The Financial Express

Bangladesh seeks EU support for Rohingya repatriation, trade

| Updated: September 25, 2021 20:06:38

Bangladesh seeks EU support for Rohingya repatriation, trade

Bangladesh has sought an all-out support from the European Union (EU) for the successful repatriation of Rohingya people to Myanmar, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen held a bilateral meeting with Mr Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and vice-president of the European Commission (HRVP) on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, a spokesperson of the ministry said on Saturday.

In the meeting, Dr Momen requested for effective measures by the European Union to make a conducive environment in Myanmar for a sustainable repatriation of the Rohingya people sheltered in Bangladesh.

Mr Momen pointed out how by providing shelter to 1.1 million Rohingya people, Bangladesh has been facing enormous social, economic and environmental damage.

In response, Mr Borell assured that EU would work with Bangladesh and the international community to ensure sustainable repatriation of the community, the spokesperson added.

The issue of climate change was discussed in the bilateral meeting. Foreign Minister Momen briefed the HRVP about the role of Bangladesh as the president of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF).

He raised the issue of the 100 billion dollars annual climate fund pledged by the developed countries, and requested the EU to fulfil the commitment.

Dr Momen stressed the importance of the allocation of 50 per cent of the climate financing for adaptation measures.

He explained the importance of loss and damage incurred due to river erosion, intrusion of salinity, sea-level rise, floods and draughts.

The minister also emphasised the need of sharing responsibility for the climate migrants – the people uprooted from their homes and traditional jobs because of the impacts of climate change.

Dr Momen also put emphasis on making high and wide embankments in both the coastal belt and the areas prone to river erosion.

He invited public funding and private sector investment from EU in developing the embankments, with roads, solar panels and windmills on those.

Mr Josep Borell remarked that significant efforts would be needed to contain the temperature rise to the maximum limit of 1.5 degree Celsius.

“There would be social and economic shocks in the effort of addressing the challenges of climate change. The foreign minister agreed with him (Josep Borrell) and sought technology transfer for coping with the mitigation targets,” the spokesperson added.    

On the issue of trade, Foreign Minister Dr Momen thanked the HRVP for providing duty-free market access to Bangladeshi products under the EBA scheme of the EU, and also for the continued market access to Bangladesh until 2029.

Dr Momen requested for providing GSP+ facilities once and informed that the EBA facilities to Bangladesh will be over in 2029. In response, Mr Borell assured the foreign minister that he would convey the request with a positive recommendation to the concerned authorities of the EU.

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