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Bangladesh’s stand on nuke-free world ‘unwavering’

Published : 23 Jan 2021 09:51 PM | Updated : 24 Jan 2021 12:57 AM

Bangladesh’s commitment to a nuclear free world is “total and unwavering”, reiterates the country’s envoy to the UN at celebration marking the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons’ (TPNW).

Bangladesh joined the international community to celebrate the Treaty at a virtual event simultaneously held in New York, Geneva and Vienna.

In her address to the commemorative event organised by several UN Member States, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York Rabab Fatima reiterated the clarion call made by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahmanat his historic maiden address to the UN General Assembly in 1974, “to free the world from the scourges of nuclear war.”

Ambassador Fatima said that it was from that unwavering constitutional commitment that Bangladesh was among the first 50 countries to join this historic treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. 

She said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been a strong global voice and advocate for nuclear disarmament, and led efforts to be one of the first signatories of the Treaty.  Bangladesh signed the Treaty on 20 September 2017; and ratified it on 26 September 2019.

Recognizing the dehumanizing and devastating consequences of nuclear weapons, Ambassador Fatima called upon States that are yet to join, to do so, to attain universal application of this Treaty.

Echoing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s call for ‘peaceful use of nuclear technology’, Ambassador Fatima called for increased investment in research of nuclear technology for their peaceful use for the benefit of humankind. 

She also called for continued global efforts to raise awareness against nuclear weapons, for a peaceful and nuclear weapons free world. Bangladesh, she said, would remain committed to reach that goal. 

Ambassador Fatima paid rich tribute to the ‘Hibakushas’, the survivors and victims of atomic bombings and contamination, and the generations of activists, whose tireless efforts raised awareness about the devastating impacts of nuclear weapons, which finally led to the adoption of this landmark nuclear ban treaty.

The Treaty is the first legally binding international agreement to prohibit signatory states from developing, testing, producing, stockpiling, stationing, transferring, and using or threatening to use nuclear arms.

The Treaty has so far been signed by 86 countries and ratified by 51 countries.

The Treaty came into force on 22 January 2021 after 90 days of deposition of Honduras' instrument of ratification with the UN Secretary-General on 24 October 2020.

The event was co-organised by the Missions of Austria, Brazil, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria, New Zealand, South Africa and Thailand. Among others, the heads of the International Committee of Red Cross and International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons also spoke at the event.

UN Secretary General Antoni Guterres sent a video message for the event.