Dhaka lends support to UN chief’s global ceasefire appeal

Bangladesh together with nine other countries has mobilised support in favour of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ global ceasefire appeal during the pandemic and handed over the ‘joint statement’ to him in a virtual ceremony in New York.

The appeal which was made on March 23 has been the high point of Secretary-General’s efforts in garnering political support for pandemic response.

The foreign ministry on Tuesday said Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative at the UN in New York Ambassador Rabab Fatima together with her counterparts of Ecuador, Egypt, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Oman, Senegal, Slovenia, and Sweden handed over the ‘joint statement’ in favour of the appeal to the UN chief in a virtual meeting on Monday.

The joint statement received the overwhelming endorsement by 172 UN Member States, Non-Member Observer States and Observers, which was the strongest yet political support that the Appeal has received so far, the foreign ministry said.

Bangladesh was among the first rank of countries to have endorsed the Appeal earlier through another platform.

“This Joint Statement, along with the Security Council Resolution 2532, among others, would strengthen your good offices role for bringing immediate end to hostilities in all conflict situations,” Ambassador Fatima told the UN Secretary-General at the handing over ceremony.

She said it sends “a strong and clear message of solidarity and compassion with those impacted by the hostilities amid the COVID-19 pandemic”.

“Your (UN chief’s) appeal has had important salutary effect on many conflict situations, yet, many are not paying heed and some are applying it selectively,” Ambassador Fatima said while praising the initiative.

She shared Bangladesh’s contribution to maintenance of international peace and security particularly through peacekeeping.

In his response, the UN chief termed the Joint Statement as “one of the best and most important endorsements to his Appeal in the UN” and thanked all the co-initiators for this.

While referring to some significant and successful impacts of the Appeal, he also admitted that much more remains to be done and implementation remains the key.

He stressed the importance of continued global solidarity and its expansion to other areas. This sentiment was also shared by the co-initiators, the foreign ministry said.