Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday sought early solution to the Rohingya crisis, saying Bangladesh is enduring the entire brunt of the recent exodus of persecuted Rohingya people from Rakhine State of Myanmar.
“Bangladesh seeks a peaceful, sustainable and early solution to the Rohingya crisis,” she said while delivering her speech in an event titled ‘Bangladesh’s Development Story: Policies, Progresses and Prospects’ at Overseas Development Institute (ODI) here this afternoon as the keynote speaker.
“The total number of Rohingya people, who fled to Bangladesh following the Myanmar army’s crackdown in northwestern Rakhine State, is now 1.1 million. Bangladesh has given them shelter on humanitarian grounds,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said she has visited the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar to see their plight and many world leaders have also visited the temporary shelter camps.
Despite immense success in the country’s socioeconomic fields over the last few years, the premier said, Bangladesh has many challenges to face to make its progress sustainable.
“Our successes don’t suggest that there are no challenges for us… we are in struggle to cope with the adverse impacts of climate change, terrorism and violent extremism in addition to dealing with migration of over one million Mymanmar nationals inside Bangladesh,” she said.
Focusing on the growing threats of climate change, the Prime Minister said it has emerged as a major challenge for the nation since Bangladesh is one of the worst victims of the natural phenomenon despite its very poor contribution to global warming.
Noting that millions of coastal people of Bangladesh are under threat of displacement due to sea level rise, she said, “It is a shared responsibility of the global community to protect our planet, our biodiversity and our climate.”
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is in the process of developing ‘Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100’ to mitigate and manage the climate change impacts.
Regarding terrorism and militancy issues, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh is following ‘zero tolerance policy’ against terrorism and militancy.
Sheikh Hasina said her party Awami League assumed office in 2009 when the country was struggling with several internal and external problems, including political anarchy, the rise of extremism, natural disaster, commodity price hike and a prolonged global recession.
“We’ve perfectly crafted our roadmap – Vision 2021 – for future Bangladesh, setting our goal to make the country a middle-income one by 2021 through implementing long-, medium- and short-term plans and revitalise the economy,” she said.
The premier said her government also formulated and implemented the sixth five-year plan where emphasis were given on rural economic growth and channelising adequate fund for SMEs to create job opportunities in rural areas.
“Agricultural sector was given special attention to make the country self-reliant in food production, and government’s pragmatic and decisive policies paid dividends and we attained autarky in food grain, fish, poultry and vegetables productions,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh currently is the second largest RMG exporting country in the world. “Initiatives have been taken to make our garments factories compliant to safety and security standards,” she said.
“We have now 67 RMG factories with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Top seven environment-friendly garments and textiles factories of the world are in Bangladesh.”
About the country’s foreign policy, Sheikh Hasina said her government’s priority is to strengthen friendly relations with all countries, particularly with neighbours, aimed at flourishing trade, investment and development cooperation.
“We need to build knowledge and innovation partnership for transformative technology. We’ve to ensure a better quality of life which cannot always be measured by the yardstick of per capita income,” she said.
Bangladesh has drawn up its ‘Vision 2041’ to become a peaceful, prosperous, happy and developed nation, the Prime Minister said, expressing her firm confidence that the country would be able to fulfill the cherished dream of ‘Bangabandhu’s Golden Bangladesh’ in good time.-BSS