Statement by H.E. Muhammad A. Muhith Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, New York, Thematic Debate: “Other Disarmament Measures and International Security”, First Committee 78th Session United Nations General, 24 October 2023

Mr. Chair,

Bangladesh aligns itself with the statement delivered by Indonesia on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Allow me to share our national position.

Mr. Chair,

The changing global security landscape, driven by fast-evolving technologies, undeniably emphasizes the necessity for diverse disarmament measures beyond conventional frameworks.

The rapid advancement of technology, particularly in the fields of artificial intelligence, autonomous weapons systems, biotechnology, and cyber capabilities, has revolutionized not only our daily lives but also the global security landscape. These innovations have unlocked unlimited potential for human advancement and economic growth. However, they also introduce new dimensions of risk, demanding innovative disarmament solutions.

Bangladesh is deeply concerned about the development of military AI capabilities and the emergence of quantum technologies, particularly those related to weapon systems, which have exposed the inadequacies of existing governance frameworks.

Our foremost responsibility is to harness AI for peace, not conflict. Therefore, we emphasize the urgent need for comprehensive frameworks to govern AI and emerging technologies effectively to ensure responsible, effective, and ethical use of AI and emerging technologies.


Mr. Chair,

We firmly believe that cyberspace must be considered as a global public good that should benefit everyone, everywhere without any discrimination. To take advantage of the enormous benefits of digital technologies, the international community must develop a secure, safe, trusted and open ICT environment underpinned by applicability of international law to cyberspace, well-defined norms of responsible State behavior, robust Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and coordinated capacity building.

Our only hope for a free, secure, stable, accessible and peaceful ICT environment is through multilateralism and we underscore that the UN should play a leading role in the development of international cyber norms.


Mr. Chair,

In this regard, Bangladesh considers the Open-ended Working Group (OEWG) on developments in the field of ICT as the central and inclusive mechanism within the UN. We reaffirm our constructive engagement for the success of the OEWG and welcome the consensus adoption of its two consecutive Annual Progress Reports (APR).

In line with 2nd APR, we support the establishment of a single-track, State-led, permanent mechanism within the United Nations. We also support the establishment of an open, inclusive, transparent, sustainable, and flexible process that can effectively address the evolving needs of developing countries in the dynamic ICT landscape.

We are of the view that in absence of a globally accepted norms structure, the principles of the UN Charter and relevant international law should apply to the cyber space to maintaining peace and stability. In Bangladesh, we are investing in promoting a robust cyber-security culture across the government and the society. We have put in place necessary frameworks, policies and strategies, including the recent Cyber Security Act, 2023, and continuously building upon them.  We seek international cooperation in our efforts particularly in capacity building and confidence building measures.

Mr. Chair,

Bangladesh attaches great importance to mainstreaming and preserving relevant environmental norms in the international legal regime concerning disarmament and arms control. The applicability or relevance of such legal norms to disarmament in the seabed and outer space should be subject to further informed research and analysis.

Education is fundamental in promoting understanding of the humanitarian and economic consequences of armament. Bangladesh underscores the significance of disarmament and non-proliferation education. We appreciate the valuable work carried out by the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and emphasize the need for enhanced, predictable resources to support the Institute in expanding and managing its knowledge base for the benefit of all Member States.

To conclude, Mr. chair, we must put people at the center of our disarmament efforts and ensure disarmament that saves lives today and tomorrow. Let us continue to work together to ensure a more secure world.


I thank you.