Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's influence and legacy extend far beyond the border of Bangladesh, helping to inspire other global anti-colonial and independence movements, former secretary-general of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon said on Monday.
"Bangabandhu will always be remembered as the father of modern Bangladesh as well as a great world leader. This is evident to me as a young diplomat in Bangladesh based in India," said Ban Ki-moon as the keynote speaker in the 4th Bangabandhu lecture series titled "Bangabandhu: The Soul of Bangladesh" on the occasion of the birth centenary of Father of the nation.
He joined the programme virtually held at the Foreign Service Academy in Dhaka.
"Bangabandhu was a champion in empowering the Bangladeshi people to fight for their linguistic and cultural rights as well as their yearning for freedom and self-rule. His commitment to human rights did not stop there; rather it extended to other oppressed people all over the world," he said.
"Indeed, Bangabandhu was a forward-thinking man and rare leader who had a far-reaching vision to help ensure a thriving future for his young nation. As a champion for human rights, social and economic equality and in the environment, he was also far ahead of his time," he added.
"A strong believer in anti-hunger and anti-poverty efforts, he was both an early proponent and practitioner of an inclusive diplomat. He anchored Bangladesh's post-war recovery and industrialisation and helped lift millions of millions from extreme poverty."
Praising the current development pace of Bangladesh, he said, "Based on this vision of Bangabandhu, Bangladesh now under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has emerged as one of the fast-moving countries among the developing countries,"
Ban Ki-moon also praised Bangladesh's adaptation to the threat of climate change.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said Bangladesh has been promoting a culture of peace, following its Father of the Nation Bangabandhu's philosophy.
Among others, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam was also present.