As COVID-19 began to spread around the world earlier this year, forcing millions of people to shelter at home and devastating economies, countries turned inward and reflected on the way forward.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the coronavirus pandemic has shown that both developed and developing nations need the United Nations more than ever. And multilateralism is the way forward, she said.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman said in his speech to the United Nations in 1974 that ‘the United Nations remains the focus of man’s hope for the future,” which encapsulates Bangladesh’s abiding faith and confidence in the UN and multilateralism, Hasina recalled in her speech.
The prime minister commended the UN secretary-general for keeping the flag of multilateralism high and also paid her tribute to all frontline UN staff and agencies for their tireless efforts and dedication.
“The challenges of our time, including the current pandemic, go beyond borders. COVID-19 has made the achievement of the 2030 Agenda more challenging. It has exposed the inadequacies of the current international order,” Hasina said in a virtual meeting of the United Nations on Tuesday.
To take the UN on the right course towards its centenary and beyond, UN@75 should provide a credible and practical roadmap for delivering on commitments and responding decisively to global challenges, Hasina said.
Bangladesh owes a lot to the UN as it has benefitted from UN-led efforts for development, said Hasina.
Therefore, the country is contributing to the UN in fulfilling its mandates. It is committed to upholding peace across the world, and currently, Bangladesh is the leading troops and police-contributing country in all peace operations, she said.
“As many as 150 of our peacekeepers sacrificed their lives to secure peace in conflict-ravaged countries.”
Geopolitical rivalries must not be allowed to weaken the UN to ensure it becomes a truly effective global body for humankind, Hasina said.