Covid-19: Dhaka seeks greater international solidarity, cooperation to tackle crisis


Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima at the UN General Assembly UNB

‘For a Covid-19 free world, we must ensure universal and affordable access to vaccines,’ says Ambassador Fatima

Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima has sought greater international solidarity and cooperation to tackle the challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic.

She identified universal and affordable access to vaccines, financing the SDGs gap, ending the growing trends of poverty and inequality, supporting the migrant workers, reversing the falling trend of export earnings, ensuring the benefits of digitisation to all, and addressing climate and biodiversity emergencies as the top priorities of Bangladesh.

She was addressing the General Debate of the Second Committee at the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

In the face of the extraordinary situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the committee decided to centre its debate around the theme of “Building back better after Covid-19: ensuring a more equitable global economy, inclusive societies and sustainable recovery” this year.

Echoing the visionary call of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to treat Covid-19 vaccine as a “global public good” at the General Debate of the 75th UNGA, Ambassador Fatima said: “For a Covid-19 free world, we must ensure universal and affordable access to vaccines.”

Also read – Bangladesh condemns terrorism in all forms, manifestations, Dhaka tells UN

She reiterated Bangladesh’s readiness to contribute to mass scale vaccine production provided that technical know-hows and patents are shared.

Underscoring the importance of supporting the developing countries in their productive capacity building, diversification of economies and job creation, she reflected that continued financial support is critical for the developing countries to carry out their sustainable recovery efforts out of the crisis. She called upon the G-7, G-20, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), multilateral development banks (MDBs), and  international financial institutions (IFIs) to scale up fiscal stimulus, concessional finance, and debt relief measures.

In this regard, she stressed on the importance of providing special support measures for LDC graduating countries to prevent any possible slide back.

For reviving the falling export earnings in many developing countries, she called upon the advanced economies to fulfill their unmet promises in areas of DFQF market access, technology support, and more accessible financing for MSMEs.

Highlighting the multidimensional challenges facing the migrant workers, Ambassador Fatima urged the international community to support them during this crisis and help integrate them better in the post-Covid-19 job market.

She also stressed the importance of leveraging the benefits of digital services, including the emerging technologies. 

She offered to share Bangladesh’s good practices to harness digital technologies as a key driver of its development journey.

Putting spotlight on the inadequacy of the global response to the climate and bio-diversity issues, she pledged Bangladesh’s enhanced engagement and leadership role as the President of the 48-member Climate Vulnerability Forum against all forms of climate emergencies.

She urged the advanced economies to come up with bolder commitments to tackle climate change in the upcoming 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, the UK.

The Second Committee of the General Assembly is mandated to address the global economic and financial issues. The General Debate is being held among all the UN member states.

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