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Bangladesh seeks strong policy, support for LDCs, graduating LDCs

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Bangladesh urged the global communities for stronger policies, measures and new support for the LDCs as well as the graduating LDCs, said Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Abdul Momen made the call while addressing the high-level opening session of the four-day Asia-Pacific Regional Review Meeting on Monday.

The meeting was jointly convened by Bangladesh government, UN-OHRLLS and UN-ESCAP at the UN Headquarters in Geneva in preparation for the Fifth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (UNLDC-5) to be held in Qatar in January 

Speaking at the event, Dr Momen lauded the remarkable progress made by the majority of the LDCs of the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in reducing poverty and investing in human resources and infrastructure.

He shared the graduation story of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that has witnessed per capita income reaching $2,227 and reduction of poverty to 20.5 per cent.

Rabab Fatima, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN in New York chaired the opening session, while several high-level speakers including Volkan Bozkir, President of the UN General Assembly, Collen Vixen Kelapile, President of the ECOSOC, Eisenhower Mkaka, Foreign Minister of Malawi and Chair of the LDCs, and Faruk Kaymakci, Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey spoke on this event.

Foreign Minister Momen also chaired one session of the regional review meeting, titled “Ministerial dialogue on lessons learned in the implementation of the IPoA-challenges encountered and the way forward”.

During the day, he also held meetings with Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Mr Daren Tang, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and Mr Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees at their offices in Geneva on Tuesday, said a spokesperson of the foreign ministry.

“During his meeting with Dr Tedros, Foreign Minister emphasised on more effective role of WHO to ensure the availability, affordability and equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines for the developing countries”.

Dr Momen further highlighted the importance of temporary waiver of TRIPS obligations on production of Covid-19 vaccines, medicines and other medical equipment.

 He informed the DG of Bangladesh’s capacity to produce vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics and other medical equipment that would be crucial to fighting against the pandemic.

During his meeting with the Director General of UNHCR Mr Philippo Grandi, Dr Momen requested for UNHCR’s support to put pressure on Myanmar for sustainable repatriation of the Rohingya from Bangladesh, the spokesperson of the foreign ministry said.

“DG Grandi again expressed the sincere appreciation of the UNHCR to the Government of Bangladesh, particularly to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, for her extraordinary humanitarian decision to provide the forcibly displaced Rohingya shelter in Bangladesh.”

“During his meeting with Mr Daren Tang, the Director General of WIPO, Momen sought WIPO’s special support and facilitation for Bangladesh’s smooth graduation and achievement of Vision 2041 by providing support in strengthening the IP sector of Bangladesh”.

Bangladesh has been playing an active leadership role in the multilateral forum on behalf of the LDCs. In recognition of that, Ambassador Rabab Fatima, along with Ambassador Bob Rae, Permanent Representative of Canada to the UN in New York, was elected co-chair of the LDC-5 Preparatory Committee bureau, a key committee that will lead preparations for the LDC-5 conference.

As a co-chair, Bangladesh will have the opportunity to move forward with some of its key priorities, including sustainable graduation and international support measures for graduation.

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