Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her speech at the UN General Assembly on Friday reiterated that Bangladesh will continue to promote democracy and rule of law as per its constitution.
"In this session today, I would like to unequivocally reiterate that Bangladesh will continue to promote democracy, rule of law and freedom of expression in line with Bangladesh's constitution," she said while addressing the General Debate of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York.
Hasina said it needs to be ensured that the human rights issues are not politicised to put pressure on developing countries.
Noting that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), she said "On this auspicious occasion, we must reinforce our commitment to our common humanity and take collective action to advance equality, justice and freedom for all human beings. At the same time, it is to be ensured that human rights are not politicised to put pressure on developing countries."
She said Bangladesh's Constitution guarantees fundamental human rights for all. "Over the last decade, significant reforms have been made to our legal system to ensure equal legal protection and access to justice for everyone. As a responsible State Bangladesh is fully committed to protecting and promoting human rights," she added.
'Work for peace instead of confrontation'
The prime minister urged the world leaders to work collectively for enduring peace and economic prosperity for the future generations.
"My appeal today is to all of you - to the leaders of the world, to shun the path of war and confrontation, and to work collectively for enduring peace, welfare for humankind and economic prosperity for our people and future generations," she said.
In her speech she focused on various issues like global economic crisis, global peace and stability, Rohingya crisis, climate change, 2030 sustainable global agenda (SDGs), human rights and the development of Bangladesh since 2009.
The premier further said the impacts of the pandemic, the effects of an existential climate crisis, and the wide ramifications of the war in Ukraine affecting global food, financial, and energy securities have greatly impeded the achievement of SDGs in developing countries.
The PM deeply appreciated the UN Secretary-General's initiative to convene the "Summit of the Future" next year. "We hope that this process will amply complement our efforts to attain the 2030 Agenda," she said.
'Let's bring Rohingyas hope'
She said the Rohingya situation has really turned unbearable for Bangladesh now. The prolonged presence of the Rohingyas in Bangladesh has caused serious ramifications on the economy, environment, security, and socio-political stability in Bangladesh, she said.
"Uncertainty over repatriation has led to widespread frustration. This situation can potentially fuel radicalisation. If the problem persists further, it may affect the security and stability of the entire region, and beyond," she added.
"The displaced Rohingyas want to return to their own country, Myanmar and live a peaceful life there. Let's bring those destitute people hope of a brighter future in their own land and thereby foster safety and stability in the region," said Hasina.
'Sharing the burden of climate migrants'
The PM said Bangladesh is one of the most climatically-vulnerable countries in the world despite contributing less than 0.47% of global emissions.
She said Bangladesh is committed to protecting and preserving the environment and biodiversity and pursuing a climate-resilient sustainable development path and is developing its national low-carbon emission strategy and mitigation actions through green initiatives including renewable energy, she added.
"We call upon the major emitters to submit and implement ambitious NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions). The developed economies must fulfil their $100 billion commitments," she continued.
The PM said the development needs of the climate-vulnerable countries must be considered. "We also demand an urgent operationalisation of loss & damage funds as agreed in COP27," she said.
"We call for a stronger global solidarity in sharing the burden of climate migrants induced by sea-level rise, salinity increase, river erosion, floods, and droughts," she added.
'Bangladesh's graduation from LDC'
"I believe, the ongoing multiple global crises will not derail our graduation trajectory. Yet, we reiterate our call to the development partners and the advanced economies to continue to support us during our transition to ease the impact of our graduation," she said.
She also called upon WTO members to extend to Bangladesh the existing differential treatment available to LDCs for a period appropriate to our development requirement.
About the 2030 sustainable global agenda, the PM said financing is one of the most critical factors for a timely achievement of SDGs.
"Unfortunately, however, the international financial infrastructure is barely aligned with the SDGs, nor can it respond to the financial needs of developing countries especially during crises," she said.
"Today, we urgently need an international financial architecture that will help developing countries receive concessional, low-cost, low-interest-rate funds, with minimum conditionalities," she said.
Besides, developing countries must also have equitable access to IMF's SDR funds during emergencies and disasters. A special "disaster clause" should be included in all lending instruments, she further said.
'Bangladesh to stand by Palestine'
Talking about the Palestine issue, the Bangladesh PM said it is deeply troubling that the legitimate rights of Palestinian people have remained unmet. "We will continue our efforts to realise the rights of the people of Palestine. Bangladesh will stand by Palestine."
Noting that Bangladesh's commitment to the general and complete disarmament is unwavering, she called for full implementation of the international disarmament and nonproliferation instruments without any delay.
The PM said Bangladesh's commitment to global peace and security is well manifested in its contribution to UN peacekeeping operations. As of now 1,88,000 men and women from Bangladesh have served in 55 peacekeeping missions in 40 countries. They have earned the reputation for their professional excellence and impeccable performance, she said.
"To our own experience, we are also actively contributing to the post-conflict reconstruction efforts through our leadership role in the UN Peacebuilding Commission," she said.
The premier said Bangladesh remains concerned at the continued prevalence of terrorist threats which are now taking new shapes due to misuse of information and communication technology.
"My government maintains a 'zero tolerance' policy against terrorism and violent extremism. We do not allow our territory to be used by any party to incite terrorist acts or harm others," she said.