Dhaka calls on ASEAN leaders to make concerted efforts to tackle regional challenges


Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen speaking to the press in Dhaka on Thursday, May 20, 2021 Focus Bangla

Support sought to resolve Rohingya crisis to minimize climate impact

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen highlighted the collective efforts of ASEAN leaders to address the challenges facing the region.

He made the call by delivering his speech on Friday at the 28th meeting of the Asean Regional Forum (ARF), held virtually in Brunei Darussalam under the theme “We care, we prepare, we prosper”.

Foreign Minister Momen assured Bangladesh’s continued support for ARF initiatives.

He assessed the forum on how Bangladesh is playing a role in managing climate challenges.

Momen called on leaders to take united action to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement to advance the global climate.

Momen and other foreign ministers had a substantial exchange of views on possible areas of collaboration and cooperation such as the Rohingya refugee crisis, climate change, nuclear proliferation, cybersecurity and other regional issues.

He expressed the hope that under the dynamic leadership of the ARF, developing countries in this region would come forward with good governance and a stronger economy.

Read also – Minister of Foreign Affairs: Bangladesh wants to expand ties with ASEAN countries

While presenting an overview of Bangladesh’s role in the fight against Covid-19, he stressed that vaccines are a public good and that its technology must be shared and accessible to all countries to produce them at an affordable price.

Dr Momen pointed out that although Bangladesh is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its 1967 Protocol, Bangladesh still provides shelter to the 1.1 million Rohingya refugees for humanitarian reasons only.

Sacrificing 6,800 acres of its sovereign forest land, Bangladesh is unable to shoulder the burden indefinitely, he added.

The foreign minister asked for support to resolve the Rohingya crisis in order to minimize the impact on the climate in this region.

ARF member states including Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, United States and European Union agreed to resolve the Rohingya problem as soon as possible.

They called for a safe, sustainable and dignified repatriation of the Rohingya to their country of origin.

Read also –World Bank clarifies position on Rohingya repatriation

During his speech, Dr Momen called disarmament a feature of Bangladesh’s peace-oriented foreign policy.

Mandated by the constitutional obligation to seek complete disarmament as well as to settle disputes by peaceful means, Bangladesh has always voluntarily abstained from the arms and arms race, he said.

Since joining the UN, Bangladesh has always played an active role in UN disarmament diplomacy.

As a member of the United Nations Security Council for two terms in 1979-1980 and 2000-2001, Bangladesh has been particularly active and visible in international disarmament efforts, reaffirming its strong commitment to respect for norms, treaties and instruments. international disarmament, he added.

ASEAN is a multilateral regional platform that aspires to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and promote regional peace and stability through respect for justice and the rule of law. in relations between countries.

Read also – Erywan Yusof, new Asean envoy from Brunei to Myanmar

Dr Momen led the Bangladesh delegation to the 28th meeting of the ARF.

The virtual meeting hosted by Negara Brunei Darussalam, the current chair of the ARF foreign ministers, deputy foreign ministers and other delegates from the 26 ARF member states participated in the meeting on Friday .

The meeting was chaired by Brunei’s Foreign Minister Dato Erywan Pehin Yousof. The meeting ended with the publication of the “Declaration of the President of the 28th ARF”.

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