‘Bangladesh has traversed a long and difficult path from new nationhood devastated by war and famine to its undeniable influence as a UN member’
The United Nations (UN) family in Bangladesh has appreciated Bangladesh’s growth saying the UN is committed to supporting the government in every step towards achieving ambitious goals ahead as the country is celebrating the 50th anniversary of independence on Thursday.
“Alongside the distress and turmoil that this journey has entailed, there have been massive successes,” said the heads of UN agencies in Dhaka in a joint message to Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.
On the momentous occasion of this anniversary, they conveyed their heartfelt congratulations and commitment of support to the government and the people of Bangladesh.
They said Bangladesh has traversed a long and difficult path from new nationhood devastated by war and famine, to its “undeniable influence” as a UN member state at the threshold of LDC graduation, providing shelter to over 900,000 Rohingya refugees.
“Bangladesh's achievements in human development -- especially in maternal and child mortality, immunization, school enrollment and other social indicators even at relatively lower levels of per capita income made the country an example for other countries to emulate,” reads the message that came from the UN Resident Coordinator’s office in Dhaka.
The UN officials said this was well-recognized in the context of the Millennium Development Goals.
“Subsequent achievements in sustained growth and poverty alleviation have brought the country to the point of graduating out of LDC status. Bangladesh has also emerged as an example to emulate in the area of disaster risk management.”
The UN has been a partner of the government and the people of Bangladesh for five decades now. Starting with the UNHCR in 1971, 22 UN agencies now have operations in the country.
Bangladesh too has been an active member state in the UN since 1974 and has shaped the UN's development and peace operations.
Bangladesh was vocal in shaping the 2030 Agenda and the sustainable development goals. It was one of the early supporters of the UN Development System Reforms and contributed to the Special Purpose Trust Fund for the Resident Coordinator system.
“It has been a vocal advocate for multilateralism, climate justice and LDCs. Bangladesh sponsored the Culture of Peace resolution that was unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1999. It is now among the largest troop contributors to the UN's peacekeeping missions,” reads the message.
The UN agencies said on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh's independence, as a partner of 50 years, the UN family in Bangladesh celebrate with Bangladesh the achievements of the nation, and honor the legacy of sacrifices that brought the country where it is today.
“The path ahead is long and difficult - the country must recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, achieve the 2030 Agenda leaving not one person in Bangladesh behind, enhance gender equality, end poverty and become a developed nation,” the message reads.
The UN in Bangladesh is “committed to supporting” the government of Bangladesh to achieve these ambitious goals.
“This commitment is embodied in the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2022-2026 which we co-signed with the government in November this year,” said the heads of the UN agencies in Bangladesh.
The signatories of the joint message are UN Resident Coordinator and ILO Country Director Tuomo Poutiainen, UNDP Resident Representative Sudipto Mukerjee, FAO Representative Robert Simpson, IOM Chief of Mission Fathima Nusrath Ghazzali, Unesco Representative Deanna Calden Beatrice Kaldun, UNFPA Representative Eiko Narita, UNHCR Representative Johannes van der Klaauw, Unicef Representative Sheldon Yett, WFP Representative Richard Ragan, WHO Representative Dr Bardan Jung Rana, UN Women Head of Office Gitanjali Singh, IFAD Country Program Director Amoud Hameleers, UNIDO Representative Zaki Uz Zaman, UNCDF Country Focal Point, UNAIDS Country Manager Dr Saima Khan, UNOPS Country Manager Stefan Kohler, Jesmul Hasan, and UNODC Officer-in-Charge Shah Mohammad Naheeaan.