Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday delivered her speech in the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the UN Headquarters in New York. Following are the highlights of her speech:
1.The premier urged the United Nations and the international community to protect all civilians irrespective of religion and ethnicity in Myanmar's Rakhine State and take immediate and effective measures for a permanent solution to the protracted Rohingya crisis.
2. She called on the UN secretary general to immediately send there a "Fact-Finding Mission" and suggested several other steps to stop the ethnic cleansing.
3. Myanmar must unconditionally stop the violence and the practice of ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine State immediately and forever.
4. Sheikh Hasina reiterated Bangladesh's call to create "safe zones" under UN supervision in Myanmar for the protection of all civilian population irrespective of religion and ethnicity and unconditional implementation of the Kofi Annan Commission recommendations to resolve the crisis.
5. She called for ensuring "sustainable return" of all forcibly displaced Myanmar Rohingyas in Bangladesh to their homes, saying these people must be able to return to their homeland in safety and securely with dignity.
6.The Bangladesh premier said it was the 14th time she was addressing the UN General Assembly, but this time she came to New York with a heavy heart just after seeing the "hungry, distressed and hopeless Rohingyas" who took refuge in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar fleeing their home to evade atrocities.
7. She said currently Bangladesh was sheltering over 800,000 forcibly displaced Rohingyas of Myanmar while the ongoing atrocities and human rights violations in the Rakhine State "once again aggravated the situation at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border".
8. Sheikh Hasina simultaneously condemned all kinds of terrorism and violent extremism in Myanmar, saying her government maintains a 'zero tolerance' policy against terrorism in any form and manifestation.
9.She thanked the UN Security Council members and also the UN secretary general for their proactive attempts to denounce the atrocities on the Rohingya people in Myanmar and call for bringing in peace and stability in Rakhine.
10. The premier reiterated Bangladesh's firm commitment to the peace and democracy saying "since our birth as a nation, we have pursued peace-centric domestic and foreign policies".
11. Sheikh Hasina put emphasis on resuming the Middle East Peace Process and called for ending all forms of hostilities and discriminations against the brotherly Palestinian people.
12. The prime minister said UN had a potential role in developing a peace-building architecture while Bangladesh awaited "bold and innovative proposals" from the UN secretary general on financing for 'sustaining peace'.
13. Sheikh Hasina renewed her call to stop weapon supply to the terrorists and terror financing and settlement of all international disputes peacefully as terrorism and violent extremism posed a major threat to peace, stability and development.
14. The prime minister also urged the UN to address the growing threats emanated from the cyber space to prevent money laundering, terrorist financing and other transnational organized crimes.
15. Sheikh Hasina reiterated her call to the international community to recognise the barbaric atrocities of Pakistani occupation force on the Bengalis in 1971 as "genocide" and March 25, 1971 as the "International Genocide Day".
16. Sheikh Hasina once again denounced the use of religion to justify violent extremism, saying families, womenfolk, youth, media and religious leaders at the community level should be involved to offset the spread of violent extremism.
17. She said as a major troop and police-contributing country, Bangladesh underscores the importance of upholding effectiveness and credibility of UN peacekeeping operations.
18. The premier reaffirmed 'zero tolerance' approach of her government to any allegation of sexual exploitation and abuse against any member of peacekeeping force.
19. The premier announced Bangladesh's token contribution of US $ 1,00,000 for the UN Peace Building Fund (PBF) and contribution of another US $ 100,000 to the 'Victim Support Fund' established for the victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.
20. She also highlighted her government's position on different global issues like safe migration, refugee crisis, climate change, SDGs and socioeconomic development.
21. Pointing out Bangladesh's socioeconomic development under the stewardship of her government, Sheikh Hasina said the country has achieved exemplary success in building resilience against flood and other disasters.
22. The prime minister said as a member of the High-level Panel on Water, she attached the high priority to implement its comprehensive Action Plan.