UN General Assembly and Bangladesh

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The 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly will open on September 18, which will last for three months, and then will re-congregate as required.

On September 25, the General Debate will begin, in which each member state of the UN is invited to speak for 15 minutes.   It is an opportunity for nations to address the international community and is often used as a way to air grievances and issues confronting them.

Each day of the General Assembly general debate runs in two parts. The morning session starts at 9am (Coordinated Universal Time-5), and runs until 2.45pm. The afternoon sessions start at 3pm and run until 9pm.

On 25th September, (Tuessday) Bangladesh will speak and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is in New York to speak for Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Ambassador to the US Mohammad Ziauddin and Bangladesh Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Masud Bin Momen will welcome her at the airport.

The prime minister will place some fresh proposals in continuation of the previous five-point proposals she made at the last UNGA for a sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis, through early implementation of recommendations by the Kofi Annan-led Commission.

In the 72nd UNGA last year, the PM proposed that Myanmar unconditionally stop the “ethnic cleansing” in Rakhine, create “safe zones” inside its territory to protect all civilians irrespective of religion and ethnicity under UN supervision, and take back all forcibly displaced Rohingyas in a sustainable manner.

The theme of this year’s UNGA is “Making the United Nations relevant to all people: Global leadership and shared responsibilities for peaceful, equitable and sustainable societies”.

Like every year, the prime minister will deliver her speech in Bangla at UNGA at 7:30pm local time on September 27.

During her six-day stay in New York, she will attend 12 high-level events, including bilateral meetings with world and UN leaders, on the sidelines of UNGA.

As per the schedule, the PM will attend a reception hosted by the expatriate Bangladeshis at Hotel New York Hilton Midtown this evening, her first day in NY.

The prime minister will also hold a bilateral meeting with Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte and attend a reception to be hosted by US President Donald Trump in honour of the participating heads of states and governments in UNGA.

On September 25, Hasina will address an event on “Cyber Security and International Cooperation”. PM’s son and ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed will preside over the meeting. The prime minister will also hold a bilateral meeting with Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and give an interview to Reuters in the evening.

The next day, on September 26, Executive Director of Unicef Henrietta Fore, UN’s refugee chief Filippo Grandi, and UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Myanmar Ambassador Christine Schraner Burgener will call on the prime minister.

On September 27, before giving her speech at UNGA, Sheikh Hasina will join a side event on “the situation of Rohingya minority in Myanmar” organised by Saudi Arabia and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

At the meeting, she will discuss with heads of OIC member states how to make a collaborative effort from the Muslim Ummah in resolving the long-pending Rohingya crisis.

The prime minister will hold a bilateral meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on September 27 at 12:50pm local time. She will then have a crucial meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at 2:45pm.

On the same day, the PM will receive two international awards for her humanitarian roles in the Rohingya response.

The Inter Press Service news agency will give her “International Achievement Award” for her exemplary humanitarian response by giving shelter to over a million of Rohingyas. Earlier, former UN secretary-generals Kofi Annan and Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Finland’s President Martti Ahtisaari received this award.

Besides, the Global Hope Coalition would give her the “Special Recognition for Outstanding Leadership” award for her “farsighted leadership” during the Rohingya crisis.

Hasina will hold a press conference at the Bangladeshi Permanent Mission in New York on September 28. She will depart the USA at 7:30pm local time the next day and return to Dhaka on October 1 via London.

Barrister Harun ur Rashid, Former Bangladesh Ambassador to the UN, Geneva.

  • Issue 12
  • Barrister Harun ur Rashid
  • Vol 35
  • DhakaCourier
  • UN General Assembly and Bangladesh

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