No one is safe until everyone is safe: Hasina

A sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects will never be possible without multilateral efforts at the global level, Sheikh Hasina has said.
The prime minister highlighted the threats posed by a ‘recent trend of protectionism and xenophobia in some countries’ in ending the pandemic at a virtual event organised by Spain on Tuesday.

Pedro Sánchez, prime minister of Spain, and Stefan Löfven, prime minister of Sweden, also joined the event titled “Call for Action to reinforce multilateralism”.

Bangladesh’s GDP registered a 5.24 percent growth in 2019-20 fiscal year despite the pandemic thanks to the allocation of $14.14 billion, or 4.3 percent of the GDP, by the government to protect livelihoods, Hasina said.

“However, unless a multilateral effort is undertaken at the global level, global recovery will not commence and will never be sustainable.

“The recent trend of protectionism and xenophobia in some countries may bring further sufferings for the innocent people and adversely impact the peaceful multilateral environment,” she said.

She urged the global leaders to guard against “this type of activities which are detrimental to international peace, security and global development”.

“In today’s globalised world, constructive multilateralism is not an option; it is the only way-out for a rules-based international order and common progress of humankind,” Hasina said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder that no one is safe until everyone is safe,” she said.

In order to reduce inequality, eradicate poverty and protect our planet by reducing carbon emissions, all the countries need to work together and reinforce multilateral efforts, the prime minister said.

Hasina said that multilateralism is at the core to face today’s unique challenges caused by COVID-19. “The significance of multilateral cooperation is now more evident than ever due to the current global pandemic,” she said.

She said world leaders laid emphasis on shared responsibility and collective efforts for unified prosperity in the Political Declaration adopted on Sept 21 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN. The adaptation of the declaration also aims to advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement

“However, to achieve the benefits out of these international instruments and understanding, strong multilateralism is required,” Hasina said.

She noted that the spirit of multilateralism and international cooperation is enshrined in Bangladesh’s constitution, which states: “We may prosper in freedom and may make our full contribution towards international peace and cooperation in keeping with the progressive aspirations of mankind.”

Bangladesh is a flag bearer of multilateralism and strongly pursues international peace and security by its high presence in the UN Peacekeeping and peacebuilding process. We have adopted the ‘whole of the society’ approach in realising the SDGs, she said.

“We are equally committed to implementing the Paris Agreement. As such, Bangladesh has been honoured to be chosen to lead the 48-member Climate Vulnerable Forum for the second time. We have also qualified to be graduated from LDC status in which the UN system played a crucial role.

“It reflects our commitment and trust in multilateralism,” the prime minister said

“COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that global prosperity is embedded in collective actions, unity and international cooperation. History proves that any deviation from this united approach will only bring disastrous effects for the humankind,” she added.