Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday sought global support through "close partnership and collaboration" to achieve Bangladesh's development goals addressing challenges ahead, including a solution to the Rohingya crisis.
"I believe in partnership… I believe in collaboration. We need your help and support to achieve our goals," he said adding that he has no reason not to believe that Bangladesh can achieve its development goals ahead.
The Foreign Minister was addressing a function titled 'Special Briefing on Contemporary Political Issues' at a city hotel on Thursday night. International Affairs Sub Committee of Bangladesh Awami League arranged the briefing for diplomats stationed in Dhaka.
Committee secretary Dr Shammi Ahmed delivered the welcome address before the question-answer session.
Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni and President of the committee Ambassador M Zamir and Prime Minister's Special Assistant Shah Ali Farhad were, among others, present.
The Foreign Minister described the challenges ahead, including climate change, and sought international community's support to address those challenges saying Bangladesh cannot do it alone.
He said Bangladesh seeks close partnership and collaboration from the global community as its resources are not adequate enough.
On Rohingya issue, he urged the international community to put more pressure on Myanmar and use their leverage so that Myanmar takes back its nationals from Bangladesh.
He said the longer stay of Rohingyas in Bangladesh might create pockets of radicalism posing threats to Bangladesh and beyond.
Bangladesh is now hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas who fled Rakhine state after being persecuted by their own country.
Myanmar did not take back a single Rohingya from Bangladesh over the last two years but Myanmar, rather in its attempt to “mislead” the international community, claimed that a total of 397 displaced people have voluntarily returned from Bangladesh.
Two repatriation attempts were unsuccessful as Myanmar failed to remove trust deficit among the Rohingyas and there was lack of conducive environment in Rakhine for their return.
Bangladesh has given shelter to forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar on 6,800 acres of forest land in Cox’s Bazar and their presence is "affecting ecosystem".
Dr Momen laid emphasis on the voluntary return of Rohingyas to their homes in Rakhine state with safety, security and dignity which he thinks the only solution to the crisis.
Bangladesh, as one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change, has also become one of the most resilient countries.
Dr Momen said a one-metre rise in sea-level is likely to uproot nearly 30 million people of Bangladesh and climate vulnerability is costing nearly 1-3 percent of the country’s annual GDP growth rate.
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