President reiterates commitment in realizing independent Palestinian state

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DHAKA, June 16, 2021 (BSS) – President M Abdul Hamid today reiterated Bangladesh’s unflinching commitment in realizing the rights of the Palestinians for an independent and sovereign state.

“While the world is going through a devastating pandemic with unprecedented loss of lives and livelihood . . . our Palestinian brothers and sisters are facing human-made catastrophe demanding consolidated efforts and united action from us,” he said.

The Head of the State was addressing virtually the opening session of an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit this afternoon.

The General Secretariat of OIC arranged the summit at a virtual format in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan, with the theme “Science, Technology and Innovation: Opening New Horizons”.

Hamid stated: “Bangladesh is saddened and expresses deep condolences to the victims while strongly condemning the repeated attacks by the Israeli occupation forces against the Palestinians.”

Terming the Rohingya issue as a matter of continuous concern for Bangladesh, OIC and the world, the President sought the OIC members’ intervention in protecting Myanmar’s ethnic minority Rohingya Muslims.

He said the repeated atrocities threatened their (Rohingya Muslims) existence at home (Myanmar’s Rakhine state) simultaneously exposing Bangladesh to great difficulty with burdens of huge number of hapless refugees.

He called upon the OIC and the international community to address the problem of Myanmar so that the Rohingya community could return to their homeland in safety, security and dignity.

The second science summit drew the head of OIC member states and governments in the Kazakh capital.

At the session, the Bangladesh President also underscored the need for collective journey in science and technology to reach the Muslim world on a vantage ground of technology leadership in place of mere technology users.

He also called for adopting a scientific view of life, to bring back the intellectual leadership in science which the Muslims once enjoyed through investment in pursuit of knowledge and exploration.

He urged OIC nations to engage in coordinated and dedicated research and development.

He also called upon applying new innovations in all areas of life and quickly adapting to environment friendly technology, peaceful uses of nuclear energy in the field of food and agriculture, health, power, human resource development and blue economy to restore the leadership.

The President described science and technology as a “game changer in poverty alleviation and development” and proposed joint action plans for selecting, using and tasking institutions in the member states in research and development in collaboration with OIC institutional support.

In Bangladesh, he said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Vision – ‘Digital Bangladesh’, made enviable advancement in life sciences which was evident in the country’s emerging industry of pharmaceuticals, alternative medicine, and in space through launching Bangabandhu satellite.
The President also said Bangladesh is promoting nuclear medicine, nanotechnology, food processing and preservation, modern biotechnology, gene banking and blue economy resources.

Scientists and researchers from OIC member country’s can exchange their expertise and knowledge in these fields as well, he continued.

“We are at the juncture of a unique time of the history of Bangladesh and the world as we are celebrating the twin mega events – – birth centenary of our great leader Bangabandhu and the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s Independence and graduation from the Group of the Least Developed Countries,” President Hamid said.

He thanked the organisers, Kazakh government and OIC Secretariat General for their relentless efforts to arrange the summit amid unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

Bangladesh has been enjoying an excellent relation with the OIC, since Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s participation in the OIC Summit held in Lahore in 1974, the President mentioned.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, OIC Secretary General Dr Yousef Al Othaimeen and several head of the OIC states and governments, among others, attended the summit.

President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan has become the new chair in the inaugural session of the Second OIC Science Summit.

Science and Technology Minister Architect Yeafesh Osman, concerned ministry Secretary Md Anwar Hossain, President’s Office Secretary Sampad Barua, Military Secretary Major General SM Salah Uddin Islam, Press Secretary Md Joynal Abedin and Secretary (attached) Wahidul Islam Khan were also present on the occasion at the Bangabhaban.