At UNGA, Hasina will highlight harms to developing nations done by Russia sanctions

She will state the difficulty of achieving the SDGs amid the uncertainty triggered by the war in Ukraine, says Momen

Published : 14 Sept 2022, 04:18 PM
Updated : 14 Sept 2022, 04:18 PM

The prime minister will shed light on how the “inequitable coercive measures or sanctions” placed by the West over the Ukraine-Russia war are proving to be detrimental to the developing nations in the United Nations General Assembly, according to the foreign minister.

Sheikh Hasina will speak in Bengali at the General Debate session of the assembly on Sept 23, AK Abdul Momen said on Wednesday.

She will underscore the adversity in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, amid the uncertainty triggered by the war in Ukraine at a time when nations are pouring efforts to recover from the pandemic-induced losses, he said.

Hasina will urge countries to “look for solutions in mutual discussions while prioritising multilateralism rather than resorting to such coercive measures”.

“The prime minister has already publicly stated that the sanctions since the start of the war in Ukraine have brought more distress and discomfort for other nations than those they were intended for,” Momen said.

He drew attention to how the damages of the Ukraine-Russia war have been out of the ordinary, stressing other isolated global military conflicts have never hurt inflation, supply and transaction chains as the sanctions are now.


Hasina will leave the country for her trip to the United Kingdom and the United States on Thursday. She will remain in London until Sept 19 and attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II before flying to New York.

After attending the UN high-level meetings, she will tour Washington from Sept 25-Oct 1.

Hasina will also speak about Bangladesh’s economic growth, development in sectors including health, education and technology highlighting the steps taken by the government, while urging the global community to find a solution to the Rohingya crisis following international laws.

Momen said Hasina will bring up a“fairer distribution of vaccines and antidotes” to combat future health crises like the coronavirus pandemic.

Hasina will also bring up Bangladesh’s “prominent position in global peacekeeping operations” and “zero-tolerance policy against terrorism and violent extremism”, while touching upon the country’s sustainable management of marine resources, guaranteeing safety for migrants and ensuring their access to basic services, climate change and its impact, establishing climate justice and also issues gripping Palestine.

Momen added that Hasina will not be able to attend a summit on the evolution of the education system due to attending the queen’s funeral. Education Minister Dipu Moni will attend the summit on her behalf.

On Sept 20, Hasina is supposed to attend the meeting for the UNGA Platform of Women Leaders where she is likely to underline the government’s moves to ensure “women’s agency in the decision-making process”, he added.

The meet for Champions of the Global Crisis Response Group or GCRG will be held the following day. Hasina is one of the six champions in this category, which was created by the United Nations secretary general in March taking account of the efforts to mitigate issues involving food, fuel and economy.

Hasina will provide a “deliberate view” in combating the global challenges in the meeting which will be attended by representatives from the G7, G20 and other high-level organisations.

Hasina will co-chair a meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance, or AMR, on Sep 22.

She will attend two separate meetings on the the Future of Digital Cooperation: Building Resilience Through Safe, Trusted and Inclusive Digital Infrastructure, and Multilateralism and Food Security, while ICT Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy may also accompany her in these discussions.

Momen mentioned that authorities will not allow any side events inside the UN Headquarters this time around due to the pandemic, however, Bangladesh will organise separate programmes on the Rohingya issue and sustainable housing.

The High-Level Side Event on Rohingya refugees on Sept 22. Aside from those, a photography exhibition will be held on the Padma Multipurpose Bridge.

The US, UK, European Union, OIC Secretariat, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Gambia, Maldives, Malaysia and Indonesia will co-sponsor the Rohingya event. Bangladesh and the UN are jointly organising the sustainable housing programme, to be held on Sept 21.

During the tour, Hasina will attend bilateral meetings with the presidents of Kosovo, Ecuador, Slovenia, the prime minister of Cambodia, the UN secretary general, the UN high commissioner for refugees, the prosecutor of the International Organization for Migration to the International Criminal Court and the executive director of World Economic Forum.

As always, she will participate in a roundtable discussion with the businessmen of the US to talk about the avenues of investing in Bangladesh. Hasina will also appear at a reception programme organised by expatriates like every other year.


The foreign minister was supposed to travel to India with Hasina for the trip earlier this month but he pulled out citing “illness”.

On Wednesday, Momen said he plans to accompany Hasina to New York along with the health and family welfare minister and the state minister for foreign affairs.

Replying to questions about not visiting India, Momen said: “I will if Allah wills it. But we really can’t tell, what if I suddenly get very sick? I may even die.”

Momen’s withdrawal from the India tour was met with harsh criticisms and questions about his ministerial role.

But he said on Wednesday: “Some people exaggerate these things. I hope they understand.”

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher