PM leaves Finland for USA


Desk report, Sept 19: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina this evening left Helsinki, the capital of Finland, for New York, USA to attend the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

“A VVIP chartered flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines (BG-1902) left the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport for New York carrying the premier and her entourage members at 4:16 pm (local time),” Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim accompanying her told BSS from Helsinki, BSS reported.

Bangladesh’s Non-Resident Ambassador to Finland Md Nazmul Islam saw the premier off at the airport, he said.

The Prime Minister is expected to reach John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, USA at 6:00 pm local time.

Earlier on September 17, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reached Helsinki on her en-route to New York, USA to attend the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The premier and her entourage members left the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA), Dhaka for Helsinki at 9:23 am on the same day.

Among others, Foreign Minister Dr A.K. Abdul Momen  and State Minister for Foreign Md Shahriar Alam are accompanying the premier.

En-route to New York, Sheikh Hasina made this two-day stopover at Helsinki.

This is the premier’s maiden foreign tour after one and a half years since she visited Italy in February, 2020.

The prime minister will stay in New York till September 24 as part of an official visit to attend the UNGA and a number of high-level events there.

During her stay in New York, Sheikh Hasina will address the General Debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN Headquarters on September 24.

The prime minister will present her address in Bangla like the previous years following the footprint of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who had delivered his historic speech at the UN in Bangla in 1974.

On September 20, Sheikh Hasina will attend a closed-door meeting with a small group of heads of state or government on climate change to be convened by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

Later, she will plant a tree and dedicate a bench at the UN Gardens in North Lawn of the UN Headquarters in honour of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on the occasion of his birth centenary.

In the afternoon, the prime minister is scheduled to join a virtual programme titled “Sustainable Development Solutions Network”.

On September 21, Sheikh Hasina will join the General Debate’s opening session at the UN Headquarters, while she will also attend the ‘Business Roundtable: US-Bangladesh Business Council’ to be organized by Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA.

On September 22, the premier will join a high-level meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

Besides, she will participate in the ‘White House Global Covid-19 Summit: Ending the Pandemic and Building Back Better’ and is expected to deliver a speech in the event.

In the afternoon on that day, Sheikh Hasina will attend a High Level side event on ‘Rohingya crisis: Imperatives for a sustainable solution’ and is expected to deliver a pre-recorded speech there.

On September 23, the prime minister will attend an ‘Event of Leaders’ network on ‘Delivering on the UN Common Agenda: Action to Achieve Equality and Inclusion’ to be organised by Swedish Mission to the UN.

She will also join the Food Systems Summit as part of the decade of action to achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030 to be convened by the UN Secretary General at the UN Headquarters.

On the sidelines of the UNGA in New York, Sheikh Hasina will hold bilateral meetings with a number of world leaders.

They include Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Barbados Ms. Mia Amor Mottley Q.C., Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, Queen M xima of the Netherlands, President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and President of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phyc.

Besides, she will hold bilateral talks with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and President of EU Council Charles Michel.

The prime minister is scheduled to visit Washington D.C. from September 25-30 after her participation in the UNGA session and other events in New York.

After wrapping up her USA visit, Sheikh Hasina is expected to leave Washington for Dhaka on September 30 and will return home on October 1 following a stopover in Helsinki.