A new paradigm is needed to address inequality in a holistic manner, says Sheikh Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday called for eliminating "vaccine divides" between the rich and the poor as she placed a six-point proposal joining a high-level talk of the United Nations (UN).
"Firstly, the most urgent call of the hour is to eliminate ‘vaccines divides’ between the rich and the poor," she said in a pre-recorded speech aired in the talk titled "Delivering the UN Common Agenda: Action to Achieve Equality and Inclusion."
The prime minister, in her second proposal, said: "We need a new paradigm that will address inequality in a holistic manner."
It has deep relations with the SDGs, such as poverty, hunger, gender equality, health, education and job creation, she added.
The prime minister thirdly said: "We must address the special financing needs of the most vulnerable countries, which include the LDCs, climate vulnerable countries, and more."
In the fourth proposal, Sheikh Hasina said that it is imperative to address the vulnerabilities of migrants and people on the move.
The prime minister in her fifth proposal said: "We need to bridge the stark ‘digital divides’ to ensure equal opportunities for all in this evolving digital age."
Finally, she said: "We must create more opportunities for women and girls to act as real change makers in our societies."
Expressing her concern, Sheikh Hasina said that the secretary general's Report on "Our Common Agenda" provides an alarming picture of the growing inequality across the world.
The prime minister said that the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the poorest and the most vulnerable countries the hardest.
"Our decades of development on reducing poverty, inequality and exclusion are rapidly lapsing back," she added.
The premier thanked the presidents of Costa Rica, Sierra Leone, Spain, and the prime minister of Sweden for inviting her to this high-level event, saying: "I appreciate its focus on the UN Common Agenda to achieve equality and inclusion."
She told the world that the Constitution of Bangladesh ensures "Equality of opportunity to all citizens."
The prime minister said: "Our Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in his maiden speech at the UNGA in 1974 said, ‘there is an international responsibility... to ensuring everyone the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family’."
This vision is more relevant now than ever before, she opined.
In line with this very spirit, she said: "We have adopted a 'whole society' approach in realizing the SDGs and ensuring a Covid-19 recovery that will leave no one behind.”
"We have placed the most vulnerable section of our society at the centre of our efforts. And that includes, women, the ultra-poor, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups," the prime minister said.
She said no single country can tackle this crisis alone. "We need bold and concrete actions at global level. We need multilateral cooperation to fulfill our promises of UN75 Declaration to build a more equal and inclusive world," she added.