Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaking at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit. Photo: Collected
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said world leaders must commit to settle all the international disputes and prevent conflicts to ensure global peace which is eluding.
They also must fight emerging global challenges like terrorism through stopping the flow of financing to the terrorists, and the source of supply of arms to the terrorists and their outfits, she said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit organised at the General Assembly Hall of the UN Headquarters on Monday, marking the 100th birth anniversary of anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela.
Sheikh Hasina also called for strengthening cooperation to achieve sustainable development goals, promote tolerance, preserve diversity, and protect the religious and ethnic minorities from discrimination and exploitation.
She urged the world leaders to fight climate change and build upon resilience, promote and protect human rights in any circumstances and nurture the culture of peace and non-violence. “Yet, peace is eluding us. Conflicts are far from being resolved. Human rights and fundamental freedoms, which leaders like Mandela fought for, are yet to be secured. People in many parts of the world are suffering from hunger and malnourishment.”
Mentioning that racism, populism and intolerance are on the rise, the Prime Minister said people in many societies are facing discrimination, forced displacement, torture and even genocide due to their ethnic and religious identity.
She cited the plight of over one million Rohingya who have taken shelter in Bangladesh to evade ethnic cleansing in Myanmar.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has committed to global peace since its independence in 1971. “Bangladeshi peacekeepers are saving lives in many parts of the world.”
She said Bangladesh cooperates with the international community in sustaining peace through prevention of conflict, development and promotion of human rights. “Bangladesh has introduced the culture of peace resolution in the UN General Assembly since two decades.”
Talking about the Agenda 2030 adopted by the international community in 2015 after successful implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, the Prime Minister said the agenda for sustainable development encompasses aspects of human life -– from hunger to inequality. “The vision of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to establish peace has guided us all along,” she said.
“Our investment in poverty alleviation, public health and education has allowed us to ensure wellbeing of our people and reduce inequality. We have created opportunities for individuals through innovative means and thus established peace through socio-economic development,” she said.
Talking about Nelson Mandela, she said he began his political life as a leader of his people to fight apartheid in South Africa. Later, with his sacrifice, dedication, compassion for people, he became the undisputed leader of the humanity. “Peace, freedom and unity have been his life-long mantra.”
Like Nelson Mandela, the Prime Minister said, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman too liberated Bangalees from the oppressors and gave them freedom. “They both spent major parts of their life in prison, fighting for their people.”
She mentioned that Bangabandhu was sent to jail time and again from 1948 to 1971 and while in prison he wrote diaries and a number of books. “The biography ‘Unfinished Memoires’ and ‘Prison Diary’ written by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman have recorded his struggle for peace and a just life for his people, like the ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ by Nelson Mandela.”
Sheikh Hasina urged all to work together to achieve his dream and let him rest in peace.