Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said Bangladesh is ready to engage with everyone who wishes no harm and who would not wish to use Bangladesh’s resources for launching offensive agenda of their own.
“We believe in inclusive and sustainable development. We continuously study the international events,” he said, adding that Bangladesh is no longer price takers but engages with the world on its own terms.
Momen said they believe in ‘reasoning by first principle’ and believe in partnerships for mutual economic benefits.
“That’s how we envision and leverage our sovereign national interests. I believe that the strategic location, the rich demographic dividend and a strong domestic market makes us an important player on the chessboard and our choices make us a pivot and a pole both,” said the foreign minister.
Momen was addressing a hybrid seminar on “Changing Global Order: Securing Bangladesh’s National Interest” organized by Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) in the city.
The foreign minister said they believe, as Bangabandhu believed “peace is imperative for economic development” and let Bangladesh emit the gospel of peace and stability across nations.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by giving shelter to 1.1 million persecuted ethnic minority of Myanmar has again set up an example in the world that “humanity is above all”. “Let us applaud Sheikh Hasina.”
Momen said Bangladesh is a country of resilience and its people are defenders of high moral grounds. “From the time of the War of Independence to the pandemic, from flood to drought, we have shown our courage, our resiliency and we fought valiantly.”
He said they are a nation that the Almighty blessed abundantly with natural resources. “Whatever happens, whatever comes in our path in the future, Bangabandhu's Golden Bengal will come alive and none can suppress us.”
Momen also said, “We will sustain. We will prosper with pride and with honour.”
Ambassador Kazi Imtiaz Hossain, Chairman, BIISS, chaired the inaugural session and Major General Mohammad Maksudur Rahman, Director General, BIISS, delivered the welcome remarks.
Maksudur Rahman highlighted the uncertainties related to the changing nature of global order and focused on the importance of balancing the emerging realities and enhancing cooperation by minimizing competition among the great powers.
Despite uncertainties due to the changing global order, he said, Bangladesh has maintained a policy of mutual respect and non-interference and nurtured friendly relations with the global community through its principle of "friendship to all, enmity to none".
He further added that even though Bangladesh is maintaining a good balance, the country needs to monitor international changes carefully so that it can meet new challenges that may arise due to the shift in the global order.
Ambassador Kazi Imtiaz Hossain said due to the changing global order, Bangladesh needs to establish its goals while keeping in mind its basic national interests, including stable economic growth and development of the country.
Furthermore, he added that given such a shift in the global order, ensuring the export driven-market and retaining remittance flow needs to be given utmost priority.
He concluded by saying that Bangladesh must make the best policy choices to ensure food and environmental security, including increasing domestic food production and playing a more significant role in battling climate change.
Shamsher M. Chowdhury, former Foreign Secretary, chaired the working session and delivered his remarks.
Dr. Rashed Uz Zaman, Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka, presented on “Transitions in International Order: South Asian Perspective”, Dr. Nazneen Ahmed, Country Economist and Head of Policy and Strategic Advisory Unit, UNDP, Bangladesh presented on “Bangladesh’s LDC Graduation in Shifting World Order: Opportunities and Challenges”, Dr. Razia Sultana, Research Fellow, BIISS, presented on “Putting the National Interest First: Bangladesh’s Position in Changing Global Scenario”, and ASM Tarek Hassan Semul, Research Fellow, BIISS, presented on “Emerging Constellations in the Indo-Pacific: Bangladesh’s Foreign Policy Predicaments”.
Senior officials from different government ministries, members of diplomatic community, former ambassadors, senior military officials, media, academia, researchers, faculties and students from different universities, and representatives from various international organizations participated in the seminar and they shared their insights in the open discussion session.