Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen stressed the pursuit of sustainable development goals (SDGs) instead of investing in nuclear weapons to establish and sustain peace and stability in the world.
He mentioned this in his recorded statement delivered at the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the UN General Assembly to Commemorate and Promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on October 2.
The minister said that shaken by the horrors of the devastation of nuclear weapons in the second world war, the UN had envisioned a world free of nuclear weapons in the very first resolution it adopted. Unfortunately, the vision of a nuclear-free world has not been realized even after 75 years of the UN's founding as our present and future generations continue to live under the threat of nuclear catastrophe.
In his statement, Momen mentioned that Bangladesh's steadfast commitment and adherence to nuclear disarmament stems from the historic speech delivered by our Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, at the UN General Assembly in 1974, in which he appealed to spare the world from the scourge of nuclear war.
Underscoring that Bangladesh is a party to all major nuclear disarmament treaties and among the 44 countries that have ratified the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, Foreign Minister assured that Bangladesh rejects the use of nuclear technology for destructive purposes but supports its peaceful application for development and welfare of humankind. Bangladeshis are indeed harnessing the benefit of nuclear technology to build the country's first nuclear power plant to generate electricity.
Momen highlighted four specific points to realise the universal goal of a nuclear-free world. His proposal included, among others, an urge to cease the nuclear arms race among nations to get rid of the risk of nuclear weapons falling in the hands of the terrorists; the establishment of nuclear-weapon-free-zones in all parts of the world; and fostering effective international cooperation to leverage peaceful use of nuclear technology for the benefit of humankind.
The Foreign Minister said that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that the stockpiles of weapon neither secure humanity nor ensure peace. On the momentous occasion of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the world's scarce resources should, therefore, be invested for realizing sustainable development goals to make the world safe and liveable for succeeding generations, Momen concluded.