Bangkok, 18 December 2017: Member States at the UNESCAP lauded Bangladesh’s diplomatic leadership and political commitment in migration and refugees issues at a commemorative event organized by Bangladesh Embassy in Bangkok at the UNESCAP on 18 December, to observe the International Migrants Day 2017 (IMD17). The event titled, “Safe Migration in a world on the Move”, was co-hosted by IOM Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau and UNESCAP, and partnered by several UN agencies including the UN Women, UNFPA and UNICEF and attended by more than 30 ESCAP member States including ambassadors, permanent representatives as well as UN agencies, civil society and migrant representatives.
Dr. Nenette Motus, IOM Regional Director called upon all concerned to focus on the opportunities and challenges involving the migrant women and girls in the Asia-Pacific region while Regionbal director UNFPA Mr. Bjorn Anderson highlighted the need for greater cooperation in addressing health related risks of migrant women and girls. Mr. Ivo Seiber, Ambassador of Switzerland updated the meeting on Switzerland’s efforts as co-facilitator of the GCM process promoting safe, orderly, and regular migration while Ambassadors of Russia, Peru and Libya gave updates on regional challenges for migrants around Russia, Latin America and Africa. Regional Representatives of UNICEF and UN Women also spoke on the occasion as panel members.
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to UNESCAP, Saida Muna Tasneem read out the messages from the President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, while message from UN Secretary General, issued on the occasion, was also read out at the event. In her statement Bangladesh Ambassador said, “Pursuant to bold political commitment of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on migration issues at home and abroad, since 2009 Bangladesh sent 5.2 million migrant workers including 585,035 woman migrants under its safe, orderly and regular migration policy. Bangladesh also led the 9th GFMD process from the front, championing a transformative sustainable migration agenda”. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was praised at the event for providing shelter to Rohingya Muslims forcibly displaced from Myanmar, and for working closely with the international community to address the plight of the Rohingyas.
Bangladesh is the only member state at the UNEASCAP that took sustained leadership in the migration issue by hosting several migration related meetings last two years, including on ‘Migration, Business and Connectivity” in March 2016, on “ Global Compact for Migration: Civil Society Voice” and Safe Migration for a World on the Move”. (Source: Press release issued by Bangladesh Embassy, Bangkok).