May 17, 2022, 5:32 am
Dhaka: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today described the adoption of the “Dhaka-Glasgow Declaration” in the COP26 conference as an outcome of playing a leading role by Bangladesh in the climate diplomacy.
“I believe that the “Dhaka-Glasgow Declaration” adopted by the heads of the government and state of the most 48 climate vulnerable countries led by Bangladesh in the just-concluded COP26 Summit (the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties) was an outcome of the leading role played by our country in climate diplomacy,” she said.
The prime minister said this in a press conference arranged to brief media about her 14-day official visit to the United Kingdom and France.
Road Transport and Bridges Minster and Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader, Foreign Minister Dr. A. K. Abdul Momen, Education Minister and Awami League Joint General Secretary Dr Dipu Moni and Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md. Shahab Uddin were present on the dais at Ganabhaban.
Journalists from various print and electronic media were present at Ganabhaban and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) here.
Sheikh Hasina said major feat of the COP26 is that heads of the state and government of the world agreed to further accelerate the climate funding process including allocation of $100 billion every year keeping consistency with Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A total of 141 countries including Bangladesh pledged to check all kinds of deforestation move by 2030, she added.
Noting that UK-based news agency – BBC – in its recent report selected her as one of the five deal-makers of COP26, Sheikh Hasina said: “I feel honour to this end considering the achievements of Bangladesh’s growing economic capacity and the people’s trust in our Moral Foreign Policy.”
Highlighting her visit details, the premier said she returned home in the morning on November 14 last after the end of her two-week visit to the United Kingdom, France, and Glasgow, Scotland, the venue of the United Nations COP26.
In different phases of this visit, she said, CVF Thematic Ambassador Saima Wazed, Foreign Minister, Education Minister, Minister for Forests, Environment and Climate Change, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser, Parliament Members and Secretaries and high officials of different ministries of the government, politicians and distinguished personalities were her entourage members.
The prime minister said she attended six multilateral and five bilateral meetings in the main part of COP26 World Leaders’ Summit and side events on two-days.
She said in the post-Covid world, as the incumbent Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum-CVF, an organization of 48 countries, her participation in the COP26 was very important for protecting the interests of Bangladesh and CVF member countries.
On the first day of the conference on November 1, as a CVF-Chair she joined a function titled ‘The CVF-Commonwealth High-Level Panel Discussion’ jointly arranged by Bangladesh and Commonwealth as the chief guest.
At the event, the premier said, she suggested building effective partnership between the Commonwealth and CVF.
In the afternoon on that day, she delivered speech in the main event of COP26 World Leaders’ Summit presenting the expectations and demands of Bangladesh in the presence of heads of state and government of the world.
In her speech, she mentioned that Bangladesh is one of the vulnerable countries due to climate change though Bangladesh has liability of only 0.47 percent in global carbon emission.
Besides, she apprised different initiatives of Bangladesh including Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) updated to UNFCCC, Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan and Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund.
As the CVF chair, Sheikh Hasina presented the efforts for building a Climate Emergency Pact before the world leaders.
In her speech, she placed a five-point proposal urging global leaders to work together.
These are– the major emitters must submit ambitious NDCs, and implement those, developed countries should fulfil their commitments of providing 100 billion dollars annually with a 50:50 balance between adaptation and mitigation, ensuring entrance of most vulnerable countries to eco-friendly advanced technology, the development needs of the CVF countries also need to be considered, the issue of loss and damage must be addressed and working together to resolve the climate refugee problem created due to climate change and building a livable world for the future generation.
After the summit, she attended a roundtable titled “Action and Solidarity – The Critical Decade” at the invitation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The UK premier and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi jointly chaired the meeting.
Around 30 heads of the state and government joined the meeting.
Sheikh Hasina said she focused on the steps taken by Bangladesh in facing climate change challenge and what kinds of decisions should be taken in the COP26 to implement the goals of Paris Agreement.
In the afternoon, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Bill Gates called on her.
The premier urged Bill Gates to utilize Bangladesh’s local adaptability model in other climate change vulnerable countries through Gates Foundation.
On the second day morning of COP26, she joined a bilateral meeting with President of the conference Alok Sharma.
Alok Sharma hugely praised Bangladesh leadership in the international arena in facing climate change challenges.
Later, she joined “High-Level Panel on Women and Climate Change” arranged by First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon with the cooperation of UN Women.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley joined the event along with Sheikh Hasina.
Later, she joined a bilateral meeting with First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon.The First Minister immensely praised Bangladesh bold and time-befitting steps in facing climate change crisis.
She also met Britain’s Prince Charles and in the afternoon, the premier called on her UK Counterpart Boris Johnson. During the meeting, the UK Prime Minister hoped that the depth and circumference of friendly ties between Bangladesh and the UK would be further enhanced.
Apart from climate issues, other important bilateral issues including trade and investment, vaccine diplomacy and Rohingya crisis were focused in the meeting.
Later, Sheikh Hasina chaired the “CVF COP 26 Leaders’ Dialogue”. Heads of the governments and states and ministers of CVF member countries, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, COP 26 President and British MP Alok Sharma and CVF Thematic Ambassador for Vulnerability Saima Wazed and noted personalities joined the dialogue.
In the meeting, the UN Secretary General hugely praised Bangladesh leadership and stressed on allocating of committed money for climate adaptability.
John Kerry pledged for making a framework to providing committed fund of $100 billion every year from the year 2022 along with Japan and other developed countries.
Alok Sharma highlighted that climate vulnerable countries including Bangladesh have already started facing adverse atmosphere due to climate change.
In the conference, “Dhaka-Glasgow Declaration” was adopted.
Sheikh Hasina presented keynote speech in the Scottish Parliament on “A Bangladesh Vision for Global Climate Prosperity”.
Besides, she visited Bangladesh Pavilion which was set up at the conference.
On November 3, she reached Glasgow from London and on the same day she attended a reception ceremony at an invitation of British parliament members Rushanara Ali and Jitesh Gadhia.
She presented a keynote paper titled ‘Bangladesh at 50: A Resilient Delta’ at the function. where members of both houses of the British Parliament, the invited members of the British Bangladeshi community were present.
On November 4, she spoke at the inaugural session of Bangladesh Investment Summit.
The Prime Minister unveiled two books – ‘Secret Documents of Intelligence Branch on Father of the Nation of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’ and ‘Mujib: An Introduction’ translated into English by London-based publication house Taylor & Francis.
Besides, she inaugurated a painting exhibition titled ‘Bangabandhu: A Centenary Collection’ and inaugurated the extended part of the Chancery Bhaban of the Bangladesh High Commission in London and its Bangabandhu Lounge.
When the premier arrived in Paris from London on November 9, she was given a red carpet reception at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. From the airport, she went straightly to the Élysée Palace, the official residence of France President Emmanuel Macron where she held an exclusive meeting with President Emanuel Macron.
During the meeting, various international and regional issues, including development of bilateral relations between Bangladesh and France, celebration of golden jubilee of diplomatic relations between the two countries and Rohingya issue, were discussed.
Sheikh Hasina proposed President Emanuel Macron to start regular diplomatic dialogue between Bangladesh and France. He welcomed it. President Macron agreed to increase the two countries’ activities in the areas of defense and economy and other sectors and work together to maintain regional peace and stability.
On the same day, the Bangladesh premier was conferred with ‘the Guard of Honour in the presence of high-ranking French government officials. Later, she held a bilateral meeting with the French prime minister at his Matignon official residence.
During her visit to Paris, she joined a meeting with president of the France National Assembly Richard Ferron.
She invited a parliamentary delegation of France to visit Bangladesh marking the golden jubilee of the diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and France.
She visited the French Senate. The President of the Senate Session read out a citation lauding the role of our government and my leadership in advancement of Bangladesh’s development.
On the second day of the visit, the CEO of Airbus, the president of Dassault Aviation, and the president of the multinational company Thales met me.
At this time, purchasing cargo aircraft for Bangladesh from Airbus and the possibility of aeronautical technology exchange were discussed.
Besides, the proposal of conducting research at the University of Aviation and Aerospace in Lalmonirhat applying the Dassault Aviation’s technology and the launch of Bangladesh’s second satellite and e-visa with support from Thales were discussed.
Sheikh Hasina held a meeting with a delegation from the Movement of the Enterprise of France (MEDEF), the leading business organisations in France.
She called upon them to increase their investment in Bangladesh.
On November 11, the premier joined the inaugural function of the Paris Peace Forum at an invitation of France President Emmanuel Macron.
In her address, she presented the dream that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had cherished to establish a peaceful Bangladesh free from hunger and poverty.
She called for ensuring COVID-19 vaccine availability for all, removing all inequalities, including finding permanent solution to global refugee crisis, and stopping ongoing conflicts in different countries.
Besides, she highlighted the Rohingya crisis as they were forcibly displaced from Myanmar.
On November 12, she joined a panel discussion of the Paris Peace Forum.
During the meeting, she addressed on South-South and tri-party cooperation. The premier requested the United Nations, the G20 and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to invest in implementing the South-South Knowledge and Innovation Centre, which was proposed by us in 2019, as a platform for cooperation with technological solutions aiming to face the development challenges.
At the UNESCO headquarters on November 12, she presented the ‘UNESCO-Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman International Prize in Creative Economy’ introduced internationally by UNESCO, an organization of 193 UN member states and 11 associate members.
The MoTIV Creations Limited, a private organization of Uganda, won the maiden award.
The premier said she thought, as part of the Mujib Year celebration, the introduction of this award is the suitable homage to the contribution of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to world humanity and peace.
US$ 50,000 and a crest were given to the organization (MoTIV Creations Limited).
At the award distribution ceremony, my younger sister Sheikh Rehana and the UNESCO director general were present.
Besides, ambassadors of different countries to France and permanent delegates to UNESCO and Bangladeshi expatriates living in different countries of Europe were present.
On November 11, she joined the 41st General Assembly of UNESCO for the first time.
In her speech, she mentioned education as the key foundation of fundamental human rights and development of human society and highlighted various remarkable initiatives taken by the Bangladesh government in education sector.
On November 12, she took part in the celebration of the UNESCO’s 75th founding anniversary.
In her speech, she stressed increasing investment in digital equipment and services, internet access, digital subjects and increasing capacity of teachers to protect the education sector from COVID-19 fallout by using technology.
During her visit, she joined separate meetings with UNESCO director general Audrey Azoulay and its former Directors-General Irina Bokova.
During the visit to Paris, a letter of intent on defense cooperation was signed between Bangladesh and France.
“Through this, we have agreed to arrange training and exchange potential defense technology to enhance the capabilities of our armed forces,” she said.
In addition to this, three separate agreements were signed to get 200 million euros in COVID-19 management, 130 million euros for sustainable water supply management projects and technical assistance and training in the aviation sector.
Under the COVAX, France has announced to provide 20 lakh COVID-19 vaccine jabs to Bangladesh. Besides, FBCCI, our business organization, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Movement of the Enterprise of France (MEDEF) to increase French investment in Bangladesh.
During her visits to the UK and France, she exchanged views with expatriate brothers-sisters.