Momen for expanding Indo-Pacific cooperation

DHAKA Foreign minister Dr A K Abdul Momen today laid emphasis on expanding further cooperation among the South, South East and East Asian counties through intra-regional trade and physical connectivity to exploit true potential of Indo-Pacific region.

I personally see a vast area of possible future cooperation among us. It is an undeniable fact that intra-regional trade and physical connectivity are still insignificant compared to their true potential, he said.

The Foreign Minister was addressing the inaugural session of the three-day 'Dhaka Global Dialogue 2019' organised by Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) and India's Observer Research Foundation (ORF).

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Dialogue participated by 150 foreign dignitaries from 45 countries at Hotel InterContinental.

Through the Dhaka Dialogue, Momen hoped that, the active collaboration and cooperation among the regional countries will be further successful to expand the areas of cooperation and understanding for common benefit.

We are truly living in the Asian century. The countries in the South Asia � India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and many others in the South East and East Asia are growing at a much faster rate than all other countries in the world, he observed.

Pointing that without peace and stability no country or region can prosper or achieve their goals, Momen said it is important that all help create a mindset of respect for each other, a mindset of tolerance irrespective of ethnicity, color or religion or background.

There are varieties of media including social media that at times promote venom of hatred and intolerance such venom of hatred and ignorance results in violence and wars, he said.

He urged everyone to join hands together for a sustainable world of peace and stability.

About Rohingyas, the foreign minister said Bangladesh has given shelter to 1.1 million forcefully displaced Myanmar nationals Now, it is the responsibility of the global community, including our neighbours, to do more to ensure their quick and sustainable repatriation and reintegration in Myanmar.

Momen said voluntary return of the Rohingyas to their homes in the Rakhine State in safety, security and dignity is a crying need of the hour.

This is an issue created by Myanmar and solution also lies with them, he said.

Talking about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the foreign minister said Bangladesh considers implementation of SDGs as a continuation of MDGs efforts.

Momen said realisation of the successful attainment of MDGs helped Bangladesh graduate from the LDC status. Now we intend to do the same with the implementation of SDGs, he added.

He said Bangladesh took a three-pronged approach � mobilisation of resources, both fund and technology, capacity building and people's empowerment at all stage of decision making process to achieve the SDGs.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)