Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the comity of nations to renew collective resolve to achieve a peaceful, stable and prosperous world free from poverty and inequality, violence and extremism, climate change and conflict, and oppression and injustice.
"Let us demonstrate our foresight, moral courage and political leadership to build a better life and a brighter future for our children and posterity," she said amid tumultuous ovation by jam-packed audience at the venue of the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at its headquarters in New York on Wednesday.
The Prime Minister addressed the highest congregation of the world leaders who assembled to attend the UNGA, in her mother tongue Bangla, following in the footsteps of her illustrious father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who also for the first time in the history of the UN delivered his speech in Bangla based on the logic that the language
of millions of people who constitute a sizeable segment of the world population should be honored in this platform of the world community.
After a long-lapse of 41 years, Sheikh Hasina echoes the clarion call of her illustrious father and the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who standing in the same sacred venue in 1974 declared, " ? to establish a global order based on peaceful co-existence, social justice and freedom from poverty, hunger, exploitation and aggression."
"That clarion call continues to guide us in our development pursuits and our engagement in global affairs. We continue to transform Bangladesh into a land where the rule of law and social justice prevails over poverty, inequality, impunity and exclusion," she told the distinguished audience in a determined voice.
Pointing out two 'global challenges' that pose the greatest threats to sustainability of the human civilization, Sheikh Hasina outlined that terrorism and violent extremism remain the major impediments to global peace and development.
"Terrorists do not have any religion. Terrorism and violent extremism are global challenges," she said and suggested that all countries should be united to effectively address these.
" I am myself a victim of terrorism and violent extremism. My father, the Father of the
Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, my mother Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib, three brothers and other close relatives were brutally assassinated on August 15 in 1975. I was subject to terrorist attacks 19 times," she told the august gathering in an emotion choked voice while a pin-drop silence was prevailing in the hall.
Regarding the second concern of the present day world, Sheikh Hasina said that climate change poses formidable developmental challenges. "We would not be able to sustain our development endeavours if climate change cannot be effectively dealt with," she cautioned.
Turning to the UN peacekeeping and peace building she said, "We have the distinction of having the highest number of female police personnel in UN peacekeeping missions. Our contribution to UN peace operations has made us a reliable partner in UN's peace initiatives," the maintained.
About the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Sheikh Hasina said that development efforts in many of our countries over the last fifteen years have largely been guided by these initiatives. "It is essential for developed countries to fulfill their ODA commitment of 0.7 per cent of their GNI to developing countries, and 0.2 per cent to LDCs," she suggested.
Apparently a happy Prime Minister while unveiling the present situation in her country said, "Bangladesh is widely recognized today as a role model for the developing world. We have experienced one of the fastest poverty reduction rates in the world with a modest resource base".
About her personal pursuit for overall development of her own country, Sheikh Hasina said, "I have presented a 'Vision 2021'for a middle-income, knowledge-driven economy in what we call a "Digital Bangladesh."
"With the steady progress we have made so far, I am confident that we shall soon be able to realize the dream of the Father of the Nation to build a 'Sonar Bangla,' the 'Golden Bengal,' she confidently said.