Bangladesh PM to pitch for permanent solution to refugee, migration crisis in New York meetings

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will call upon the world leaders to work for “permanent solutions” to the refugee and migration crisis by finding out main reasons during her meetings in New York.

Published : 11 Sept 2016, 07:01 PM
Updated : 11 Sept 2016, 07:18 PM

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, briefing the press on Sunday, said she would speak at a plenary session of the ‘UN summit on refugees and migrants’ on Sep 19 and later on Sep 20 at the ‘leaders summit on refugees’ with US President Barack Obama.

As part of the Sep 19 summit, she will also co-chair with her Swedish counterpart a roundtable on ‘Global Compact for Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration: Towards Realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Achieving Full Respect for the Human Rights of Migrants’.

Those meetings would be held ahead of her speech at the UN General Assembly on Sep 21.

The foreign minister said during the Sep 19 summit, Hasina will highlight Bangladesh’s priorities and position on the refugee issues.

Bangladesh takes particular interest in them as the current chair of the Global Forum for Migration and Development. Dhaka will host the Forum’s ninth meeting in Dec.

In the leaders’ summit with President Obama, the foreign minister said the prime minister will mention the plight of Bangladesh’s 10 million refugees who took shelter in India in 1971 War of Independence.

Based on that experience, Ali said she will made “specific commitments” for the protection of refugee rights.

Hasina will also highlight “permanent, proper and acceptable” solutions to the crisis of Myanmar refugees who have taken shelter in Bangladesh.

She will leave Dhaka on Wednesday for a 12-day tour of Canada and US to attend the Global Fund conference and the UN sessions.

The Montreal conference on Sept 16-17 will discuss global strategies to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

In her UN speech, the foreign minister said, Hasina will highlight Bangladesh’s successes in combating terrorism and militancy.

She will join the ‘Asian Leaders' Forum on Countering Terrorism’ to be hosted by Japanese premier Shinzo Abe on Sep 20.

Global peace and security, democracy and rule of law, women empowerment, realising the rights of migrant workers, poverty alleviation and challenges of climate change will dominate her speech.

She will speak in Bangla at the UN assembly like before, the foreign minister said, adding that this year’s UN assembly carries “specific significance” for a host of reasons, including global migration and refugee crisis and the rise of terror attacks.

During the session, a number of countries, including Bangladesh, will ratify the historic Paris climate deal which will come into effect once 55 member countries sanction it.

Hasina is scheduled to return on Sep 26.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher