Noting the need for strong partnership in tackling the Covid-19 challenge, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said Bangladesh strongly believes that the coronavirus vaccine should be declared a universal product. He noted that the Corona epidemic had brought us to a turning point in human history and posed perhaps the most difficult challenge of our time “The socio-economic impact of the epidemic is huge and still growing,” he said. Therefore, it is important to further strengthen the global and regional partnership to address this challenge through concerted efforts. “
He made the call in a pre-recorded opening speech at the four-day Boao Forum for Asia (BAF), entitled “A World of Change: Strengthening Global Governance and Collaborating with the Advanced Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).”
Partnerships and connections
Sheikh Hasina focuses on three issues –
First, the need for strong partnerships to address the challenges posed by the epidemic and to make vaccines available to all by declaring them to be products of public access worldwide.
Second, the need to work together to harness the power of technology, and third, the uninterrupted physical and digital connection.
“Let’s think together, work together and move forward together,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the role of the global community has become important to ensure that no one is left behind during the epidemic crisis.
He said all countries need to work together to make the United Nations and other international organizations effective so that everyone’s vaccine and treatment needs are met.
Sheikh Hasina said the WHO, GAVI and other concerned agencies must ensure the rights, equality and justice of the member states.
Emphasizing the need to declare the Covid-19 vaccine as a universal product, he said vaccine-producing countries should be helped to produce other vaccines to achieve universal coverage.
He said financial and technical assistance from developing countries has also become more important in this time of crisis.
“Developing countries need more assistance from the funds of international financial institutions and multinational development banks,” she said.
He said Bangladesh was trying to reduce the adverse effects of the epidemic by taking balanced measures between life and livelihood.
“We have so far announced বিভিন্ন 14.8 billion incentive packages for social security and economic growth, which is 4.4 percent of our GDP,” he said.
He mentioned that Bangladesh is involved in various regional connectivity initiatives through SAARC, BIMSTEC, SASEC, BBIN and BCAM.
“Bangladesh is involved in many multi-model linkages in South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia and beyond, and Bangladesh believes in strengthening global governance and the Advanced Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) can play an important role,” he said.
Sheikh Hasina mentioned that the continent has huge population, wide market and technological facilities.
“We can achieve faster growth if we are united,” he said. It will also help us achieve the SDGs that we are each committed to. We need to increase our maximum technical potential by extending a hand of cooperation to each other.