Bangladesh premier to attend UN General Assembly session

Attribution: Wikimedia Commons

Sheikh Hasina to go on 2-week foreign tour Friday for 1st time since global pandemic hit South Asian nation last March

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) – The Bangladeshi prime minister is scheduled to leave for New York on a two-week tour on Friday to attend the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session, according to a source in the Foreign Ministry.

This will be Sheikh Hasina’s first foreign visit since the South Asian nation was hit by the coronavirus pandemic in March last year.

The 193-member platform kicked off its 76th General Assembly on Sept. 14, which will continue till Sept. 30 with the high-level general debate beginning on Sept. 21.

The General Assembly’s new president, Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives, who has replaced Turkish top diplomat and former UN President Volkan Bozkir, opened the new session.

Hasina will first go to Helsinki, Finland, and after her stay there for two days, she will fly to New York on Sunday, the source said. After the UNGA session, she is expected to have meetings in the US capital Washington.

On the opening day of the assembly, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underlined the COVID-19 pandemic as “the most challenging period the world has seen since the Second World War.”

He also credited the outgoing Turkish diplomat and politician for prioritizing a sustainable recovery, rooted in the 2030 Agenda, and supporting countries and communities as they rebuild systems shattered by the pandemic, according to a UN statement.

Before stepping down, Bozkir made a series of recommendations that ranged from strengthening the assembly to realigning “a serious mismatch in the way this organization treats its employees and the world’s highest political office.”

Referring to the prevailing global pandemic as a “collective anxiety,” the new UN president said: “We are aware of their (world people) plight… are listening … and are willing to work together to overcome problems.”

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