Bangladesh reaffirms commitment to nuclear-free world

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Dhaka, Jan 23, 2021 (BSS) – Bangladesh Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Rabab Fatima has reaffirmed Dhaka’s commitment to a nuclear-free world to the UN at celebration marking the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons’ (TPNW).

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been a strong global voice and advocate for nuclear disarmament, and led efforts to be one of the first signatories of the Treaty,” she said while Bangladesh joined the international community to celebrate the treaty at a virtual event simultaneously held in New York, Geneva and Vienna on Friday, according to a press release received here today.

Bangladesh signed the treaty on 20 September 2017, and ratified it on 26 September 2019.

Ambassador Fatima said that it was from that unwavering constitutional commitment that Bangladesh was among the first 50 countries to join this historic treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons.

She reiterated the clarion call made by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his historic maiden address to the UN General Assembly in 1974, “to free the world from the scourges of nuclear war.”

Recognizing the dehumanizing and devastating consequences of nuclear weapons, Ambassador Fatima called upon the states that are yet to join, to do so, to attain universal application of this treaty.

Echoing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s call for ‘peaceful use of nuclear technology’, she called for increased investment in research of nuclear technology for their peaceful use for the benefit of humankind.

She also called for continued global efforts to raise awareness against nuclear weapons, for a peaceful and nuclear weapons free world. Bangladesh, she said, would remain committed to reach that goal.

The TPNW is the first legally binding international agreement to prohibit signatory states from developing, testing, producing, stockpiling, stationing, transferring, and using or threatening to use nuclear arms.

The treaty has so far been signed by 86 countries and ratified by 51 countries while it came into force on January 22 2021 after 90 days of deposition of Honduras’ instrument of ratification with the UN Secretary-General on 24 October 2020.

The event was co-organized by the missions of Austria, Brazil, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria, New Zealand, South Africa and Thailand.

Among others, the heads of International Committee of Red Cross and International Coalition to Abolish Nuclear Weapons also spoke at the event while the UN Secretary General Antoni Guterres sent a video message for the event.