The press conference was arranged to inform the media about the outcomes of her recent visit to the United States for joining the 76th UNGA.

Sheikh Hasina also expressed the hope that the active participation of Bangladesh’s delegation in the UNGA session will strengthen its position in the multilateral forums, and simultaneously expand the areas of international cooperation regarding the issues of Bangladesh’s interest.

Reading out a written statement, Hasina said she stayed in New York from September 19 to 24 and joined 10 meetings, including the 76th UNGA main session and sideline events as well eight bilateral talks there.

She said the main focus of this UNGA was sustainable recovery from the pandemic, pining point “expectation” in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, the universal accessibility and availability of Covid vaccines and sustainable recovery from the pandemic naturally dominated the discussion.

Besides, issues like climate change, women’s empowerment, equality and inclusion, racism, sustainable development goals, disarmament of nuclear weapons and others also come up in the discussion, said Hasina.

On 20 September, she was conferred upon with “SDG Progress Award” by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) for Bangladesh’s highest success in attaining SDG during the 2015-2020 period. SDSN president and noted economist professor Jeffery Sachs handed over the award to her, she said.

“This award is a global recognition of Bangladesh’s steadfast development even during the Covid-19 pandemic, and that’s why I dedicated this award to the people of the country in my thanksgiving speech,” she said.

PM Hasina said the special attraction of her visit was setting up a “Permanent Bench” and planting a centenary tree at the UN headquarters on the occasion of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

“It’s notable that this is the first such initiative to pay homage to any political leader on the UNHQ premises, which is undoubtedly a rare honour for Bangladesh,” she said.

The PM said she also opened the newly-constructed “Bangladesh House” in Maryland of the USA that carries the memory of Bangabandhu.

Noting that she addressed the UNGA general debate on 24 September in Bengali this time as she did every time in the past, she said, “In my speech, I’ve emphasized ensuring universal and affordable availability of Covid-19 vaccines in order to build a coronavirus-free world, and simultaneously urged the world leaders to consider Covid-19 vaccine as a ‘global asset’ in eliminating vaccine inequality.”

She also urged the rich countries to finance and transfer technology freely for sustainable adaptation to the countries at risk of climate change for reducing their damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as decreasing the carbon emissions of rich and industrialised countries and providing compensation.

As the President of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and Vulnerable-20 Group of Ministers of Finance, the PM said, she briefed the world leaders on the activities of Bangladesh’s “Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan-Decade 2030”.

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