President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Sheikh Fazle Fahim, among others, spoke at the scholarly conclave.

The foreign minister said the COVID-19 pandemic has pulled them into an extraordinary situation. "We as Muslims, owe a duty of care to all human beings. In saying this, this has awakened memories of the story of our beloved prophet."

Momen said the need now is for compassion, kindness and solidarity.

He said the government of Bangladesh, under the able leadership of prime minister Sheikh Hasina, has responded swiftly and vigorously to the pandemic, and preparedness as a nation enabled Bangladesh to celebrate the momentous occasion of the Eid-e-Miladunnabi surrounded by families and friends.

"However, we are not complacent about the containment of the virus. Rather, we are taking due measures to tackle the second wave of the pandemic."

The foreign minister called for redoubling efforts to banish hatred and conflict from the earth, while spreading the message of solidarity, love, peace and tolerance among all humankind.

Momen said they must not forget that unity is strength, and that strength will lead to ultimate victory.

"We must illuminate the sense of belongingness, empathy and kind-heartedness, that our prophet did. True to this spirit, I would request the business community to enhance its constructive and result oriented engagements with the governments in response and recovery phases," he said.

Momen said sustainable development is not a new concept to Islam. "The Holy Quran and the Hadith provide the framework for the spiritual and physical welfare of humanity."

There are over 500 verses in the Holy Quran giving guidance on matters relating to the environment and how to deal with it.

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