Bangladesh frustrated with UN role in Rohingya crisis

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 01:11, Sep 18,2020


Bangladesh is ‘deeply frustrated’ with the role of the United Nations in resolving the crisis of Myanmar’s Rohingya people, foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen said on Thursday.

He also said that the current system of the UN was ‘not effective’ due to the ‘voting pattern’ at the UN Security Council and ‘rivalries’ among the super powers.

The foreign secretary was speaking at a session of a virtual international conference organised by the Centre for Peace Studies of the North South University of Bangladesh.

Masud Bin Momen, who was Bangladesh’s permanent representative to the UN before taking over the responsibility of the foreign secretary, said that some countries in the UN system were responsive while others created problem.

He stressed the need for transformation in the UN system reflecting desire and real need, and resolving the real problem of the common people with ensuring transparency of the global body.

Jeffrey David Sachs, a leading American economist and academician, said that there was a need for a global collaboration on establishing an international law and order, instead of getting dictations of the United States, for bringing in changes in the world order for establishing peace and removing inequalities within countries and among the countries.

‘One country should not dictate in the international system,’ he said, suggesting major reform in the UN system and mechanism, including representation in the UN Security Council based on the number of populations of different regions of the world. 

He urged the Bangladesh government to prevent major outbreak of COVID-19.

Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation chairman Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad said that people’s perspectives, including efforts for facing crisis like climate change and reducing risks induced by disasters, should get priority in the UN mechanism.

Professor Imtiaz Ahmed of Dhaka University said that the time had come to reinvent the UN. 

For serving the common people, ‘development’ should be at the centre of all activities of the UN instead of the power politics, said Samir Saran, president of the Observer Research Foundation, a policy think-tank in India.

The emerging economies in Asia and the European Union member countries should come up with new ideas to create a new architecture for the UN with injecting new ideas and bringing in democratisation of the global body, he said.

India and China should reach an understanding over developing a multipolar and dynamic Asia to eventually catering need of the people in the region, he added.  

Stressing the need for the UN to emphasis common people’s interests, Shahidul Haque, immediate past foreign secretary and senior fellow of the South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance at the North South University, said that the UN should no longer serve the member-states alone.

EU ambassador to Bangladesh Rensje Teerink, UN resident coordinator Mia Seppo, World Economic Forum’s Sheikh Tanjeb Islam, Prime Minister’s Office Access to Information (a2i) policy adviser Anir Chowdhury and UN Youth and Student Association president Sammy Wadud also spoke at the fourth session of the two-day conference, presided over by NSU vice chancellor professor Atiqul Islam.

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