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Shahriar: Effective, equally accessible vaccine will help world return to new normal

  • Published at 01:58 pm January 22nd, 2021
M Shahriar Alam
File photo of State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar AlamCourtesy

The state minister also sought cooperation from the international community to resolve the Rohingya crisis

State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam has expressed hope that an effective and safe Covid-19 vaccine will be equally available across the world in order to return to the "new normal".

He made the remarks virtually at the 17th Ministerial Meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) on Thursday, where the member states of ACD were also present.

The state minister appreciated WHO’s move to declare 2021 as the International Year of Health and Care Workers (YHCW) at the 73rd World Health Assembly and Qatar's offer to host the long-awaited third ACD Summit in 2021.

He urged the member states of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) to improve world trade by developing a secure and reliable supply chain with the help of the World Trade Organization.

"Bangladesh is keen to provide all possible assistance to strengthen the ACD secretariat as well as to appoint diplomats in the future," Shahriar said.

He also sought cooperation from the international community to resolve the Rohingya crisis. 

He said: “We're still grappling to arrange accommodation for around 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingya people. Bangladesh expressed her deep political will and sincere commitment to settle the Rohingya crisis through bilateral and multilateral approach.”

“Two centuries ago, the world abolished slavery by the power of humanity. We hope that genocide will never happen again. So, it'll only require our true willingness to stop all kinds of misanthropic activities such as terrorism, genocide and all sorts of violence,” he added.

Tourism sector

While talking about the tourism sector, the state minister said: “According to a report, the total loss of the tourism sector of Bangladesh is around $2,000 million at the end of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The government is paying special attention to the tourism sector by making special allocation in the budget of FY 2020-21 to recover the losses of the tourism sector”.

The state minister also said that Bangladesh has a host of natural treasures such as beaches, lakes, rivers, hills and forests that offer significant value for tourist attractions. During winter, Bangladesh becomes a charming place for migratory birds.

Chittagong Hill Tracts with its scenic waterfalls and green hills, the world's longest uninterrupted sandy Cox's Bazar sea beach and Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest, are the most popular tourist attractions in Bangladesh.

The state minister furthermore said that plenty of habitats for migratory and seasonal birds have made our country a paradise for ornithologists and nature lovers. Obviously, these geographical facts and features have established Bangladesh as a desirable destination for tourists around the world.

Bangladesh is also rich in handicrafts and the readymade apparel industry. Jamdani, a flagship of Bangladeshi traditional handicraft, was recognised as intangible cultural heritage by Unesco in 2013 due to its special characteristics, quality and reputation. Jamdani is one of the surviving ancient patterns of legendary Muslin.

“There's a saying that the Muslin woven in Bangladesh is so soft and fine that six yards of the fabric could pass through a single ring of the index finger! During the 18th century, Muslin was highly popular in Europe and the Middle East”, said the state minister.

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