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Bangladesh expects ‘objective appreciation’ from UN rights chief visit

Michelle Bachelet arrives today for a 4-day trip

Published : 13 Aug 2022 11:45 PM

Bangladesh hopes to benefit from an “objective appreciation” of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet regarding the achievements of the country, despite challenges, the foreign ministry said.

 The government issued a statement ahead of her scheduled visit to Bangladesh from August 14 to17.

“The government of Bangladesh warmly welcomes this first ever visit of any UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“Bangladesh has been closely working with the UN in the field of human rights; and this visit would be an important occasion to highlight Bangladesh’s national perspective and the Government’s sincere efforts to protect and promote human rights of the people, including through updating domestic legal framework, creating awareness and sensitizing the implementing agencies,” read the statement. 

“This is indeed important that the national context, in particular the economic development amidst the pandemic and other evolving crises, the maintenance of peace and security of the people, and constraints like the Rohingya crisis and the adverse effect of climate change, are taken into due consideration in assessing the human rights situation of the country.

“The visiting UN High Commissioner remains well aware of the plethora of achievements of Bangladesh in the human rights domain, including through the treaty-body reportings as well as through other mechanisms.

“Apart from her meetings with the Cabinet Members of the government, she will interact with the National Human Rights Commission, youth representatives, CSO leaders and the academia during her tour in Dhaka.

“She would also pay homage to Bangabandhu Memorial Museum on 15 August. 

“Bangladesh strongly hopes that the Chief of UN human rights mechanism would witness by herself how the country is doing miracles to keep on track their development journey; integrating human rights into it.

“Despite the ongoing pandemic, no one in the country has died of starvation.

“Bangladesh, a country of 165 million, could afford to provide almost a million homes to the homeless. Over 10 million families are receiving basic food and essential supplies under its social security protection program 

“Indeed, Bangladesh is promoting basic human rights like right to food, right to accommodation, right to development etc. for the people.

“Also mentionable is the fact that no one is getting killed either in shopping malls, schools or worship places in Bangladesh.

“The top executive of the UN Human Rights Body will also have the opportunity to interact with the forcibly displaced Rohingya people during her trip to Cox’s Bazar, through which she would be equipped with concrete information to press hard the agenda for the repatriation of the Rohingya to the ancestral homeland, i.e in the Rakhine State of Myanmar.

“The government of Bangladesh firmly believes that politicization of the human rights agenda never helps in promoting and protecting human rights of the people; and therefore, sincere dialogue and cooperation is the pathway.

“Thus, Bangladesh strongly rejects some visible politically motivated efforts of some corners to mislead the people by showcasing the upcoming visit of the UN High Commissioner as an occasion to put undue pressure on the Government.

“Indeed, Bangladesh as a responsible and responsive Member State of the UN, looks forward to having a constructive dialogue with the High Commissioner for the promotion and protection of human rights, with the view to continue and further enhance ongoing close engagement and cooperation of Bangladesh with the UN Human Rights mechanism,” read the statement.