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Bangladesh - Diplomatic - June 19, 2021

Momen urges UN for ensuring universal access to vaccine

Rabiul Haque: Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen has urged UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for UN’s initiatives to ensure that the COVID19 vaccine becomes accessible to all, thanking him for declaring inoculation a public good. Dr Momen, who is now visiting US on an official visit, made the call while holding a bilateral meeting with the Secretary General at the UN Headquarters in New York on Thursday, said a press release received yesterday. The Secretary General mentioned his efforts during the recent G-7 summit where he particularly stated about Bangladesh’s capacity to produce vaccines.
“The UN has a special relation with Bangladesh”, said Guterres.
Referring to the humanitarian gesture of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in providing shelter to the Rohingya, the Secretary General thanked Bangladesh for hosting the displaced Rohingya minorities from Myanmar.
“The world will not forget Bangladesh’s generosity in hosting the largest refugee camps of the world”, he added.
He also praised Bangladesh’s strong leadership role in all areas of the UN’s activities, especially in peacekeeping, climate change and women empowerment.
Thanking Guterres for his continued attention to the Rohingya issue, Bangladesh foreign minister said Secretary General’s personal intervention is now needed more than ever as the political situation in Myanmar had deteriorated.
Dr Momen also stated that it is frustrating that many influential countries have enhanced their economic and business relations with Myanmar while publicly decrying the human rights violations there.

The foreign minister also briefed the Secretary General about the facilities in Bhashan Char and stressed the importance of UN’s operations there.

He said, although Bangladesh is on track towards SDG implementation, there are concerns about the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic, especially in securing financing for the SDGs.

The Foreign Minister also called for continued support measures for graduating countries.

Momen requested the Secretary General for Bangladesh’s enhanced representation in the United Nations particularly at senior management level.

The foreign minister congratulated Secretary General on his re-appointment for second term and commended his leadership of the UN in his first term as Secretary General.

Later, Momen held a meeting with UN Under Secretary General for Department for Peacebuilding and Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo.

During the meeting they discussed the current political situation in Myanmar and its impacts on the repatriation of the Rohingyas from Bangladesh to Myanmar.

Bangladesh Permanent Representative in the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima accompanied the foreign minister in both the meetings.

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