Making Corona Vaccine Available to All

PM to seek UN intervention

She will address UNGA virtually Sept 26

Diplomatic Correspondent

22 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will highlight vital global issues, especially corona vaccine, during her virtual address at the United Nations General Assembly on September 26.

She is expected to seek UN intervention to make Covid-19 vaccine available to all at an affordable cost.

A prerecorded speech of the prime minister will be delivered at 8:00pm (BST) on Saturday.

“Obviously, the coronavirus pandemic will be a very important issue at the UNGA this year. The focus will be on how to cooperate in health and economic recovery from the pandemic,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said.

Addressing a press conference virtually on Monday, Momen said the Bangladesh Prime Minister will also highlight steps taken by the government to address people’s sufferings and protect them from Covid-19.

She will focus on the importance of working together to ensure availability of corona vaccine for all and end public sufferings.

From Bangladesh perspective, Rohingya issue will be another important point to be presented by the prime minister, he said, adding: “The progress of the ongoing legal process at the International Court of Justice and the investigation by the International Criminal Court will come up.”

Bangladesh will raise the Rohingya issue for the fourth time and reiterate the five-point proposals placed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina earlier seeking permanent solution to the crisis.

Prime Minister Hasina will also deliver prerecorded speeches in a number of programmes and the first one is scheduled to be delivered at 4am today (Tuesday) at the high-level event to mark the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen were also present at the press briefing.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) — normally the Super Bowl of international diplomacy but thanks to a global pandemic, make that “digital diplomacy” without star players in the corridors at UN headquarters in New York.

It’s also the historic 75th anniversary of the United Nations, but huge crowds, handshakes etc will be absent this time as the session will be in a virtual format, with very limited presence in the building due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Heads of states and governments from 193 Member States will exchange statements via prerecorded messages, played in the General Assembly Hall, on the theme “The future we want, the United Nations we need: reaffirming our collective commitment to multilateralism – confronting COVID-19 through effective multilateral action”.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis unlike any in our lifetimes, and so this year’s General Assembly session will be unlike any other, too,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at a press conference on Sunday.

High-level events will include the SDG Moment, commemoration of UN’s 75th anniversary, the Summit on Biodiversity, a high-level meeting on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing+25) and several partner events taking place virtually.

Issues related to international community’s support, especially development partners, for keeping Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation unhurt and giving equal attention to overcoming COVID-19 challenges and SDGs will be discussed this year, Foreign Minister Momen said.

In light of World Confidence on Women held in Beijing in 1995, issues like women empowerment, removing gender discrimination and preventing women repression will widely be discussed this year.

The Bangladesh Prime Minister will attend high-level dialogue on “Digital Cooperation: Action Today for Future Generations” on September 23. On September 24, she will deliver speech at the high level roundtable on Climate Action and will highlight climate issues as the chair of Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF).

On September 29, Sheikh Hasina will virtually attend the high-level event on Financing for Development (FFD) in the era of Covid-19 and beyond. On September 30, she will deliver speech at a summit on biodiversity.

The prime minister will also deliver speech at high-level meeting to mark the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for action (Beijing +25) on October 1.

The theme of the event is ‘Accelerating the realization of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls’.

Foreign Minister Momen said he will attend a number of events including high-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.