PM addresses press conference on her visit to Germany

Staff Reporter :: 31 Time View :
Update : Friday, February 23, 2024

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today addressed a press conference at her official Ganabhaban residence here this morning on her visit to Germany from February 16-18.

She read out a written speech at the beginning of the press conference. Following is the verbatim of her written speech: Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim Dear journalist brothers and sisters, Assalamu Alaikum. Good Morning.

I joined the 60th Munich Security Conference held on February 16-18, 2024 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Security Conference is mainly attended by heads of state/government, international organizations and NGO leaders, media, civil society, public and private sector top representatives. It is considered to be a high-level forum for regular discussion for the sake of contemporary and future security. More than 35 heads of state and government participated in this year’s forum.

Rivalry and regional conflict among super powers, economic security, nuclear security, food security, climate security, information security, water security, migration, supply chain, artificial intelligence, pandemic etc. were discussed in this forum.

On February 16, the first day of the visit, I joined a high-level panel discussion on “From Pocket to Planet: Scaling Up Climate Finance”. Special Envoy for Climate Change of the United States Government H.E. John Kerry, Prime Minister of Barbados H.E. Mia Amor Motley and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives H.E. Moosa Zameer were also present with me in the discussion.

I addressed the panel as the opening speaker. At the outset of the speech, I called for an immediate end to all ongoing wars in Gaza and other parts of the world, illegal occupation and inhumane killing of unarmed people, especially women and children.

I drew attention of all to the fact that the adverse effects of economic sanctions and counter-sanctions are felt far beyond the battlefield. In this regard, I urged all to make available and effective the necessary logistics and funding to face the risks of climate change by ending the meaningless arms race.

In the crisis of humanity’s existence, I upheld the harsh reality to everyone that trivial interests bring only misfortune. Thus, I called upon the international community to take immediate action to face the growing security risks posed by climate change.

I called upon the world to work together to seriously consider the funding needed to address the challenges posed by climate change. I put special emphasis on increasing funding for affected countries and populations, actual transfer of pledged funds, and ensuring financial and technical assistance to vulnerable countries to address the multiple security risks posed by climate change.

I called for the swift implementation of the political commitments of rich countries and urged all concerned to work together on the basis of mutual partnership and cooperation to address the global risk of climate change.

On this day, President and Founder of Women Political Leaders (WPL) Ms. Silvana Koch-Mehrin met me in my hotel suite. During the meeting, she congratulated me on being re-elected as Prime Minister and lauded the political empowerment of women in Bangladesh in the last decade and a half.

She invited me to attend the WPL Summit to be held in Athens on March 20, 2024 to receive WPL’s Trailblazer Award 2023 for outstanding contribution to women’s political empowerment. In the discussion, when I highlighted the policies of our government, especially relating to the political and economic empowerment of women, she commented that the western world should learn from the policies and activities of Bangladesh in this regard.

On the same day, I held a bilateral meeting with Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H.E. Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani. He congratulated me on my re-election as Prime Minister and expressed hope to further strengthen our bilateral relations. During the discussion, he assured of Qatar’s continued support for sustainable and quick solution to the Rohingya problem. Besides mutual trade and commerce, investment, LNG supply, etc were discussed. We also discussed the need to work together to end Israeli violence in the Gaza Strip.

Later, Senior Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships of the World Bank Mr. Axel Van Trotsenburge met me. In the context of the 50-year partnership between Bangladesh and the World Bank, I called for the speedy release of the US$ 500 million pledged by the World Bank as budget support in the current fiscal year in light of its contribution to include Bangladesh into the list of middle-income countries. I also thanked him for the US$ 700 million financial assistance provided to Bangladesh as a country affected by the adverse effect of Rohingya crisis and help the forcibly displaced Rohingya people.

He assured me that the World Bank’s assistance will continue in Bangladesh’s desired path to achieve the status of upper-middle-income and high-income country.

On the same day, the Director General of the World Health Organization H.E. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus met me. He lauded our achievements in Bangladesh’s health sector, especially in basic health care. He invited me to the upcoming World Health Assembly and requested me to inspire the rest of the world to follow Bangladesh’s Community Clinic Model.

During the meeting, I mentioned the steps taken by the current government in secondary and tertiary health care, vaccine production, anti-microbial resistance, nursing and human resource development in other health sectors and sought the assistance of the World Health Organization to this end.

The Director-General assured me of providing assistance on these issues and sought Bangladesh’s diplomatic support for the quick completion of the international agreement on pandemics.

On this day, Meta’s Global Affairs President and former UK Deputy Prime Minister Sir Nick Clegg also met me. He also congratulated me on being re-elected. He praised the role of the government in expansion of digital trade sector through the development of the digital sector of Bangladesh and the use of online platforms. I highlighted our success in achieving Digital Bangladesh and sought Meta’s cooperation in building “Smart Bangladesh” and information security issues. In this context, I drew his attention about the high number of personal and commercial users of different Meta platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and others in Bangladesh and recommended setting up an office of META in Bangladesh.

On the first day, I held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister of Denmark H.E. Mette Frederiksen. During the meeting, I extended my sincere thanks to her for congratulating me and our newly formed government.

During the discussion, she also assured me of her government’s continued humanitarian assistance to resolve the ongoing Rohingya issue. Besides, she also mentioned the growing interest of Danish companies in Bangladesh’s port infrastructure, renewable energy and ICT sectors.

In the morning of February 17, the second day of my visit, Prime Minister of the Netherlands H.E. Mark Rutte had a bilateral meeting with me. During the meeting, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands congratulated me on being re-elected as the Prime Minister. In the discussion, we both expressed our desire to deepen existing cooperation in the implementation of Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100, dissemination of knowledge-technology-innovation in agriculture and information technology sectors.

In the morning of the same day, I met Indian Foreign Minister H. E. Dr S Jaishankar. He greeted me on my reelection as the prime minister. During the meeting, we both expressed satisfaction over bilateral relations of the two friendly countries and agreed to the necessity of conducting trade in own currency of the two countries. He expressed to form the Bangladesh-India Five-Year Cooperation Roadmap of the new governments of the two countries after Indian general elections to be held in April/May next. During the meeting, we exchanged views on Myanmar and Middle East crisis too.

Afterwards, British Foreign Minister Rt Hon Lord Cameron met me. During the meeting, he greeted me on my reelection as the prime minister and informed me of the greeting sent by the British primer. This time, we discussed bilateral trade and investment, aviation partnership, migration, Rohingya crisis, wars going on in Ukraine and Gaza valley, and existing situation of Myanmar and Red sea.

On the same day, German Economic Cooperation and Development Minister H.E. Svenja Schulze called on me. During the meeting, we expressed to enhance bilateral cooperation on mutual trade and investment including EU’s GSP+ facility, German investment in Bangladesh’s renewable energy and information technology sectors and achievement of overall climate resilience.

On this day, Ukraine President H.E. Volodymyr Zelenskyy held a bilateral meeting with me. During the meeting, we expressed satisfaction over existing bilateral ties and expressed our interest to establish bilateral cooperation on the trade of wheat, edible oil and other agricultural goods. I requested him to find out effective ways to resolve the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict immediately. Besides, we exchanged views on the conflict going on in Gaza valley.

Later, I held a bilateral meeting with Azerbaijan President H.E. Ilham Aliyev. During the meeting, we greeted each other on our elections for the five times. We discussed bilateral trade, investment and cooperation on climate change. The Azerbaijan President expressed gratitude to me for my leadership in climate change issues and invited me to join COP29 to be held in Baku in November this year. During the meeting, we both expressed satisfaction over mutual cooperation on multilateral processes including the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

On the day, I held a bilateral meeting with German Chancellor H.E. Olaf Scholz. He greeted me on my reelection as the prime minister. During the meeting, we held a fruitful discussion on trade and investment, climate change, renewable energy and hydrogen technology and skilled migration issues. Besides, we exchanged views on ongoing wars in Ukraine and Gaza strip and I requested him to find effective solution to bring an end to these conflicts immediately.

Also, on February 16, I joined a civic reception ceremony arranged by German Awami League and on February 19, I exchanged views with the leaders of expatriate Awami League of different European countries.

Due to my fruitful tour to Munich, the Bangladesh’s bold commitment to peace, sovereignty and overall security was reflected before the world.

The political and socioeconomic emancipation is established based on the power of policy, not based on size of a country, and I presented this message before the world in this year’s conference. Besides, through the bilateral meetings, the continuation of our relations has been strengthened with the friendly countries and international organisations and the new horizon of cooperation has been opened.

Thank you all.

Joy Bangla. Joy Bangabandhu.

May Bangladesh live forever.

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