Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said that the recent visits to Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Australia have further brightened Bangladesh’s image in the international arena.
“The three visits have taken place in short time, all of them were important and I firmly believe that through these visits the image of Bangladesh in the world arena has brighten further,” she said.
The Prime Minister made the remark in her written speech at a press conference arranged at her official residence Ganobhaban on her just concluded official visits to the three countries.
Sheikh Hasina said that she visited Saudi Arabia from April 15-16 at the invitation of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and joined the concluding ceremony of a joint military exercise titled “Gulf Shield-1” in the Eastern Province of Al-Jubail.
An 18-member Bangladesh delegation took part in the military exercise of 23 countries on April 16, she said.
During the time, she also exchanged greetings with the Saudi King and other heads of states and governments.
About her UK visit, Sheikh Hasina said, she attended the CHOGM-2018 (Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) where main focus was given on four issues: a fairer future; a more sustainable future; a more prosperous future and a more secure future.
Under the four agenda, various issues including flourishing of democracy, human rights and strengthening rule of law dominated the summit of the 53 nation organisation, she added.
The Prime Minister said, the summit this year was very important internationally for the member countries particularly for the UK at the backdrop of BREXIT.
The heads of the governments issued a joint leaders’ statement after the CHOGM-2018, she said.
In various sessions of the summit, Sheikh Hasina said she had mentioned transfer of technology on climate change and its adaptation, financing on climate change, tolerance and capacity development as priority sectors.
Besides, she also tried to draw attention of the leaders on liability of climate change, just compensation for the affected countries and the migration related problems due to adverse impact of the climate.
Prime Minister said she announced to connect the small and reserved “Shalban” (sal forest) of Pirganj under Thakurgaon with the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project dedicated by the Royal Society in honour of the Queen of Britain.
Sheikh Hasina said in the executive sessions, she called for reorientation and reorganisation of the role and functions of various Commonwealth bodies to meet constantly evolving needs and expectations of the member states.
Besides, she vowed to transform Bangladesh as a blue champion through implementing Commonwealth Blue Charter adopted at the CHOGM-2018.
About her participation at the Commonwealth Women’s Forum, the Prime Minister said, she highlighted there the achievements and examples of Bangladesh on women’s participation and empowerment as well as on their role on development of the country.
Sheikh Hasina also elaborated her participation in other side events including a function on “Bangladesh’s Development Story: Policy, Progress and Prospects” organised by the Overseas Development Institute.
Following effective and strong role of Bangladesh, the Prime Minister said, the issue of Rohingya crisis got a special importance in the 53-nation CHOGM this year and two paragraphs were incorporated in the formal leaders’ statement.
She said, the Commonwealth called for a halt to all violence, restoration of normality and accountability of the perpetrators for gross violations of human rights in northern Rakhaine state of Myanmar through an independent investigation.
The heads of the governments also stressed actions to address the root causes of the current crisis including through immediate implementation of the Koffi Annan Commission recommendation, she said.
Such a move of the Commonwealth, she said, is a success of her government’s diplomacy in the international arena.
On the sidelines, the Prime Minister said that she also held bilateral meeting with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi as well as exchanges views with a number of heads of the governments including British Prime Minister and Canadian Prime Minister.
During the meeting, the leaders highly praised the role of her government in facing the Rohingya crisis with patience as well as on humanitarian ground and assured her of extending strong support to this end.
On her tour to Australia, Sheikh Hasina said, she went to Sydney at the invitation of Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull to join the Global Summit of Women 2018.
At the summit, she received the prestigious Global Women’s Leadership Award-2018 conferred by the US-based Global Summit of Women for her leadership role on women education and creating women entrepreneurship in Bangladesh and Asia-Pacific region.
While handing over the award, Global Summit of Women President Irene Natividad
highly appreciated her for women empowerment, introduction of digital technology and giving shelter to the persecuted Rohingyas in Bangladesh, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said, at the function she called for mobilising a new global alliance to promote women rights and empowerment and dedicated the Global Women’s Leadership Award to the entire womenfolk of the world.
At the summit, the Prime Minister said, she placed a four-point proposal for realizing rights of the women in the world.
Besides, the Prime Minister said, she held a meeting with Australian counterpart Malcom Turnbull, visited Western Sydney University and joined a community event at Sofitel Hotel in Sydney.
Prime Minister said, the common stance of the Bangladesh and Australia has deepened the bilateral relations and her visit to Australia has taken this tie to a new height.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali, Information Minister Hasanul Huq Inu and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam were present on the dais.
Besides, Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, PM’s Adviser HT Imam, State Minister for Information Tarana Halim and senior leaders of Bangladesh Awami League and editors and senior journalists were present, while PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim moderated the press conference.unb