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When 3 Bangladeshi women took center stage at UNGA

  • Published at 12:15 pm September 25th, 2021
Hasina - UN - New York - Reuters
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrives to speak at the UN General Assembly 76th session General Debate in UNGA Hall at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, US on September 24, 2021 Reuters

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed a six-point proposal highlighting vaccine equity, sustainable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic

The 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly has brought a rare occasion for Bangladesh, an instance of the growing presence of women in positions of leadership.

When Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's turn came to deliver her speech for the 17th time at the UNGA in Bangla, it was Ambassador Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN, who was chairing the session. Hence the PM was introduced and invited to the podium by Rabab Fatima.

And Mosammat Shahanara Monica, a Foreign Ministry official, currently Counsellor at Bangladesh Permanent Mission at UN, was the third woman conveying the message of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the English-speaking world.

Earlier, Bangladesh, a flag bearer of multilateralism, was elected as a vice president of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) from the Asia-Pacific Region for a one-year term starting September this year.

In her speech, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed a six-point proposal highlighting vaccine equity, sustainable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, addressing climate challenges and a renewed call for a solution to the Rohingya crisis. 

She said the international community must work constructively for a permanent solution to the crisis through the safe, sustainable, and dignified return of the Rohingyas to their home in the Rakhine State of Myanmar.

"It was an honour and privilege to chair the session," Rabab Fatima said. 

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam were present at the General Assembly Hall. 

Talking to UNB, Ambassador and Permanent Observer of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to the European Union Ismat Jahan shared another proud moment that came during the 15th Summit Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt in July, 2009.

All participating delegations, during the Summit, were commenting on Bangladesh's women empowerment – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the then Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni (now Education Minister) and the then Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ismat Jahan.

“We felt very proud then and we also feel proud today,” said Ismat, the first woman PR of Bangladesh to the UN and first Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.