Rabab Fatima, UN High Representative for LDC, LLDCs and SIDS, has appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's leadership in making good use of LDC-specific international support measures, setting Bangladesh apart among LDCs.
The UN representative said this as the Prime Minister met her on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister thanked the UN system for its continued support for Bangladesh's projected graduation from the LDC status by 2026.
The UN High Representative thanked the Prime Minister for flagging the Doha Programme for Action for LDCs in her various statements at International Summits and Conferences this year.
She urged Bangladesh to continue advocating for building a global food stock for LDCs in order to help them respond to future shocks and emergencies.
The Prime Minister reiterated her government's readiness to share its experience with other LDCs. The UN High Representative shared her plans to organise an event for facilitating exchange of views among graduating Asian LDCs and African LDCs. They recalled the UN Secretary General's observation that graduating LDCs need to be rewarded, and not punished, for their performance.
The UN High Representative invited Bangladesh to actively take part in the 3rd UN LLDC Conference scheduled for June 2024 in Kigali, Rwanda. She said that with the Prime Minister's multi-pronged initiatives on connectivity, Bangladesh is poised to play a critical role as a transit corridor for land-locked countries like Nepal and Bhutan.
The Prime Minister shared her plans for Matarbari Deep Sea Port, Chattogram Port, Payra Port and Cox's Bazar International Airport to maximize Bangladesh's potential as a regional connectivity hub.
The Prime Minister also noted that Bangladesh and Nepal were working together with India to commence hydro-electricity transmission.
She referred to her offer to Bhutan to set up an industrial zone in the Northern district of Kurigram to take advantage of Bangladesh's recent investments in infrastructures. She also hoped that the Indian Northeastern States like Tripura would be able to use Shah Amanat International Airport in Chattogram, thanks to the cross-border road and rail links being developed.
The Prime Minister briefed the UN High Representative about her signature development initiatives like Ashrayan that helps implement a number of SDG targets as part of a package. The UN High Representative suggested that Bangladesh remain vocal on supporting LDCs to accelerate their SDG implementation in the midst of the multiple global crises.