While the world is changing - for better or worse or for both - Bangladesh is also changing. Once it was known as a basket case full of hunger and poverty. Whatever, good news is, it's a vibrant economy; hunger and poverty becoming a thing of the past and it is now a land of opportunities. It is becoming the world's 25 th largest economy soon.

Bangladesh, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has taken decisions which have brought the country to this level today and Bangladesh stands ready to face what is coming tomorrow.

"We have proven the basket-case pundits wrong by a wide margin and yet - on a daily basis - we face doomsday oracles which threaten to send us back in time. We have chosen to push forward and that is why I am here. Today, on the eve of the inauguration of the Padma Bridge just a week away - a milestone in our pathway of courage and conviction in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges and even audacity of a cold, cruel opposition - we ought to be aware of who we are and who we wish to be," says foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.

He says Bangladesh is the name for courage, conviction, inspiration and a land of opportunity.

"We continuously study the international events and actors and we are ready to engage with everyone who wishes us no harm and who would not wish to use our resources for launching offensive agenda of their own," Momen said while was addressing a hybrid seminar on "Changing Global Order: Securing Bangladesh's National Interest" organized by Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) in the city on June 16.

The foreign minister said they believe in 'reasoning by first principle' and believe in partnerships for mutual economic benefits."That's how we envision and leverage our sovereign national interests. I believe that the strategic location, the rich demographic dividend and a strong domestic market make us an important player on the chessboard and our choices make us a pivot and a pole both."

The foreign minister said they believe, as Bangabandhu believed, "peace is imperative for economic development" and let Bangladesh emit the gospel of peace and stability across nations.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by giving shelter to 1.1 million persecuted ethnic minorities of Myanmar has again set an example in the world that "humanity is above all". "Let us applaud Sheikh Hasina."

Momen said Bangladesh is a country of resilience and its people are defenders of high moral grounds. "From the time of the War of Independence to the pandemic, from flood to drought, we have shown our courage, our resiliency and we fought valiantly."

He said they are a nation that the Almighty blessed abundantly with natural resources. "Whatever happens, whatever comes in our path in the future, Bangabandhu's Golden Bengal will come alive and none can suppress us."

Momen also said, "We will sustain. We will prosper with pride and with honour."

BIISS Chairman Ambassador Kazi Imtiaz Hossain chaired the inaugural session and BIISS Director General Major General Mohammad Maksudur Rahman delivered the welcome remarks.

Maksudur Rahman highlighted the uncertainties related to the changing nature of global order and focused on the importance of balancing the emerging realities and enhancing cooperation by minimizing competition among the great powers.

Despite uncertainties due to the changing global order, he said, Bangladesh has maintained a policy of mutual respect and non-interference and nurtured friendly relations with the global community through its principle of "friendship to all, enmity to none".

He further added that even though Bangladesh is maintaining a good balance, the country needs to monitor international changes carefully so that it can meet new challenges that may arise due to the shift in the global order.

Ambassador Imtiaz Hossain said due to the changing global order, Bangladesh needs to establish its goals while keeping in mind its basic national interests, including stable economic growth and development of the country.

Furthermore, he added that given such a shift in the global order, ensuring the export driven-market and retaining remittance flow needs to be given utmost priority.

Imtiaz Hossain said Bangladesh must make the best policy choices to ensure food and environmental security, including increasing domestic food production and playing a more significant role in battling climate change.

Former foreign secretary Shamsher M. Chowdhury chaired the working session and delivered his remarks.

Dr. Rashed Uz Zaman, Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, presented on "Transitions in International Order: South Asian Perspective", Dr. Nazneen Ahmed, Country Economist and Head of Policy and Strategic Advisory Unit, UNDP, Bangladesh presented on "Bangladesh's LDC Graduation in Shifting World Order: Opportunities and Challenges", Dr. Razia Sultana, Research Fellow, BIISS, presented on "Putting the National Interest First: Bangladesh's Position in Changing Global Scenario", and ASM Tarek Hassan Semul, Research Fellow, BIISS, presented on "Emerging Constellations in the Indo-Pacific: Bangladesh's Foreign Policy Predicaments".

Senior officials from different government ministries, members of diplomatic community, former ambassadors, senior military officials, media, academia, researchers, faculties and students from different universities, and representatives from various international organizations participated in the seminar and they shared their insights in the open discussion session.

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts