Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has urged the Canadian Government to extradite Nur Chowdhury, the convicted killer of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to ensure justice and rule of law.
He made the call ahead of August 15 National Mourning Day during a virtual meeting with Canadian Minister for International Development Karina Gould on Wednesday. The Canadian minister paid a 3-day virtual visit to Bangladesh on August 10-12.
Two ministers discussed a wide range of issues encompassing Bangladesh’s graduation from LDC status, cooperation in addressing climate change and Rohingya crisis.
Expressing optimism regarding the co-chairmanship of Bangladesh and Canada in the preparatory process of the upcoming 5th UN Conference on LDCs (LDC-5) to be held in January 2022 in Doha, Momen requested the Canadian Government to extend preferential trade access for graduating LDCs, like Bangladesh, till 2030 in order to help addressing the post-pandemic scenario.
On climate change, Foreign Minister Momen sought Canada’s support in the COP26 in terms of realising the demand that each country must implement their respective Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Underscoring that Bangladesh has taken various adaptation and mitigation measures including the “Mujib Prosperity Plan” envisaging using renewable energy to meet 40 percent of its energy demand, the Foreign Minister also urged Canada to consider providing financial assistance to the regional Global Adaptation Centre (GAC) established in Bangladesh in order to effectively address climate change through adaptation measures in the region.
The Bangladesh Foreign Minister, on Rohingya issue, thanked Canada for its consistent political and humanitarian support for the displaced and persecuted Rohingyas, including for the genocide case ongoing in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Thanking Canada for the political support to the ICJ case by Gambia on the alleged genocide against Rohingyas, Foreign Minister Momen requested Canada to come forward to assist Gambia through making financial support for the proceeding of the case.
In response of Canadian Minister’s call for providing education for Rohingya children in Bangladesh, Foreign Minister Momen welcomes the initiative to educate Rohingya children sheltered in Bangladesh, however, this must be done in Rohingya language, under Myanmar curricula so that once they return, they can be reintegrated in Myanmar.
He expressed concern that the lack of education and other rights for Rohingyas may lead to radicalisation and extremism, and thus this is important to resolve the crisis at the earliest.
The Bangladesh Foreign Minister urged the Canadian Minister, who is a co-chair in the COVAX Humanitarian Buffer, to consider providing vaccines to Bangladesh through COVAX and also bilaterally, including for Rohingyas and host communities.
Informing that Bangladesh has commenced vaccinating displaced Rohingyas aged over 55 numbering around 48 thousand, he highlighted the fact that not a single Rohingya person in Bangladesh has so far died due to the COVID-19.
He also underscored, depicting the natural hazards that Kutupalong camps have been facing, that the facilities in Bhashan Char are far better; and the UN and International Community need to come forward to support the humanitarian operations in Bhashan Char as soon as possible.
Canadian Minister Karina Gould reiterated Canada’s appreciation to Bangladesh’s generosity of hosting the persecuted displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar. She also said that Canada has earmarked CAD 288 million for the next three years for programmes related to Rohingya issue.
She, referring to Canada’s “Together for Learning” campaign, urged Bangladesh Government to facilitate education for Rohingya children.
In response to Foreign Minister Momen’s statement that the Rohingyas may be taught in Myanmar curriculum, she agreed that this might be a good solution and would bring hope.
She, recalling that Canada has so far contributed 545 million dollar and 30 million surplus doses to COVAX, assured that Canada would give due consideration to Bangladesh’s request to provide vaccine, including for displaced Rohingyas and host community.
The Canadian Minister also appreciated Bangladesh’s decision not to build any more coal-based power plants, citing climate change risks as existential threat for the globe.