Dhaka, May 4, 2020 (BSS) – Foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today called for taking a global strategy to protect interests of migrant workers as they have been hard-hit due to COVID-19 pandemic that has pushed global economy into tailspin.
“A meaningful global strategy for migrant workers is needed to address the challenges of COVID19,” he said while presenting Bangladesh statement today in an Online Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Contact Group Summit for formulating the NAM’s response to the extra-ordinary crisis resulting from the COVID-19.
Terming migrant workers as “frontline contributors” to the economies, Dr. Momen stressed the need for formulating a strategy for responsibility sharing both in home and host countries.
“The international community must devise a clear strategy … It should include protection of jobs of the migrant population and ensuring the flow of vital medical supplies and essential goods, services and food supply chains,” he said.
Noting that the pandemic’s adverse effect forced Bangladesh’s two major economic engines – ready-made garments (RMG) and remittance – to an instable state, Momen urged the NAM members to work out innovative solutions and approaches to tackle the crisis.
The foreign minister suggested that short-medium-long term support from the bilateral and multilateral development partners are needed to implement the proposed international strategy for economic recovery of the vulnerable countries due to global outbreak of deadly coronavirus.
Momen emphasized that the NAM’s response must be embedded in multilateralism and international solidarity through forging a robust global partnership with the G7, G20, OECD, and the UN.
“The pandemic should not divert attention and resources away from the development needs for the long term resilience and sustainability of developing countries as encapsulated in the 2030 agenda,” he said.
The foreign minister also highlighted how Bangladesh has been coping with the pandemic under the direct supervision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who issued a 31-point directive seeking to mitigate its impact on our population.
Momen informed the NAM leaders that Bangladesh government has already allocated nearly USD 11.6 billion to help the vulnerable people and businesses to bear with the shocks of the pandemic.
Presided over by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev who is current Chair of the Movement, the Online Summit was participated by twenty Presidents, seven Prime Ministers including Narendra Modi, one Vice President and ten Foreign Ministers along with UN Secretary General, UN General Assembly President, WHO Director General and Europen Commission Vice President.
More than 243,000 people have so far been killed and 3.4 million infected worldwide by the COVID-19, which has left half of humanity under some form of lockdown and pushed the global economy towards its worst downturn since the Great Depression.