Bangladesh has called upon the international community to come together to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic efficiently and effectively.
Speaking at a briefing on "UN Annual Report and Priorities 2021, raised by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres" at the UN General Assembly on 29 January, Ambassador Rabab Fatima, Bangladesh's permanent representative to the United Nations, highlighted Bangladesh's national priorities.
The ambassador also thanked the Secretary-General for keeping the UN operational during these trying times.
While speaking on the importance of building partnerships and solidarity as the global community attempts to build back from this crisis, Ambassador Fatima said that for effective Covid-19 response and recovery, vaccines must be made available to everyone as a matter of priority.
She also said that to overcome the impending 'vaccine division' within and among nations, the UN needs to take the lead in ensuring equitable, safe, and affordable global access to the vaccines.
Referring to Bangladesh's graduation from the LDC status, Ambassador Rabab Fatima said that it is essential to support an incentives-based graduation pathway for LDCs with time-bound support measures for graduating and graduated countries.
She warned that failing to do so coupled with the existing vulnerabilities along with the consequences of Covid-19 would endanger the hard-earned development gained by these countries.
Commending the Secretary-General regarding his call on the world leaders to declare a state of climate emergency until carbon neutrality is reached, Bangladesh Ambassador informed during the meeting that Bangladesh parliament declared a "Planetary Emergency" and has called on everyone to work "on a war-footing'' to stop climate change.
She further stated that as the current chair of the 48-member Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), Bangladesh underscores the importance of giving special attention to vulnerable groups such as the LDCs and the SIDS in all climate discourses.
Referring to the COP-26 to be held in November this year, she hoped that the ambitious new climate targets outlined by the UN Secretary-General and climate finance commitments would be fulfilled in the Glasgow meeting.
She also reiterated Bangladesh's commitment towards the UN's peacekeeping, peacebuilding, and sustaining peace agenda.
Highlighting the Rohingya refugee crisis, the ambassador urged the UN Secretary-General to mobilize greater attention to the complex situation which, she warned, if not resolved early, may lead to further destabilization in the region.
It is customary for the Secretary-General to highlight his priorities through an informal briefing to the Member States at the start of every year.
This year's priorities for the UN are: fair and equal distribution of Covid-19 vaccines and protecting health systems, inclusive and sustainable economic recovery, climate and biodiversity, tackling poverty and inequality, human rights, gender equality, addressing roiling peace and security, nuclear disarmament, protecting the dangers of digital opportunities and reimagining governance of global commons.
Permanent Representatives and delegates of 193 Member States of the United Nations were present at the briefing.