Ambassador Teerink was delivering her keynote address at a virtual dialogue titled “Bangladesh-European Union Relations: Prognosis for the Future” premiered on Thursday.
Cosmos Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Cosmos Group, hosted the dialogue as part of its ongoing ambassador’s Lecture Series.
The opening remarks were delivered by Cosmos Foundation chairman Enayetullah Khan. The session was chaired by Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, renowned scholar-diplomat and former advisor on foreign affairs of Bangladesh caretaker government.
Distinguished fellow at Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Debapriya Bhattacharya, former BGMEA president and Mohammadi Group chairperson Rubana Huq, founder chairman of Policy Research Institute (CRI) Zaidi Sattar and professor at International Relations Department of Dhaka University Imtiaz Ahmed and honorary advisor Emeritus, Cosmos Foundation ambassador (Retd) Tariq A Karim comprised the panel of discussants.
The foreign minister recently said Bangladesh expects the EU to be more generous in terms of vaccine sharing, noting that the EU talks much about human rights but it cares little when it comes to vaccine sharing issues.
But the EU ambassador finds foreign minister’s remarks “quite disappointing” and said more than 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines that have been committed by Team Europe (the EU, its institutions and all 27 Member States) will reach their destination countries, mainly through COVAX, by the end of this year.
However, professor Imtiaz found the frustration from the government and people who look into the vaccine issue logical as there is nothing from the EU as they talk about it. “I understand you’ve got things in the pipeline but it isn’t yet materialized.”
“We hear about AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Sinovac vaccines, but nothing from the EU,” he mentioned.