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Bangladesh's landmark success in the ECOSOC election for the term 2025-2027

Bangladesh achieved membership in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
Bangladesh achieved membership in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Photo : BSS

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On June 7, 2024, Bangladesh achieved membership in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), an essential United Nations body representing the Asia-Pacific region for the 2025-2027 term.

Bangladesh secured an overwhelming majority of 181 out of 189 votes during the UN General Assembly Hall election. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan were also elected from the same region. ECOSOC is the cornerstone of the UN system and plays a pivotal role in addressing development and social concerns through multilateral diplomacy.

Bangladesh has emerged as a dynamic and rapidly growing economic force in the past fifteen years. With an average gross national income growth rate exceeding 6.7 per cent during this period, the nation's per capita income reached Taka 273,360 by the end of the fiscal year 2022-23.

As of 2023, Bangladesh is the 33rd largest economy globally by GDP size. Notably, poverty rates have plummeted to 18.7 per cent, with extreme poverty dropping to 5.6 per cent.

The nation boasts a life expectancy of 72.8 years, with 98.8 per cent of the population having access to safe drinking water and 97.32 percent utilizing sanitary latrines.

Bangladesh has witnessed remarkable progress in infrastructure. Power generation capacity has surged sixfold to 30,277 MW, ensuring electricity coverage for 100 per cent of the population.

The healthcare sector has also experienced unprecedented growth, with the number of beds in government hospitals doubling to 71,000 and the number of government doctors and nurses tripling.

Moreover, the establishment of 14,311 community clinics has significantly bolstered healthcare accessibility.

Education has been another success story, with the literacy rate rising from 45 per cent in 2006 to 76.8 per cent in 2023.

Agriculture has flourished, with grain crop production quadrupling to 49.2 million metric tonnes and fish production increasing 2.5 times to 5.31 million metric tonnes.

Infrastructure development has been extensive, with highways tripling to 32,678 km and rural roads increasing 76 times to 2,37,446 km.

The digital revolution has swept Bangladesh, with internet usage skyrocketing from 0.23 per cent to 78.55 percent between 2006 and 2023.

The active number of mobile phone SIMs has surged tenfold to 188.4 million, while the number of digital services provided by government agencies has increased 400 times.

ICT exports have soared from USD21 million to USD1.9 billion, and the number of IT freelancers has surged from 200 to 0.68 million, securing Bangladesh's second position globally.

So, it is evident that, under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's astute and dynamic leadership, Bangladesh is making significant strides towards realizing both Agenda 2030 and Vision 2041: Transforming Bangladesh into a Smart Nation.

Diplomats from various nations at the election venue remarked, 'This victory serves as a global acknowledgement of Bangladesh's development achievements.' Indeed, Bangladesh's consistent successes in international elections, including this prestigious one, underscore the confidence, trust, and recognition bestowed upon our nation by the global community.

On top of that, Ambassador Muhammad Abdul Muhith, Bangladesh's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, was elected as the Chair of the Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) of the United Nations General Assembly for its 79th Session.

The election was overseen by Mr. Dennis Francis, President of the 78th United Nations General Assembly, through a confidential voting process. Ambassador Muhammad A. Muhith, Bangladesh's Permanent Representative to the UN, remarked, 'This election recognizes Bangladesh's distinctive achievements in sustainable development under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, showcasing the international trust and confidence in our nation.'

With Bangladesh slated to transition from Least Developed Country (LDC) status to a developing country by 2026, Ambassador Muhith highlighted the significance of ECOSOC membership in facilitating a smooth and sustainable graduation process, accelerating progress towards Agenda 2030 implementation.

ECOSOC membership offers Bangladesh a strategic platform to amplify its engagement in realizing Agenda 2030 objectives. Bangladesh can actively shape policies and contribute to global development efforts through robust participation in diverse forums, commissions, and committees.

The Ambassador emphasized Bangladesh's commitment to sharing its successful developmental practices with the world. As the current President of the Executive Board of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), Bangladesh is already positioned as a leader in international development cooperation.

Bangladesh is poised to leverage this platform effectively, with its ECOSOC membership set to commence in January 2025. It allows Bangladesh to showcase its innovative poverty alleviation, healthcare, and climate resilience approaches.

By actively engaging with ECOSOC, Bangladesh can foster partnerships, mobilize resources, and accelerate progress towards achieving sustainable development goals on both national and global scales.

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