Speaking at the event, US ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas said military coup in Myanmar and Rohingya repression is a big security threat for the region

“The big security challenge to the region’s stability is the brutal military coup in Burma and the genocide against the Rohingya. The atrocities and violence the Burmese military regime continues to inflict upon its own people show no sign of ending. Yet some counties to supply assistance to Burma’s military regime, enabling its violence and repression.”

He added that the United States and its allies will continue to work to hold Myanmar accountable.

Regarding stability in Indo-Pacific region, Peter Haas said future of the world would be written in this region.

He said the US and Bangladesh share the same vision for the region. The US and many other nations want this region as free and open, interconnected, secured and resilient.

“Our stategy is not about forcing countries to take sides. It’s about ensuring that the region is free and open so that individual countries can freely make their own choices.”

He said that the US would continue to support human rights regarding transparent and responsive governance.

Peter Haas said the US vision of an open and secured Indo-Pacific region is under threat from authoritarian powers and cross border problems such as climate change, food insecurity, communicable diseases or inflation.

He added that the countries must cooperate to tackle the cross border issues.

Adding that democracy leads to prosperity and resilience of a country, Peter Haas said, “We’ll work to strengthen democracy both at home and around the world and we will not be shy about championing human rights.”

Peter Haas praised various development initiatives of Bangladesh including vaccinating 75 per cent of the entire population against Covid-19.

Japanese ambassador Naoki Ito said his country would like to extend cooperation to Bangladesh to play an even larger role in the region.

He said Prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to Japan next week is going to be an epoch making event.

“Our hope is that the two prime ministers would talk about the common vision of free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said.

He said Japan will continue to cooperate with international community on the Rohingya issue.  

Australian high commissioner to Bangladesh Jeremy Bruer also spoke at the panel discussion moderated by Zillur Rahman, executive director of CGS.