Both UK and Bangladesh reiterate their commitment to the goal of safe, voluntary, dignified, and informed returns of Rohingyas to Myanmar during the dialogue
Bangladesh and the United Kingdom (UK) have reiterated the urgent need for all countries to take ambitious action to combat climate change.
The UK as President-Designate of COP26, and Bangladesh, as Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, pledged to use their leadership roles to raise global ambition on climate action, according to a communique issued on Monday.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued the communique based on the recently held Strategic Dialogue between Bangladesh and the UK.
The UK commended Bangladesh’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strongly encouraged further leadership in the coming years on a low carbon development pathway.
The UK recalled its priority encouraging all countries to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Bangladesh welcomed the UK’s actions to secure international climate finance from all sources, noting this was essential for climate-vulnerable countries like Bangladesh, and for preserving critical ecosystems such as the Sundarbans mangrove forest.
Both countries expressed appreciation for the UK-Bangladesh Climate Partnership, launched in January 2020, which facilitated the exchange of expertise and whole-of-society engagement.
They said they look forward to strengthening this partnership through concrete actions.
Recalling atrocities committed against the Rohingya people by the Myanmar military in Rakhine State in August 2017, the UK commended Bangladesh for continuing to accommodate over one million Rohingya.
The UK and Bangladesh noted that this population placed a significant burden on Bangladesh, particularly for communities living adjacent to camps.
The UK and Bangladesh reiterated their commitment to the goal of safe, voluntary, dignified, and informed returns to Myanmar as soon as the situation allows.
Both countries acknowledged that the military coup in Myanmar has further complicated the situation. Both countries committed to working with the international community, including ASEAN and the UN, to resolve the crisis.
Both countries recalled the Conference on Sustaining Support for the Rohingya Refugee Response, co-hosted by the UK, US, EU and UN in October 2020.
The UK stressed the need to focus on Rohingyas’ well-being, and noted that access to education and livelihoods would help prepare the Rohingya for return to Myanmar and to live more fulfilling lives while in Bangladesh.
The UK committed to continuing work towards a political solution to the crisis that would enable Rohingya to return to Myanmar when it was safe to do so.
The UK and Bangladesh agreed to explore the option of a high-level meeting that provides an opportunity for the regional and international community to discuss a collective approach to durable solutions, noting the need for international pressure on Myanmar and for support to the humanitarian response.
Both countries reaffirmed their support for the Commonwealth and for commitments made by leaders at the 2018 Heads of Government Meeting.
Both countries highlighted their commitment to shared Commonwealth values including human rights, democracy, the rule of law, sustainable development, environment, gender equality and women’s empowerment, education and health, and international peace and security, as set out in the Commonwealth Charter.
The UK acknowledged Bangladesh’s commitment to protecting the oceans by tackling marine plastics via membership of the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance. Bangladesh proposed exploring opportunities for promoting the Blue Charter Initiative.
The UK congratulated Bangladesh on being recommended by the United Nations to graduate from its Least Developed Countries category in 2026.
The UK reiterated its commitment to support Bangladesh achieve a smooth and successful graduation and continue its export-led growth by providing duty-free, quota free access to the UK market until 2029.
The UK committed to work with Bangladesh to deliver free and fair trade by improving the functioning of the WTO and modernising global trade rules.
The UK, as the second largest cumulative investor in Bangladesh, welcomed the inauguration of the UK-Bangladesh Trade & Investment Dialogue in February 2021.
The UK hoped that the Dialogue, especially improvements to the business environment and tackling market access barriers, would promote free and fair trade between the UK and Bangladesh and help UK companies realise the potential of Bangladesh’s impressive economic growth, to the benefit of both countries’ prosperity.
The UK noted the potential role of the City of London in helping Bangladesh raise the private capital required to fund the next stage of growth.
Both countries agreed a dialogue on the future shape of their development partnership as Bangladesh consolidates middle income status.
Bangladesh welcomed the UK’s support in areas such as knowledge, innovation, and skill development, enhanced co-operation between British and Bangladeshi universities, and in harnessing the Blue Economy.
In light of the pandemic, both countries agreed to collaborate more actively so that Bangladesh continues progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
This would include new and ongoing UK technical assistance and programmatic interventions to support the economic recovery and trade capacity building, improve learning outcomes in primary and secondary education, strengthen public health services, and tackle the climate change crisis.
The UK welcomed Bangladesh’s ambitious 8th Five-Year Plan and its prioritisation of recovery from the pandemic and highlighted the need for progress on development, including on poverty reduction, youth and female employment, and malnutrition.
The UK stressed the importance of Bangladesh putting in place economic policies and systems to achieve its ambition of rapid, sustainable and green economic development; and pledged its ongoing cooperation.
Bangladesh expressed interest in connectivity cooperation including for climate resilience and environmentally friendly infrastructure.
Dhaka and London also agreed to observe the 50 years of the establishment of their diplomatic relations in a befitting manner, including through exchange of visits at the highest political level.
Bangladesh welcomed the UK’s ‘BritBanglaBondhon’ initiative and expressed interest in jointly organising events involving the peoples of both countries.
The two countries also discussed possibilities for enhancing sport cooperation and cultural exchanges.