PM attends UNGA in Sept 23-28Diplomatic Correspondent
Bangladesh will sign the Arms Trade Treaty and ratify Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons during prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New York to attend the 68th UN general assembly session on September 23-28.
The UN general assembly adopted the treaty on April 2 this year for regulating the international trade in conventional arms, from small arms to battle tanks, combat aircraft and warships.
The treaty is also aimed at preventing human rights abusers and violators of the laws of war from being supplied with arms. And it will help keep warlords, pirates, and gangs from acquiring these deadly tools.
Briefing reporters on Thursday, foreign minister Dipu Moni said the prime minister will deliver her speech at the plenary session on September 27 when she would call for international cooperation and dialogue for global peace and security.
The prime minister will also stress on peaceful solution of the civil wars like the situation in Syria and condemn the use of chemical weapons in Damascus on August 21.
A resolution on prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s peace model for empowerment of women and development will be adopted during this session.
The prime minister in her speech will also call on the UN to approve February 21 as International Mother Language Day already declared by UNESCO. A new resolution to this effect will be placed by Bangladesh.
The theme of this year’s UNGA is ‘Post-2015 Development Agenda : Setting the Stage with Dogged Determination.’
During her stay in New York, the prime minister will attend a High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development and UNDP and World Bank sponsored Tackling the Unfinished Business : Accelerating MDG Progress. She will also address a high level meeting on ‘follow up efforts’ made towards achieving the MDGs.
On the sidelines of the UNGA, Sheikh Hasina will hold bilateral meetings with heads of state and government and attend a reception to be hosted by U.S. president Barack Obama for the participating heads of state and government.
Besides, an event jointly sponsored by Bangladesh and the Netherlands will be held on September 23 on improvement of working atmosphere in Bangladesh’s garment industry.
Foreign minister Dipu Moni said this year’s UNGA is important for Bangladesh from different aspects. She said the international community listens to Bangladesh’s positions on international issues with due importance among the developing nations.
Consequently, political and economic developments in Bangladesh generate interest in developed nations and international organisations.
Asked about Sheikh Hasina’s bilateral talks with Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh in New York, Dipu Moni said the dates of the bilateral talks with foreign heads of government are being worked out.
Diplomatic sources, however, told New Age that Hasina-Manmohan meeting will be held on September 28.
About signing of the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement with USA, she said Bangladesh needs TICFA as a platform for enhancing trade with America. She said the foreign ministry has finalized deal ensuring interest of Bangladesh. She did not specify the date and venue of signing the agreement.
Asked about the government stance on political dialogue with the opposition in the wake of UN secretary general Ban ki-Moon’s telephone calls and U.S. secretary Kerry’s letters to the prime minister and the opposition leader, Dipu said Bangladesh is a sovereign country being governed by a Constitution. She said the general elections will be held in accordance with the constitution and dispute over the mechanism to hold the election could be worked out within the framework of the constitution.
In reply to another question, she quoted Indian external affairs minister Salman Khurshid that the land boundary agreement will be introduced in the winter session of the Indian parliament and she is hopeful about it.
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