Displaced People’s Right to Survive, they Have “Choice” to Move elsewhere. On 12th October 2015 Bangladesh Foreign Minister Mr. AH Mahmood Ali MP in a global state level conference held in Geneva, Switzerland said that climate change induced disaster displaced people have the right to survive. And hence, we need to look at the displaced persons’ ‘choice’ and ‘ability’ to move elsewhere. This was said in the Nansen Initiative Global Consultation chaired by the Govt. of Switzerland and Norway.
Prime Minister from Cook Islands, Ministers from different countries including Kenya, Madagascar, Kiribati, Lesotho, and high officials from 132 states and international UN and other organization including civil society leaders have been participating in the conference.
The conference was inaugurated by Switzerland Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr Didier Burkhalter. The key note presentation was addressed by Assistant High Commissioner from UNHCR through video message, and Director General of IOM. The conference will be continued until 13th October and will adopt a declaration in this regard.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood MP stated, ‘in many of our situations, displacement is beyond what resilience can cover. Clearly we need to find out what is within our capacity and what is not.’ The Foreign Minister also mentioned from 5th IPCC report that Bangladesh has lost 6 % of GDP during the period of 1998 to 2009 due to extreme climate events, as a result the state is likely to experience 15 % increase in poverty by 2030. Quoting from IPCC, he mentioned that one meter rise in sea level would inundate one sixth of Bangladesh, which would result in displacement of 31.5 million people, and with a risk of 2 to 3 % of GDP loss in each year.
In the afternoon session Bangladesh Foreign Minister launched a book title “ A Tale from Climate Ground Zero : Climate Change, Land and People of Bangladesh” with the Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque, Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Bangladesh in Switzerland, Mr M Shameem Ahsan, Envoy to the Chairmanship of Nansen Initiative Prof Walter Kaelin, Photographer Mr Din Muhammad Shibly and COAST Executive Director Mr Rezaul Karim Chowdhury on the stage. The pictures of the book are compilation of photos taken from various disaster displaced areas and its affected population in Bangladesh. COAST an NGO has publish the book with the guidance and assistance of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of the Bangladesh government.
Mr. M. Shahidul Haque, Foreign Secretary, in his remarks as a panelist, mentioned that the major challenge is to establish link between four major tracks : Agenda 2030, Sendai Framework, Paris Agreement (COP21), and forced displacement debate, and one way to connect the link is through setting indicator on displacement in these processes.