40th Anniversary of Bangladesh membership to the UN

40th Anniversary of Bangladesh membership to the UN

Bangladesh celebrated the 40th anniversary of its formal entry to the United Nations this year as its 136th member. And now the number the membership of states is now 193 of the UN.

17th September is a significant date in Bangladesh history when it earned its membership unanimously in 1974. The admission of Bangladesh to the UN was a proud moment for the people of Bangladesh. Bangladesh was fully integrated in the comity of nations and was able to play a meaningful role in international affairs.

Bangladesh first seriously considered in applying for the membership of the UN in 1972 but the issue had to be postponed because China made it known its position that it might veto Bangladesh’s application until the implementation of an earlier Council’s resolution of December, 1971 on repatriation of Pakistani prisoners of war was implemented.

On 10th June, 1974 Bangladesh was recommended unanimously by the Security Council for its admission pursuant to Article 4 of the Charter of the UN and it was admitted on 17th September, 1974.

After the admission, the founder of the nation Prime Minister Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman addressed the 29th session of the General Assembly of the UN in Bengali language which was translated in all official languages of the UN. He pledged to uphold peace, democracy, secularism disarmament and development nationally and globally.

Bangladesh has a good standing in the UN. One favourable factor for Bangladesh is that the nation was born out of a Liberation War in 1971 and international community respect Bangladesh people for their extraordinary bravery during 1971. Bangladesh reportedly lost three million lives in the war of independence during 1971 and abhors wars. Its advocacy of peace is never questioned because it suffered heavily due to war. Bangladesh ratified all the disarmament treaties.

Bangladesh does not take extreme view on any issue at international forums and therefore is considered to project an objective and unbiased view of a situation. Evidence suggests that Bangladesh has proved capable of persuading like-minded countries to see a particular point of view on a given issue and has achieved success at the multilateral forums.

Bangladesh is an active member of the UN. It has paid its annual dues regularly and never defaulted. Bangladesh is a member of the Commonwealth, Oganisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). This unique position makes Bangladesh privy to many views of these organisations and helps to interact effectively with other countries in the UN.

Bangladesh earned respect from members of the UN for its pragmatic and balanced foreign policy. Within 4 years of its admission it became a member of the prestigious Security Council in 1978, defeating Japan for the year 1979-80. This demonstrated that Bangladesh’s standing before the UN- members was sincere and trustworthy. Bangladesh was again elected in 1999 as a member of the Security Council through consensus for the 2-year term 2000-2001 from the Asian region,

Bangladesh contested this position in 1981 with Iraq. Both countries obtained the same number of votes and a coin was tossed to break the impasse. It was an unprecedented situation in the history of the UN. Iraq won the toss and became the President and it was decided that when the Presidency came to Asian group, Bangladesh would take the Presidency and Bangladesh held was the position of the President of the General Assembly in 1986, a rare honour.

Bangladesh’s eight terms at the ECOSOC of the UN, chairmanship of peace building commission, re-election in Human Rights Council, UN Commission on Status of Women, Member of Committee of Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Executive Committee of UNESCO, UN Economic and Social Council, and a member of the International Maritime Organisation. and memberships to many UN specialized agencies reflect the increasing role of Bangladesh in the UN..

Bangladesh can take credit for introducing globally the concept of micro-credit lending to alleviate poverty. The UN convened a Summit on micro-credit in 1997 and many UN member-countries have replicated the micro-credit system. The year 2005 was designated by the UN as the “Micro-Credit Year”. BRAC which is the largest NGO in the world has given a positive image of the country as it has been active in sectors such as primary health care, nutrition,, non-formal education, micro-credit, and empowerment of women in all 64 districts in Bangladesh. BRAC has become international and is present in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Haiti and The Philippines as of 2012..

Bangladesh has incorporated the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in to its development strategy and has been successful in achieving most of the targets ahead of the stipulated deadline such as, reducing the poverty, attaining gender parity at primary and secondary education, reducing under-five mortality, combating HIV infection, children under five sleeping under insecticide treated bed nets, and cure of tuberculosis. These gains require Bangladesh to sustain development progress while ensuring that human development also progresses beyond economic and income level. Bangladesh however needs to address employment generation, adult literacy rates, creating decent wage employment for women, and ensuring attendance of skilled health professionals during birth of a child. Bangladesh is now closely involved in the formulation of the post-2015 development agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Bangladesh has been a model in disaster management for international community because it has taken a holistic approach towards disaster management, where emphasis has been given to working together with all stakeholders to build strategic partnerships with all relevant government departments and agencies, key non-government players including NGOs, academic and technical institutions, the private sector and donors. The role of Government is mainly to ensure that risk reduction and comprehensive disaster management is a focus of national policy and programmes.

Bangladesh has continued to focus on the adverse impacts of climate change highlighting that the country is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world caused by global warming due to excessive carbon emissions, and seeks financial and technological assistance for adaptation to the changing climate. British newspaper the Guardian poses this question regarding Bangladesh: “Can the people of one of the most resilient and innovative countries transform it from being the world’s most famously ‘vulnerable’ country to being recognised as one of its most ‘adaptive’ country?”

Bangladesh’s participation in the UN peacekeeping missions has become an important component of foreign policy and the country has attained a good standing in the comity of nations. Bangladesh has contributed its military personnel since 1988. Since then, the country has participated in 18 peacekeeping missions, with almost 8,700 peacekeepers deployed including all-women force in Haiti.

Bangladeshi army Generals led the peacekeeping mission in Mozambique in 1994, in Georgia in 2002 and recently in Liberia. Bangladesh provided to the UN until May 2012, three Bell-22 helicopters, one MI-17 helicopter, one C-130 transport aircraft, a Frigate and an Off-shore Patrol Vessel to the UN for peacekeeping purpose.

The professionalism and competence of Bangladeshi personnel, the fact that Bangladesh has been a consistent contributor and its willingness to respond quickly when circumstances demanded has maintained a good standing for the country. In recent times this role was lauded by the all Secretaries General of the UN, including the current Ban ki-Moon. . As of May 2012, a total of 108 brave peacekeepers (including one woman army major) from Bangladesh died for the cause of world peace, security and humanity and 142 injured.

Bangladesh continues to contribute in post-conflict rehabilitation and reconstruction in different parts of the world and can hold its head high in the global arena because the Bangladeshi uniformed and civilian personnel have earned the gratitude of millions in lands, mostly in Africa, far distant from Bangladesh They have helped restore tranquility and peace in many war-torn parts of the globe and have ushered in an era of hope in countries which had only known despair and war.

Bangladesh has become a trusted partner of the UN with its imprint on almost in all national efforts of promoting social and economic development. Given Bangladesh’s resource constraints, diplomacy must play a role that brings tangible benefits to people of Bangladesh and not concentrating in matters which are not relevant for Bangladesh. Bangladesh must pick and choose global and regional issues at the UN which provide dividends to people of Bangladesh.

It is noted that although Bangladesh is the 8th largest populous country in the world, it is weak economically and militarily compared to many other countries Bangladesh is a Least-Developed country, the poorest among the developing countries. Bangladesh’s goal is to become a middle-income country by 2021. Its economic strength including democracy, accountability and rule of law enhance the image of the country which are reflected at the external forum. Other countries also assess Bangladesh on these yardsticks.

Place your ads here!

No comments

Write a comment
No Comments Yet! You can be first to comment this post!

Write a Comment