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Gwen Lewis expressed concern about the political conflict

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Update : Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Diplomatic Correspondent/

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, Gwen Lewis, has expressed concern over the casualties in the political conflict. He urged to resolve the political conflict through discussion and said that the protest-meeting is a part of democracy. Dissidents must respect this democratic right.

UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Gwen Lewis participated in the DCAB talk organized by the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) at the National Press Club on Tuesday. There he said these things while answering various questions. The general secretary of the organization AKM Moinuddin gave a welcome speech and president Rezaul Karim Lotus moderated the event.

In response to the question whether the United Nations will mediate as in the past to bring political parties to the negotiating table due to disagreements over the government during the election, Gwen Lewis said, the United Nations has not decided to get involved in the election. This is not our decision. It is a matter for the government to decide. If the government wants any assistance or if there is a specific request from the United Nations Security Council, there is an opportunity to get involved.

He said, we highlight our areas of concern. For example, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has recently expressed concern about political violence in its published report. Advised to avoid them. At the same time, he called for free and fair elections by avoiding conflict through discussions with various political parties. However, at the moment, the United Nations does not have any decision regarding the election of Bangladesh.

The declaration of counter-programme by the political parties in December is creating anxiety in the public mind. When asked if the United Nations has any concerns about the coming days, the head of the United Nations in Dhaka said, I have been asked to know how I see the issue of political conflict and people’s security. Since joining the work in Bangladesh last May, I have seen people injured and killed in political violence. And this is certainly a concern. That is why I discussed with all the political parties. Discussed how to secure political activities.

He said that protests and rallies are part of democracy. They must be respected. In order to avoid any political conflict, we call upon everyone to remain calm. There is no substitute for negotiation in any crisis. The solution to the political crisis should be found through negotiation.

Commenting that it is increasingly difficult to keep the Rohingya issue on the global agenda, Gwen Lewis said, the UN is trying to keep the importance of the issue. Globally, many issues are constantly coming to the fore. After the Afghanistan issue, the Ukraine issue came to the fore. The Ukraine issue is now the most important.

Suggesting a political solution to the Rohingya problem, he said, the Rohingya must return to Myanmar. It must be done in a safe and dignified manner. The UN is working with Myanmar on the safe repatriation of the Rohingya. The United Nations will cooperate in this matter. We want a political solution to the Rohingya problem.

Gwen Lewis expressed her gratitude to Bangladesh for providing shelter to the Rohingyas. Commenting that collection of money for Rohingyas is challenging due to the global situation, he said, the issue is very challenging. Their food security matters.

When asked how much of the Rohingya’s funding the United Nations receives, the head of the United Nations in Dhaka said that all the funds given by the donors for the Rohingyas go to Cox’s Bazar and Bhasanchar. This money does not go to the UN headquarters. Only 6 to 7 percent of this fund is spent on local management. The rest of the money is spent on the Rohingyas.

In response to a question on the Ukraine issue, he said that there are challenges with the Ukraine crisis. This is a very complicated matter now. The Security Council has discussed this crisis. It is important to solve this crisis.

The Resident Coordinator appreciated Bangladesh’s contribution to UN peacekeeping forces. He said that there are more than 6,800 peacekeepers of Bangladesh in the United Nations Peace Mission. There are more than five hundred women peacekeepers in Bangladesh. It is very positive. Gwen Lewis also said that the United Nations is working with Bangladesh on the issue of climate change.

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