Saima Wazed has recommended that the Commonwealth organize a dedicated climate and mental health resilient day at the first-ever Health Day to be held at the COP28 in Abu Dhabi.
She was presenting a key-note speech at a high-profile roundtable on "Climate Vulnerability and Mental Health: Voices of Women", in London on Tuesday as the Advisor to the Director General of the WHO for Mental Health and Autism and Thematic Ambassador for Vulnerability of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF).
Saima Wazed is also the Regional Director-elect of WHO South-East Asian Regional Office (SEARO) and Chairperson of Shuchona Foundation.
The Bangladesh High Commission, London and the Commonwealth in partnership with the Shuchona Foundation organized the roundtable on the eve of the Commonwealth Women Leaders' Summit taking place 15-16 November at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.
She highlighted the significance of climate and mental health resilience and suggested that Commonwealth nations collaborate more closely to address climate-related challenges and their adverse effects on mental health since countries do not have sufficient resources to handle these challenges on their own.
She emphasized the importance of early detection and appropriate management of mental health conditions through a collective approach and global awareness, the Bangladesh High Commission said.
During her keynote speech, she also shed light on the state of mental health and universal health coverage in Bangladesh and called for global cooperation with Bangladesh in addressing these growing challenges.
UK Minister for Environmental Quality and Resilience Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Rebecca Pow MP, Shadow Minister for Equalities Office Yasmin Qureshi, Conservative MP for Kensington and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing and Homelessness Felicity Buchan and Chair of UK All Party Parliamentary Group for UN Women Baroness Verma spoke on the occasion as special guests.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland KC, co-host of the event, made introductory remarks and High Commissioner of Bangladesh to the UK Saida Muna Tasneem chaired the event as the host in her capacity as the President of Women in Diplomacy Network, London.
UK Minister Affairs Rebecca Pow MP spoke highly of Bangladesh's efforts to address climate change and mental health challenges.
She commended the country's achievements in women's empowerment, girls' education, and primary healthcare under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland praised Bangladesh's leadership on championing mental health at the Kigali CHOGM 2022 and declaration of the Dhaka-Kigali Mental Health Compact.
The Secretary-General also recalled the Commonwealth CVF climate prosperity partnership launched at COP26.