Allow me to deliver this statement on behalf of my Permanent Representative who was not able to join us today.
On behalf of Bangladesh delegation, I congratulate the Secretary General on his appointment for the second term and wish to assure him of Bangladesh’s full support to his work.
I thank the Secretary General for his briefing today. We share his concerns regarding the impacts of the pandemic on the global socio-economic and security situations, especially in the areas of SDGs, climate, poverty and inequality, geopolitical volatility, and humanitarian crises.
The year 2022 has not had an auspicious start. Omicron has come up with a serious blow to our recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are rapidly falling behind to achieve our shared promises of the 2030 Agenda.
Against this backdrop, I commend the UN system and the staff globally, including of the funds and programmes, for their remarkable role on the frontline in ensuring critical services to those most in need. We thank the Secretary General for his outstanding leadership during this trying time.
Allow me to briefly highlight a few specific points in this regard.
First: We echo the resounding call to close “Vaccines Divides” by ensuring safe and affordable COVID-19 vaccines for everyone, everywhere.
We must not fail our shared vision to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of the world’s population by the middle of this year. This should be an overarching system-wide priority for the UN in 2022. It is imperative to increase vaccine supply to COVAX and support the local production by immediate transfer of vaccines’ technologies to the developing countries.
Secondly: we thank the Secretary General for his “Our Common Agenda” report. The report has identified key challenges of our time and outlined an ambitious roadmap to address those. My delegation will support efforts to advance the key deliverables of this agenda in the upcoming thematic debates on the report led by the PGA.
We stress the importance of ensuring synergies in the initiatives of the Secretariat, the General Assembly, the ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies to pursue the priorities of the report. We look forward to broad consultations in the lead up to the proposed “Education Summit” and “the Summit of the Future” with a view to take the ideas forward.
Third: we commend the Secretary General for organizing the leaders’ event on Climate Change during the high-level week of the 76th UNGA, where our Prime Minister participated. The event added great value to the political momentum in the road towards COP-26 in Glasgow.
We wish to build on our achievements in Glasgow to reach higher ambition in COP-27 in Egypt. As a climate vulnerable country and the current chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), we will work closely work with the Secretary General for creating necessary impetus towards higher NDCs, enhanced financing, technology transfer, and addressing loss and damage issues.
Fourth: according to the UNESCO, close to half the world’s students are affected by partial or full school closures due to the pandemic. While the advanced countries could swiftly move to online platforms, the developing countries and the LDCs were pushed further behind due to lack of resources and technologies.
My Prime Minister called on the world leaders to declare remote learning and online education a global public good. We count on Secretary General’s support in placing this issue high on UN’s agenda.
Fifth: the COVID-19 pandemic has seen an alarming rise of global poverty and inequalities. The loss of jobs, businesses, investment, and trade have created the worst recession of our time.
We see STI as a sine-qua-non to bridge these burgeoning gaps. We wish to work with the Secretary General, to leverage the power of STI and ensure meaningful transfer of technologies for bringing about transformative changes in our societies. We support the SG’s proposal of a “Global Digital Compact” to leverage the power of digital goods including the frontier technologies for the benefits of all.
Sixth, The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated manifold the pre-existing economic disparities between the developed and developing countries. It is imperative to work together with a clear vision to ensure a fair and equitable voice of the developing countries in global economic and financial orders. We encourage the UN for enhanced collaboration with World Bank Group, IMF and relevant economic and financial agencies to drive coherent actions in this regard.
The LDCs, LLDCs, SIDs, and African countries are the furthest behind. They require reinvigorated international support.
As the Co-chair of the recently concluded LDC 5 preparatory committee meetings, we look forward to the support of the SG in making the upcoming LDC5 Conference a success, and also the continued support of the UN agencies for the implementation of the Doha Progarmme of Action.
Seventh, we cannot overemphasize the need for increased efforts towards ensuring durable solutions to protracted humanitarian situations and large scale forced displacements.
My country has been hosting over a million Rohingya from Myanmar with no progress in sight. The deteriorating conditions in Myanmar, especially after the declaration of emergency in February 2021, has worsened the situation leading to frustration and desperation among the displaced Rohingyas.
We hope the new Special Envoy would be able to expand the scope and dimension of UN’s engagements in Myanmar and bring new impetus in the efforts of the UN to find an early and lasting solution to the Rohingya crisis.
Eighth: we take note of the Secretary General’s approach to the UN’s peace and security architecture. In this regard, we thank the Secretary General for the New Agenda for Peace, which calls for greater investment in prevention and sustaining peace.
As a leading troops and police contributing country to the UN peace operations, we reaffirm our commitment to further advancing peacebuilding and sustaining peace agenda on the ground. Our peacekeepers will continue to support the host countries and other actors to develop critical peacebuilding capacities to address the root causes and drivers of conflicts in their societies.
We look forward to your continued attention to strengthening partnerships, coherence, and financing to support the growing needs of countries in transition.
Finally: we commend the SG’s commitment to gender equality and for his efforts to bring about gender parity in the UN staffing. We, however, believe that full equality cannot be achieved unless there is diversity. We wish to see alongside gender parity, balanced regional representation of UN staff at all levels.
I wish to conclude by reassuring the SG that he can count on Bangladesh’s continued support as he takes forward our shared priorities and commitments.
I thank you, Mr. President.