Foreign Minister Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen on Sunday requested the international community to meaningfully commit to the Rohingya refugees’ voluntary repatriation to Myanmar by helping create an environment conducive to their safe and dignified return.
“It is much more than humanitarian assistance that the Rohingya need to reclaim their legitimate rights as members of the Myanmar society and actualize their potentials,” the Foreign Minister said.
The Minister was addressing Mujib Barsha Lecture Session on “Bangabandhu’s Concept of Sonar Bangla, Swedish Model of Welfare State and Tackling the Global Challenges of Tomorrow” at the Foreign Service Academy as the Chief Guest.
It is in light of many of Bangabandhu’s near-prophetic pronouncements that Bangladesh continue to engage with the world in addressing the emerging global challenges he said, according to a press release.
Also read: No lip service; help repatriate Rohingyas: FM to int’l community
“The immediate, pressing concerns over pandemics, rising inequality, climate change, violent extremism and terrorism, and digital divide and cybercrimes can only be effectively tackled if all nations, big or small, commit to pull our collective resources and expertise for the common cause of humanity,” FM stated.
Bangladesh has been doing its part by traditionally speaking out for upholding the interest of LDCs, by contributing to international peace by deploying her men and women in distant parts of the world, and by marshalling the voices of the climate vulnerable countries in favour of enhanced climate ambitions, he added.
On the humanitarian front, Bangladesh has taken on the burden and responsibility to give protection and temporary shelter to Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya, with more than 1.1 million of them now on our territory, Momen said.
“It is much more than humanitarian assistance that the Rohingya need to reclaim their legitimate rights as members of the Myanmar society and actualize their potentials,” FM said.
Also read: Rohingyas won’t be forced to go to Bhashan Char: FM
The FM invoked Bangabandhu who had inspired to think that, “as a human, what concerns humankind concerns me.” This same conviction motivated the Prime Minister to respond positively to the Swedish Prime Minister’s invitation to join the “Leaders’ Network” to deliberate on making the UN and multilateralism fit-for-purpose in the 21st century, the minister said.
“We believe Bangladesh and Sweden have a common interest in working together to advance human rights, sound human mobility and human connectivity. We underscore our interest in further diversifying our traditional development cooperation through enhanced trade, investment and knowledge partnership,” he added.
“We should commence working on at least one pilot initiative to jointly carry out research on technological or environmental solutions that can be beneficial for our peoples at the grassroots,” FM said.
He also thanked Per Olsson Fridh, Minister for International Development Cooperation of Sweden, for his well informed and thought-out keynote presentation.
Also read: Myanmar responds positively to begin Rohingya repatriation: FM
“We appreciate his ready responsiveness to make this presentation during his maiden overseas visit as Minister. The Swedish welfare system has indeed been a matter of lively debate and reflection in the international political and economic discourses for quite some time,” Foreign Minister said.
“The sense of idealism surrounding the system is reinforced by Sweden’s top rankings in most global welfare indexes, including in the UN Human Development Report. Despite its detractors, the Welfare State System has so far proved to be sustainable deriving strength from a portfolio of policy options that the Swedish Minister just recounted,” he added.
“Our interest in delving deeper into this system at this stage is not purely coincidental. This particular month of March marks a confluence of three major events in our national context: The high point of the birth centenary celebration of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the golden jubilee of our independence and the conclusive decision by the UN for Bangladesh’s eventual graduation from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status,” he said.