President M Abdul Hamid called upon all to shun the path of divisions, join hands and walk together on the path of peace as he opened the "World Peace Conference-2021", highlighting Bangladesh's "untiring quest" for building a peaceful, just, rights-based, inclusive and prosperous nation.
"We cherish peace with great affection . . . And we are committed to attain, sustain, promote and strengthen peace at all costs," he told the peace conference at a city hotel on Saturday afternoon.
In line with the country's Constitutional obligations, Bangladesh believes that peace around the world is the best guarantee for the national security and "we would continue our efforts to resolving conflicts through peaceful means and promote peace across the globe."
Bangladesh is hosting the two-day 'World Peace Conference' here as part of celebrations of twin historic mega events - - the Mujib Year, the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh's Independence.
Organized by the ministry of foreign affairs, as many as 50 countries' representatives belonging to global think tanks, writers, poets, singers and political personalities are attending from both virtually and in person here.
Noting that now-a-days the world is facing with numerous challenges, like fatal COVID-19 pandemic and conflicts, Abdul Hamid said, "Unless we are united and ensure mutual peace and harmony, we will not be able to secure a safe and habitable world for our children and future generations which is already grappling with adverse effects of climate change."
The head of the state called for ending discriminations based on race, faith, color, religion and ethnicity, and ensure equal opportunity for all.
Being human being in a shared planet, Abdul Hamid said people have also shared responsibilities here and a fair international system is also essential for all the peoples of the world.
"We consider peace to be the crucial importance all over the world . ... Maintenance of peace and harmony are essential elements of our life as peace guarantees freedom from violence or fear between individuals or groups," he observed.
Terming the 'World Peace Conference' in Dhaka as a fitting tribute to all the peace-loving people in the world, the President said, "If we can do anything to promote peace anywhere in the world, we would be happy to render our services. We are for peace all the time and are so without any preconditions."
Referring to the birth of Bangladesh before 50 years, he said Bangladesh emerged as an independent state by dint of supreme sacrifice of about three million people under the leadership of founding Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in this December in 1971.
Soon after the independence, Bangabandhu, a fervent advocate of peace, introduced a constitution that guarantees basic human rights of all its citizens, ensures promotion of international peace, security, and solidarity, he said mentioning Bangladesh's foreign policy "Friendship to all, malice towards none".
As recognition of Bangabandhu's contribution to establishing peace, President Hamid mentioned that the World Peace Council awarded Julio-Curie Peace Prize to Bangabandhu in 1973 for being a symbol of world peace.
"The Father of the Nation Bangabandhu (Friends of Bengal) turned into Bishwabandhu (Friends of the World)," Hamid mentioned.
The President said at the UN General Assembly in 1974, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman outlined his vision for building peaceful, just and inclusive societies around the world and highlighted how global inequities and injustices are the real threats to international peace.
"Our total commitment to peace is born of the realization that only an environment of peace would enable us to enjoy the hard-earned fruits of our national independence and to mobilize and concentrate all our energies and resources in combating the scourges of poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy and unemployment," he added.
At the outset of the speech, the President paid profound respect to the greatest Bangali of all time Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, four national leaders and valiant freedom fighters and foreign friends, who made their supreme sacrifice for the sake of the 1971 Liberation War and all other democratic movement.
Peace Conference organizing committee president and Bangladesh Parliament Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury chaired the inaugural session.
Six guests speakers - Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former President of Timor-Leste Nobel Laureates Jose Ramos-Horta, Politician and former Indian Minister for Civil Aviation, Railways, Commerce and Industry Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, former Foreign Minister for Egypt and former Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, former Chairman of the World Islamic Economic Forum Foundation and Former Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Home Affairs and Defense of Malaysia Tan Sri Dato Seri Syed Hamid Albar and UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Prevention of Genocide Alice Wairimu Nderitu, also virtually and in person spoke at the inaugural session.
Besides, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Foreign Ministry's Senior Secretary Masud bib Momen also spoke there.