Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen on Thursday announced that Bangladesh would hold ‘World Peace Conference’ at the end of this year with participation of all “reputed actors” contributing to peace and security across the globe.
He said this would be organised marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and highlighting his vision and work for the world’s peace.
“Bangabandhu became envoy of world peace, through his vision, his policies and his works. He, therefore, extended unwavering support to the anti-colonial struggle in the world,” the foreign minister said while opening a ‘Bangabandhu Corner’ at the Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affairs (BILIA).
He said Bangabandhu firmly believed in democratic rights and social justice as the cornerstone for building a peaceful world. Bangabandhu always adopted non-violence as a way of life and as a consequence, he was awarded the Julio Curie Peace Prize on 23 May 1973- an international recognition for his outstanding contribution not only for the Bangalees or Bangladesh but also for the peace of the exploited and oppressed people of the world.
“Our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his UNGA speech in 1974 said, ‘Peace is imperative for the survival of humanity. It represents the deepest aspirations of men and women throughout the world’.”
Embracing the ideals of her father, the foreign minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina concluded the peace accord in the Chittagong Hill Tracts during her first term as Prime Minister more than two decades ago.
“She resolved critical issues with our neighbours, India, Myanmar through dialogue and discussion through peaceful means. She also became the ’mother of humanity’ by providing shelter and humanitarian assistance to the 1.1 million hapless and persecuted Rohingya population from Myanmar-which is a unique example of humanity and compassion.”
He said the conference would be organised keeping all these perspective into consideration.
He said the Father of the Nation was not only a visionary leader of the Bengali nation, “but he was the epitome of democracy, secularism, peace, harmony, and tolerance”.
“To establish the rights of the common people, he never resorted to violence. Throughout his life, he chose the path of peace during all his political campaigns, all his political movements. For these ideals of his, he was in and out of jail and spent over 13 years in confinement sacrificing his personal comfort. His family was deprived of his company.
His children grew up without seeing their father much. He was imprisoned day after day, year after year, but he did not ever express any regrets or complained against it. During his whole political life, he was actively involved in all the movements for the autonomy of the Bengalis, but all were carried out peacefully and legally,” he said.
“After the independence of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu set up the bedrock of the foreign policy framework that was based on his ideals of peace and tolerance and thus ingrained a culture of peace into our foreign policy fundamentals.
“If you look at Bangladesh, you will notice that Bangladesh is pursuing a balanced and friendly foreign policy towards all the countries of the world. It has no adversaries, no foes in the international arena. It is because Bangabandhu designed the Foreign Policy of Bangladesh and its dictum is, ‘Friendship to all, malice towards none’.”