Bangladesh signs historic Paris climate deal

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Dhaka, April 23: Bangladesh on Friday signed the historic ‘Paris Climate Agreement’ at the United Nations (UN) in New York.

Bangladesh’s Minister for Environment and Forests Anwar Hossain Manju put his signature on the deal at the General Assembly Hall in the presence of high-level delegations of 171 countries.

The minister had been assigned by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to sign the agreement for Bangladesh.

The signing ceremony turned out to be an event closely resembling the annual UN General Assembly sessions, featuring around 60 heads of state and government.

The opening session was addressed, among others, by the Presidents of France, Peru, Brazil, Bolivia, Democratic Republic of Congo, the Prime Ministers of Canada, Italy and Tuvalu, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, the Special Envoy of the President of China, the US Secretary of State and the UN Secretary General.

The Bangladesh statement at the event highlighted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s personal commitment to combating climate change, and reaffirmed her government’s readiness to continue working towards mobilizing greater international efforts in support of comprehensively implementing the Paris Agreement.

“Collective wisdom and commitments are essential to implement the Paris Climate Agreement. We all must consider the urgency of acting now,” the statement read.

Bangladesh also flagged the various initiatives taken by the government to adapt to climate change in a pro-active manner through its own resources and international cooperation. It was particularly mentioned that a roadmap for implementing Bangladesh’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) was currently in the making.

Bangladesh urged all countries need to be united in our collective journey, keeping in mind that one’s non-compliance may threaten the existence of all. However, developed countries have to take lead in this case.”

Following the signing of the agreement, the Bangladesh minister exchanged greetings with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UNFCCC Executive Secretary Cristiana Figueres.

Manju also had a bilateral meeting with Fatma Gulmedet Sari, Minister for Environment and Urbanization of Turkey.

The two ministers agreed to work together during the lead up to UNFCCC COP22 in Morocco in November 2016 to promote issues of common interest, with focus on climate vulnerable LDCs.

Dr Hasan Mahmud, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Masud Bin Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN in New York, accompanied the minister.

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