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FM calls for robust climate action, support for SIDS

by The Bangla Herald

Bangladesh has made a resounding call for urgent and robust international action on climate change, emphasising the critical need to bolster support for small island nations in their resilience-building efforts.

Speaking at the 4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud reaffirmed Bangladesh’s unwavering support for SIDS, highlighting the personal commitment of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The conference, attended by leaders from around the world, focused on addressing the unique challenges faced by SIDS and fostering sustainable development.

It will adopt “The Antigua and Barbuda Agenda for SIDS (ABAS) – a Renewed Declaration for Resilient Prosperity,” according to a message received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.

The foreign minister is leading the Bangladesh delegation at the conference, which includes Muhammad Abdul Muhith, permanent representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York.

He emphasised Bangladesh’s role as a traditional spokesperson for the least developed countries (LDCs) and its consistent efforts to address critical issues faced by SIDS.

Having served as president of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) twice, Bangladesh has particularly focused on the challenges of climate change, sea-level rise, ocean acidification, and extreme weather events.

Hasan called on advanced and high-emitting economies to adopt ambitious and accountable commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

He stressed the importance of the upcoming COP29 in Baku in delivering on climate financing commitments beyond 2025, with a focus on enhancing the adaptive capacity of climate-vulnerable nations.

The foreign minister highlighted Bangladesh’s leadership in seeking an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on states’ responsibilities in addressing climate change. He stressed the need for reforms in international financial institutions to better serve SIDS and emphasised that the newly established Loss and Damage Fund, along with other funding mechanisms, must be easily accessible to SIDS and other countries with capacity constraints.

Additionally, he emphasised Bangladesh’s initiatives, such as offering scholarships for cadets from African LDCs and Caribbean and Pacific SIDS at the Bangladesh Marine Academy. These efforts demonstrate Bangladesh’s commitment to fostering cooperation and capacity-building in the maritime sector.

Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Hasina, Bangladesh is transitioning from climate vulnerability to resilience and prosperity, aiming to build a digitally empowered and inclusive ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by 2041.

Hasan reiterated Bangladesh’s commitment to working with SIDS and other Global South countries to achieve a digitally transformed, climate-positive future.

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