28 September 2012 The world’s poorest countries need more international support to help them alleviate the consequences of rising food and energy prices, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, told the United Nations General Assembly today.
Linking the price increases to climate change, Prime Minister Hasina said they had “dangerous implications” for UN-designated Least Developed Countries.
“They need greater international support for socio-economic security,” she said, adding that what is important to them is gaining duty-free and quota-free market access for their products, seeing donor countries fulfil their official development assistance commitments, being given an “equal voice” in institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and being allowed free international movement of labour for their respective workforces.
“We should also ensure documentation and safe migration, and protection of the rights of migrant workers, especially women and children, as a shared responsibility of sending and receiving states within the WTO (World Trade Organization),” she said.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh’s progress on development had been “hindered by the unjust climate change developments like increasing poverty, property loss, human displacements, and consequent terrorism.”
“The inevitable sea level rise would create mass movements of displaced migrants,” she said. “A new legal regime ensuring social, cultural and economic rehabilitation of climate migrants… must be put in place.” She noted that she had called for such a regime during the 64th session of the General Assembly three years ago.
Prime Minister Hasina stated that her country had managed to advance economically despite the obstacles before it, citing a 10 percent reduction in poverty, in addition to other favourable economic statistics. “Our achievements have earned us global recognition,” she said.
In her statement to the Assembly, the Bangladeshi premier also mentioned the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, terrorism and the need for UN reform.
Prime Minister Hasina is one of scores of world leaders and other high-level officials presenting their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance at the Assembly’s General Debate, which ends on 1 October.
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