Dhaka, May 5: Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr Abdul Momen participated in an Online Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Contact Group Summit, which was convened at the initiative of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the current Chair of NAM. Presided over by Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan and Chair of the Movement, the Online Summit was attended by Heads of States and Governments, Foreign Ministers and other dignitaries of NAM member countries as well as high officials of the United Nations today. The summit was organised to formulate the NAM's response to the extra-ordinary crisis resulting from the COVID-19. In his statement, Foreign Minister thanked the President of Azerbaijan for his timely initiative to convene a virtual NAM Summit level meeting on the pressing global emergency.
He mentioned that the COVID-19 had triggered an overwhelming global public health crisis affecting the health, lives, and livelihoods of peoples of nearly all countries of the world for which they were barely prepared. Dr Momen highlighted how Bangladesh has been coping with the pandemic under the direct supervision of Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina, who issued a 31-point directive seeking to mitigate its impact on our population.
He continued that the Government has already allocated nearly $11.6 billion to help the vulnerable people and businesses to bear with the shocks of the pandemic. Underscoring the pandemic's adverse effect on two major sectors of Bangladesh's economy - ready-made garments (RMG) and remittance, Momen urged the NAM membership to work out innovative solutions and approaches to tackle the crisis. He emphasised that the NAM's response must be embedded in multilateralism and international solidarity through forging a robust global partnership with the G7, G20, OECD, and the UN.
He also underlined that the international community must devise a clear strategy for the economic recovery of the vulnerable countries, including through the provision of short-medium-long term support from the bilateral and multilateral development partners, protection of jobs of the migrant population and ensuring the flow of vital medical supplies and essential goods, services and food supply chains.