Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Monday called for stronger policies and support measures for the LDCs belonging in the Asia-Pacific zone.
He also urged the global community for a new international support architecture for the LDCs and also for the graduating LDCs at the High-level opening session of the 4-day Asia-Pacific Regional Review Meeting, said a press release.
The session was jointly convened by Bangladesh, UN-OHRLLS and UN-ESCAP at the UN Headquarters in Geneva in preparation for the Fifth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (UNLDC-5) to be held in Qatar in January.
Speaking at the event, Momen lauded the remarkable progress made by the majority of the LDCs of the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in reducing poverty and investing in human resources and infrastructure.
He shared the graduation story of Bangladesh under the dynamic, bold and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that has witnessed per capita income reaching $2,227 and reduction of poverty to 20.5 per cent.
Foreign Minister Momen also chaired one session of the regional review meeting, titled "Ministerial dialogue on lessons learned in the implementation of the IPoA-challenges encountered and the way forward".
Rabab Fatima, ambassador and permanent representative of Bangladesh to the UN in New York chaired the opening session, while several high-level speakers including Volkan Bozkir, President of the UN General Assembly, Collen Vixen Kelapile, President of the ECOSOC, Eisenhower Mkaka, Foreign Minister of Malawi and Chair of the LDCs, and Faruk Kaymakci, Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey spoke on this event.
Momen also held meetings with Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Daren Tang, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees at their offices in Geneva today.
During his meeting with Dr Tedros, Foreign Minister emphasized on more effective role of WHO to ensure the availability, affordability and equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines for the developing countries.
Dr Momen further highlighted the importance of temporary waiver of TRIPS obligations on production of Covid-19 vaccines, medicines and other medical equipment.
He informed about Bangladesh's capacity to produce vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics and other medical equipment that would be crucial to fight against the pandemic.
Dr Momen also briefed WHO DG about the significant positive impact of the community clinics on public health, particularly maternal and neonatal health in Bangladesh, and sought support from the WHO for establishing more such clinics.
During his meeting with the UNHCR Director General Philippo Grandi, Dr Momen requested for UNHCR's support to put pressure on Myanmar for sustainable repatriation of the Rohingyas from Bangladesh.
DG Grandi again expressed the sincere appreciation of the UNHCR to the Government of Bangladesh, particularly to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, for her extraordinary humanitarian decision to provide the forcibly displaced Rohingyas shelter in Bangladesh.
During his meeting with WIPO Director General Daren Tang, Foreign Minister Momen sought WIPO's special support and facilitation for Bangladesh's smooth graduation and achievement of Vision 2041 by providing support in strengthening the IP sector of Bangladesh.
Both Minister Momen and DG Tang agreed that intellectual property should be a tool for development, and should work as an incentive for SMEs, women entrepreneurs and the youth.