in the areas of education, health, job creation, and climate actions.

We support the Secretary General’s proposal in his report on “Our Common Agenda” to reach a global Digital Compact to connect all people to the Internet, including all schools.

Fourth, Bangladesh is now co-chairing the preparatory committee meetings of the LDC5 conference. We wish to contribute to a bold and ambitious Programme of Action for the LDCs for the next decade.

As a country poised to graduate, we would like to see the POA have an incentives-based graduation structure for LDCs who are poised to graduate.

Fifth, we need to ensure women empowerment to achieve the “future we want”.

We are seriously concerned by the impacts of COVID-19 on women. They are bearing its heaviest brunt due to job losses, salary cuts, and the rise in violence against them. COVID recovery measures must address these issues, and women must be placed at the front and center of COVID-19 response and recovery.

In Bangladesh, we have put women to the forefront of our socio-political life and COVID recovery efforts. In turn, this has led millions of families out of poverty trap, increased school enrollment of children, and reduced inequality. We wish to share our good practices with other developing countries.

Finally, the sources of external financing in many developing countries have shrunk severely due to dual setbacks in exports and remittances fronts. It is imperative to revitalize our external sources of financing including export earnings, remittances, ODA, and private financing. We urge upon our development partners to come forward with targeted support to revive these sources of financing, especially in this time of crisis.

The pandemic has also had a drastic impact on migrant workers and global remittances flow. We need international support for the migrant workers during this crisis to ensure a job-rich recovery for them.

Madame Chair,

The Covid-19 has put a sharp spotlight on the critical need for global solidarity and collaboration to effective Covid-19 response. Bangladesh stands ready to working with all delegates for new partnerships and solutions to tackle this crisis. We look forward to a productive outcome of our work this year.

I thank you all.