Nordic countries eye stronger partnership with Bangladesh

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The three ambassadors also laid emphasis on ending Rohingya crisis through sustainable return of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State safely reminding Myanmar that the responsibility lies there

The ambassadors of three Nordic countries — Denmark, Norway and Sweden –promised to have a stronger partnership with Bangladesh with a focus on green growth and increased investment flow to help Bangladesh grow in a faster way.

The Nordic ambassadors were addressing a symposium titled ‘Bangladesh and Nordic Countries: Prognosis for Partnership’ at Six Seasons Hotel in the city on Saturday, reports UNB.  

The three ambassadors also laid emphasis on ending Rohingya crisis through sustainable return of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhine State safely reminding Myanmar that the responsibility lies there.

Danish Ambassador to Bangladesh Winnie Estrup Petersen, Norwegian Ambassador to Bangladesh Sidsel Bleken and Swedish Ambassador to Bangladesh Charlotta Schlyter shared their priority areas from renewable energy to blue economy, sustainable use of ocean resources, climate change and rights issues.

Stronger collaboration with both the private and public sectors with focus on green growth, innovation and sustainability, IT, telecom, and energy issues were highlighted for prosperous Nordic-Bangladesh partnership in the years to come.

Issues related to labour rights and other rights ones, the role of private sector, ocean pollution, climate change, river pollution, air pollution, women rights and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also came up for discussions at the dialogue.

Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, principal research fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, chaired and conducted the symposium while Cosmos Foundation Chairman Enayetullah Khan delivered welcome remarks.

“Norway has repeatedly said that the responsibility for creating a conducive environment that ensures the return of Rohingays lies on the government of the Myanmar,” said Norwegian Ambassador Bleken.   

She said the ICJ order on provisional measures under the Genocide Convention is an important step towards ensuring protection of Rohingyas. “The order is legally binding and we expect Myanmar to fully implement the order.”

Swedish Ambassador Schlyter said:  “It will be important that Rohingyas can return home and responsibility rests on Myanmar for making their voluntary, safe and sustainable return possible adding she said: “There is no doubt that the development cooperation between Bangladesh and Sweden represents a remarkable journey helping people lift out of poverty.”

Danish Ambassador Winnie Estrup Petersen laid emphasis on building peace in Myanmar and addressing the accountability issues for atrocities committed against Rohingyas in Rakhine State.

Norwegian Ambassador Bleken appreciated the whole-of-society approach of Bangladesh assured their support for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Former Ambassador Farooq Sobhan, former adviser to caretaker government Rasheda K Chowdhury, former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Md Nojibur Rahman, foreign affairs experts, civil society members, business leaders and senior journalists attended the event.