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Bangabandhu’s historic UNGA speech hailed in London

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Staff Reporter
The historic speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the 29th UNGA has received high tribute at a commemorative event jointly organised by Bangladesh High Commission and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen spoke as the chief guest while Bangladesh high commissioner to the UK Saida Muna Tasneemm who is also Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative to the IMO presided over the discussion on Friday, a press release said today.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim spoke as the guest of honour while Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland QC addressed the occasion as the special guest.
Forty-six years ago on 25 September in 1974, Dr Momen said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman delivered his maiden speech in his native Bengali language at the 29th UNGA, placing multilateralism and global peace and prosperity at the centre of his foreign policy.
“Forty-six years later as humanity faces the world’s greatest pandemic, Bangladesh, led by Bangabandhu’s visionary daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina continues to pursue her father’s foreign policy placing our faith in the United Nations to overcome the contemporary global challenges.”
Tasneem said Bangabandhu’s maiden speech at the UNGA continues to remain the “Magna Carta’ of Bangladesh’s multilateral diplomatic principles and practices that stand on the pillars of international peace and security and peaceful co-existence.
The Bangladesh envoy expressed her deep sympathy for nearly 8,000 seafarers around the world including Bangladesh’s seafarers who are currently stranded at sea due to Covid pandemic and urged upon IMO member states to grant access to Bangladesh’s seafarers to come onshore to be repatriated to their home country.
Congratulating the people of Bangladesh on the birth centenary of Bangabandhu, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dedicated his life to peace, freedom and justice of people of Bangladesh.
He also lauded the leadership of Sheikh Hasina for building a strong maritime capability and credentials of Bangladesh since his joining the IMO.
Recalling Bangabandhu’s participation at the 1973 and 1975 Commonwealth summits, Commonwealth Secretary-General said the Commonwealth takes pride in the fact that it was the first international organisation that has embraced Bangabandhu and Bangladesh’s membership in 1972.
Chief Executive of UK National Commission for UNESCO James Bridge termed Bangabandhu’s UN speech as a historic record of enormous diplomacy between 1972 and 1974 to secure universal recognition for his newly independent country at the UN.
He also paid a tribute to Bangabandhu’s historic 7th March speech that the UNESCO has included as the world’s documentary heritage.
High Commissioners and Ambassadors who are Permanent Representatives to the IMO from India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and St Kitts & Nevis and senior officials from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (UKFDO) and Chief Executive of UK National Commission for UNESCO spoke at the event, also participated by a large number of expatriate Bangladeshis from the UK and Ireland.