PM’s presence in UNGA important for vaccine, climate issues: Dr Momen

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Desk report, Sept 21: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s in-person presence in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is very important to give an impetus to campaigns for equitable access to Covid-19 vaccine, climate change and food security amid the global pandemic, said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.

“One of the major reasons behind her in-person presence is that Covid-19 vaccine will be our big issue. The Prime Minister has been campaigning from the day one that the Covid vaccine should be public good and each country should get it without any discrimination,” he said while briefing reporters in New York.

He said the Prime Minister would strongly put emphasis on the vaccine issue in her speech in the UNGA.

Besides, creating a momentum to the climate change campaign is very important ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31 next, said the Foreign Minister, adding that Bangladesh is adversely affected by global warming.

He said around 30 million people would be displaced as some 17-25 percent of the country’s lands would submerge. “So, it’s a big problem for us, which should get focused in the upcoming COP 26. It needs to create a momentum for it and the Prime Minister’s presence in person is very significant,” he added.

Another reason is that there might be a food crisis in the future, he said, adding that the PM will focus on food security as well.

Describing the Prime Minister as a brave lady, he said she came here at this tough time amid risks. “She came for the welfare of the country’s people,” said Dr Momen, adding that she did not travel anywhere in the last 19 months and rather she attended some 1500 virtual events staying indoors.

Meanwhile, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley called on Sheikh Hasina at her hotel suite.

She presented a copy of Bangabandhu’s ‘Unfinished Memoirs’ to her Barbados counterpart.