Bangladesh aligns itself with the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
We share our concerns with other delegations at the growing number of losses of innocent lives through the unauthorized use of a variety of conventional weapons across the globe. It is critical that we universalize and implement the international laws and norms relevant to conventional weapons that we have agreed upon.
Bangladesh remains committed to fulfilling her obligations under various international instruments including the Certain Conventional Weapons Convention (CCW) and its Protocols that we are party to. We call upon States to fulfil their international legal obligations to curb the illicit trade and indiscriminate use of conventional weapons.
The illicit flows of small arms and light weapons (SALW) constitute a key challenge to international peace, security and development. Bangladesh remains deeply concerned over a wide range of security, humanitarian and socio-economic consequences arising from the illicit SALWs. We call upon all States to ensure that supply of SALW is limited only to governments or to entities duly authorized by them.
Bangladesh welcomes and supports the consensus outcomes achieved at the Eighth Biennial Meeting of States (BMS8) on the United Nations Programme of Action (PoA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (UNPoA). We also welcome its decision to establish a standing dedicated fellowship training programme on SALW to strengthen technical knowledge and expertise in areas related to the implementation of the PoA and the International Tracing Instrument, particularly in developing countries.
Bangladesh continues to remain concerned over casualties suffered by our peacekeepers due to indiscriminate use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by non-state actors in certain UN Peacekeeping missions. On 3rd October 2022, three Bangladeshi peacekeepers were killed and four were critically injured by IED explosion in the Central African Republic. We deeply condemn such cowardly attacks, which are tantamount to the commission of the gravest crimes under international law. We call upon the international community to spare no effort in identifying the perpetrators of this attack, so that they can be brought to justice without any delay.
We stress the critical need for further attention be given to UN peacekeeping intelligence, and to provide adequate resources and equipment to address challenges posed by IED.
As a signatory to the Arms Trade Treaty, we align with the position that States have the sovereign right to acquire, manufacture, export, import and retain conventional arms and their components for security requirements and self-defence. We also emphasize that no unilateral coercive measure be imposed on the transfer of such arms. We are committed to the Treaty’s objective of preventing the illicit trade in conventional arms.
Bangladesh supports international initiatives against the indiscriminate use of antipersonnel landmines, cluster munitions, and conventional weapons. We are deeply concerned over the humanitarian consequences of the continued use of anti-personnel mines, including by our neighboring Myanmar. Such use of landmines is flagrant violation of international humanitarian law. We urge Myanmar to immediately stop its use of land mine and join the treaty.
As a State party to the Ottawa Convention, Bangladesh calls for full implementation of the Oslo Action Plan with firm determination in order to achieve a mine free world by 2025.
We appreciate the substantive work over the past years of the Group of Governmental Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS). We stress the need for new legally-binding provisions for addressing the humanitarian and international security challenges posed by emerging technologies in the area of LAWS.
Let me conclude by reaffirming Bangladesh’s commitment to working constructively with the international community, to foster greater collaboration and open dialogue, towards a safer and better future for all.
I thank you.