Pranab Kumar Panday
The recently concluded G20 summit held in New Delhi on September 9-10, 2023, saw a remarkable display of political acumen and leadership from Bangladesh's Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina. Her astute insights and diplomatic finesse garnered widespread acclaim from world leaders, solidifying her reputation as a prominent figure in global politics.
At the heart of this year's G20 summit, held under the resonant banner of "One Earth. One Family. One Future", climate change took the centre stage. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emerged as a fervent advocate for climate action, driven by the poignant reality that Bangladesh, a low-lying delta nation, stands on the frontlines of this global challenge. For her, this issue is deeply personal. With impassioned conviction, she presented a compelling case for urgent and collective action to combat climate change, stressing the critical need for developed nations to honour their commitments towards climate finance and technology transfer, especially to nations vulnerable to its effects. In the spirit of "One Earth. One Family. One Future", Sheikh Hasina's address at the G20 summit encapsulated a shared vision of a world that transcends borders and confronts challenges together. She articulated five crucial recommendations aimed at forging a more sustainable and inclusive world, demonstrating that even in the face of formidable challenges, a united global family can shape a brighter future.
Prime Minister Hasina stressed the paramount importance of prioritizing the execution of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in all collaborative endeavours, encompassing those within the G20 framework. She urged world leaders to commit to concrete actions that will propel progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), underscoring the urgency of collective efforts in tackling global issues.
Addressing the specific needs of countries transitioning from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to developing nations, Sheikh Hasina urged the G20 to offer unwavering support. She advocated for an extended period of duty-free, quota-free market access, as well as the continuation of unilateral tariff preferences and TRIPS waivers following graduation. This approach, she stressed, is vital to ensuring a smooth and sustainable transition for these nations.
The Prime Minister's third recommendation centred on safeguarding vulnerable economies by keeping their markets open. She emphasized the significance of ensuring seamless, punctual, and reliable supply chains for vital goods and commodities, with a special focus on sectors like agriculture. This approach not only bolsters economic stability but also promotes food security on a global scale.
Emphasizing the crucial contribution of women in constructing peaceful, fair, and inclusive societies, Sheikh Hasina's fourth proposal underscored the need to prioritize this significant segment of the global population. She urged leaders to enact policies and allocate resources that advance gender equality, recognizing that inclusive societies are founded on the empowerment and active participation of women.
Sheikh Hasina's recommendations reflect a comprehensive and forward-thinking approach to addressing the world's most pressing challenges. Her emphasis on sustainable development, inclusive growth, and international cooperation resonated with world leaders, solidifying her position as a beacon of wisdom and leadership on the global stage. Bangladesh's remarkable progress in achieving socio-economic development and poverty reduction under her leadership served as a testament to her vision for a prosperous South Asia. She also extended an invitation for increased collaboration and investments in the region, emphasizing the potential for mutually beneficial partnerships.
Sheikh Hasina's address at the G20 summit elicited a chorus of positive reactions from world leaders. Her insightful recommendations and impassioned advocacy for sustainable development, inclusive policies, and international cooperation struck a chord with her counterparts. Leaders from various nations lauded her forward-thinking approach, praising her as a beacon of wisdom and leadership. Many expressed their admiration for her dedication to addressing critical global challenges, particularly in the realms of climate change, economic resilience, and gender equality. Sheikh Hasina's presence and contributions were widely seen as instrumental in fostering a sense of unity and purpose among the G20 leaders, leaving an indelible mark on the proceedings of the summit. Her speech served as a powerful call to action, resonating across borders and inspiring hope for a more prosperous and harmonious world.
In a world grappling with geopolitical tensions, Sheikh Hasina advocated for a spirit of multilateralism and global solidarity. She emphasized the need for open dialogue and mutual understanding to address pressing global issues. Her call for increased cooperation on humanitarian crises, public health emergencies, and peacekeeping efforts was met with widespread support.
Prime Minister Hasina's diplomatic prowess was evident in her interactions with fellow world leaders. Her ability to forge connections and build consensus was instrumental in facilitating productive discussions throughout the summit. She was praised for her ability to bridge cultural and political divides, bringing diverse nations together for a common purpose.
Leaders from around the world lauded Prime Minister Hasina's contributions to the G20 summit. Her insights and recommendations were seen as invaluable contributions to the ongoing global dialogue on critical issues. Many expressed their admiration for her dedication to the well-being of not only Bangladesh but also the wider global community.
As the G20 summit concluded, Sheikh Hasina's role and influence on the global stage were undeniably elevated. Her political wisdom, coupled with her unwavering commitment to positive change, reaffirmed her status as a formidable leader in international politics. Her vision for a more sustainable, inclusive, and cooperative world resonated with leaders and citizens alike, leaving an indelible mark on the proceedings of the summit.
In an era where visionary leadership is paramount, Sheikh Hasina's presence at the G20 summit was a beacon of hope and a reminder of the transformative power of political wisdom. Her contributions will undoubtedly leave a lasting legacy in the annals of global diplomacy.
The writer is a Professor, Department of
Public Administration, University of Rajshahi