The Financial Express

Lack of funds prevented Bangla from being UN's official language, Foreign Minister says

| Updated: February 22, 2021 13:24:16

Lack  of funds prevented Bangla from being UN's official language, Foreign Minister says

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said a lack of funds has stalled the process of getting Bangla recognised as an official language of the United Nations, reports bdnews24.com.

Except for the funds, the UN has no problem in making Bangla one of its official languages because it is the fifth most spoken language in the world, according to him.

“The matter has stalled due to a lack of funds. We couldn’t pledge funds, huge funds,” he told reporters after the International Mother Language Day event at Bangladesh Foreign Service Academy in Dhaka on Sunday.

Initially the UN said Bangladesh will have to provide $600 million annually for the recognition, according to the minister.

After the five official languages were launched during the creation of the UN, it included Arabic as an official language. The countries with Arabic as their mother tongue pay the expenses of its use at the UN, Momen said.

“We hope someday we will become richer and people’s attention will be drawn to Bangla,” he said.

The people of other countries will learn Bangla from expatriate Bangladeshis when Bangladesh becomes a developed nation, he added.

Currently, the UN has a Bangla radio channel that broadcasts programmes once a week and publishes the UNDP report on Asia in Bangla as well as in English, according to the minister, who had worked as a permanent representative of Bangladesh at the UN.

The ministry hosted junior officials of the foreign missions in Dhaka at the programme.

The young diplomats paid respect to the martyrs of the 1962 Language Movement by placing flowers on a Shaheed Minar at the academy. Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen and the academy’s Rector Masud Mahmood Khandaker also spoke on the occasion.

By the end of the event, the diplomats were taught some necessary Bangla sentences.

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