PM urges IPU leaders to fight poverty, militancy
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called upon IPU leaders to work together against all social disparities like poverty and malnutrition along with the vices of militancy and terrorism to make the world an abode of mutual compassion and fraternity, reports BSS.
“The world, no doubt, is moving forward, and visible progress has also been made in hunger situation. But, nearly 800 million people still suffer from malnutrition,” she said calling for fighting together against terrorism and militancy as the vices posed threat to push back the world to the dark age.
The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating the 136th Assembly of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) at the South Plaza of the Jatiya Sangsad here.
As the Prime Minister of a nation, awfully affected by climate change, Sheikh Hasina urged the top polluters to meet without delay their commitments made in different forums for carbon offsetting.
Sheikh Hasina said a large number of children of the developing nations suffer from stunted growth owing to lack of nutrition.
They are deprived of healthcare and schooling. But the earth is filled with enough resources for survival of mankind. A little sympathy, support, mutual compassion and fraternity can make the globe hunger-free easily,” she said.
Terming terrorism and militancy as the new vices for humanity, she said the menaces are costing human lives, and peace is seriously impeded. “We have to fight this menaces together; otherwise, we would be pushed back to the Dark Age,” she said.
Bangladesh for the first time after joining the IPU in 1972, is hosting the IPU Assembly being attended by about 1400 delegates including 53 speakers, deputy speakers and 209 women parliamentarians from 120 countries.
IPU, a forum of world’s legislators, is a focal point for world-wide parliamentary dialogue for peace, development, and co-operation among peoples, and for the safeguard of representative democracy.
The five-day assembly is being held in Dhaka with theme- ‘Redressing Inequalities: Delivering on Dignity and Well being for all.” Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Children’s Rights Activist Kailash Satyarthi will present the keynote paper of the conference on the topic.
Welcoming the delegates of the conference to Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said she was deeply honoured for the opportunity to inaugurate the IPU conference. “Hosting of the conference is a matter of great honour for us,” she said adding that Bangladesh values its association with IPU and is proud of its democratic heritage.
“It is indeed a matter of pride for us. This is also a testimony by the honourable Members of Parliament across the world towards our commitment to democratic practices and values,” she noted.
Speaker Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, Chairperson of IPU Saber Hossain Chowdhury and Secretary General Martin Chungong also spoke on the occasion.
A message from the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres was read out at the inaugural function by UN Assistant Secretary General Mirsolav Jenca.
Pointing out the long struggle of the people of Bangladesh for independence and democracy during pre and post independence period, the Prime Minister said democracy is viewed as a means of ensuring prosperity and security for our people. However, the journey of establishing democracy in Bangladesh was never a smooth one, she said.
“Our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had struggled lifelong for realizing the people’s rights and establishing democracy. For this, Bangabandhu had to suffer inhuman repression and persecution in 1950s and 1960s,” she said.
In 1970, Sheikh Hasina said, Awami League, under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, won the general elections in the then Pakistan. Instead of transferring power to the people’s representatives, the Pakistani rulers imposed an uneven war on the innocent Bangalees.
Pakistani rulers unleashed one of the cruelest genocides of the human history on March 25, 1971 in the name of Operation Searchlight. Bangabandhu declared independence of Bangladesh on March 26, 1971, she said.