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Prime minister Hasina left Dhaka Friday morning on a two-week official visit to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York and other engagements with a stopover in Helsinki, Finland.

The theme of this year’s UNGA is ‘Building resilience through hope-to recover from Covid-19, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of people, and revitalise the United Nations’.

Momen said the prime minister will address the UNGA on 24 September in Bangla and in-person.

The prime minister will highlight Bangladesh’s impressive development journey, inclusive economic development, and success in the health sector, said the foreign minister.

He said Bangladesh will host a side event on the Rohingya issue titled ‘Rohingya crisis: Imperatives for a sustainable solution’ where many countries are expected to voluntarily join.

The OIC, ASEAN and European countries have already responded positively.

Momen also said there will be a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the UNGA.

The prime minister will deliver a speech at a programme titled ‘UN Common Agenda: Action to achieve Equality and Inclusion’.

A high-level meeting titled ‘UN Food Systems Summit’ will also be held this year. Another high-level meeting titled ‘International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons’ will be held on 28 September.

On 22 September, the prime minister will deliver her speech at ‘White House Global Covid-19 Summit: Ending the pandemic and building back better’.

The prime minister is expected to plant sapling on the UN headquarters premises, marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Ahead of the COP26, the UNGA will discuss the climate change issue, which is very important for Bangladesh.

“We would seek to bring down the global temperature by 1.5 degrees Celsius, and funding for both mitigation and adaptation,” said Momen.

The prime minister is scheduled to leave for New York from Helsinki, Finland on 19 September after her stopover there on 17-18 September.

Wrapping up her official visit to New York, the prime minister will visit Washington DC where she will stay from 25 to 30 September.

Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to leave Washington for Dhaka on 30 September and will return home on 1 October after a stopover in Finland.

This is the first overseas visit of prime minister Hasina since the outbreak of the Covid-19 in March 2020.

Earlier, she addressed the UNGA for 17 times and this would be her 18th joining the UNGA.

The Covid-19 pandemic has proved to be the most challenging period the world has seen since the Second World War, said the UN Secretary-General on Tuesday.

Newly sworn in General Assembly President, Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives, opened the new 76th session, noting that his country’s flag is “flying at the highest peak today”.

He spoke of near-universal “collective anxiety” and hopelessness, not all of which is pandemic-related, saying: “The narrative must change” and that the General Assembly “must play a part in this”.

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