Dhaka shares concern over large movements of refugees, migrants at sea

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Desk Report:

Bangladesh has urged the UN member States to comply with their obligations for search and rescue at sea, and work towards addressing the push and pull factors for such irregular movements.

“We remain particularly concerned over large movements of refugees and migrants at sea, mostly in perilous situations,” said Chargé d’affaires at Bangladesh Permanent Mission to the UN Tareq Md Ariful Islam.

He said this while delivering Bangladesh statement under the plenary agenda ‘Oceans and Law of the Sea’ of the 73rd UN General Assembly at General Assembly Hall in New York on Tuesday.

In the renewed aftermath of the Rohingya humanitarian crisis from Myanmar’s Rakhine State since August last year, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN said they draw attention to all concerned regional countries to the need for strengthening surveillance and interception along the coastal areas.

“We take full note of the Secretary-General’s observation made on this under chapter – migration by sea’ in his report on ‘oceans and law of the sea,” Tareq said.

He said healthy oceans are critical for sustaining life, eliminating poverty and promoting prosperity on this planet.

“With the pacific settlement of maritime border issues with neighboring states Myanmar and India in 2014, the government of Bangladesh embarked on unlocking the potentials from better access to sea and ocean resources,” Tareq said.

He said the blue economy is now considered as a new ‘development space’ in Bangladesh.
Shipping, sea ports, shipbuilding and recycling, marine fisheries, sea salt, coastal tourism, ocean energy, land reclamation, maritime safety and surveillance, human resources development and governance have been identified as key priority issues for the development of blue economy.

“These issues have been addressed in our recently under taken ‘Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100’ under the visionary leadership of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he said.

Tareq said capacity building and transfer of marine technology are of utmost importance for the developing states, particularly in LDCs.

“Among other issues, we draw the attention of our development partners to the suitable utilisation of the UN Technology Bank for LDCs for this purpose,” he said.

He reaffirmed Bangladesh’s commitment to UNCLOS as the constitution of the oceans, establishing the overarching legal framework within which all activities in oceans and seas must be carried out. “We urge all the remaining States to join the convention for attaining its universality.”unb

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