Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday urged the international community to come up with specific effective steps to force Myanmar into taking back their over one million forcibly displaced nationals who lived in Bangladesh as per the agreements signed between the two countries.
‘Bangladesh and Myanmar have inked bilateral agreements for the safe and permanent repatriation of the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals. To continue the pressure on Myanmar for implementing the agreements, I urge the international community to take specific effective steps,’ she said.
The prime minister said this while inaugurating the Regional Hub of the Islamic Development Bank in Dhaka at Radisson Hotel.
The IsDB Regional Hub will cover 19 countries including Singapore, Australia, Thailand and India.
She said that Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) had given an instruction to stand beside the oppressed and the IsDB could not remain silent when the Myanmar Rohingya people are facing ethnic cleansing. ‘So, to ensure the repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingya, I request the IsDB to firmly stand beside them.’
The prime minister said that Bangladesh had been proactively responding to the unprecedented humanitarian crisis by keeping its border open and accepting the large influx of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals known as Rohingya despite the fact that they were having diverse negative impacts on the local community and the country›s ecosystem and resources. ‘We›re giving shelter and food to the Rohingays on humanitarian grounds.’
Sheikh Hasina mentioned that Bangladesh now wanted them to go back to their own land.
Finance minister AMA Muhith, IsDB president Bandar MH Hajjar and economic relations division secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam also spoke on the occasion.
Hasina said that although Bangladesh had been acclaimed internationally for good disaster management, it was still one of the most vulnerable countries that suffered and would continue to suffer for climate change.
She said that a good number of activities under the Bangladesh Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan were underway for mitigating the effects of climate change. ‘We›ve created ‹Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund› with our own resources.’
She said that a country investment plan for 2016-2021 had been prepared to determine the investment demand, current investment levels and investment gap that existed in environment, forest and climate change sectors.
‘Some USD 11.7 billion will be required during the tenure of the investment plan and USD 4.7 billion has been invested from internal and external sources. That means there›s an overall investment deficit of USD 7 billion. We need your extended financial support in this regard,’ she said.
The prime minister said that Bangladesh had been striving to ensure socio-economic development in a sustainable manner. ‘We›re working towards elevating our status to an upper middle-income country shortly. We›ve also set our next target on becoming a happy and prosperous country by 2041.’
She thanked the IsDB for opening the Dhaka Regional Hub as part of their recent decentralisation drive of operations from headquarters to client countries.
‘This will definitely help the IDB, one of the most trusted development partners of Bangladesh, speed up its operational activities further and improve the quality and efficiency of its development interventions such as projects management, implementation and monitoring. This will also help the IDB to be more intimate and closer to client countries in understanding their development needs, challenges and development priorities.’
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