Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali MP, has said, our nations are blessed with vast human and natural resources. We need to develop workable political, economic and social-cultural programs to realize our full potential.
He was addressing the Ministerial Meeting of the 60th anniversary of the Asian- African Conference (Bandung Conference 1955) in Jakarta today.
The Minister underscored the importance of a truly interdependent and mutually supportive South-South cooperation in line with the Bandung Spirit. He praised the significant strides that have been made by both Asia and Africa in terms of promoting respect for human rights, rule of law and democracy, improving the status of women, and working towards equality and non-discrimination. At the same time, he underlined some of the daunting challenges before the two continents, including poverty, communicable diseases, climate change, natural disasters, digital divide, inequitable market access, declining ODA and increasing foreign debt that need to be addressed through concerted effort and effective coordination.
The Bangladesh Foreign Minister reaffirmed Bangladesh’s steadfast support to the Palestinian people and to the creation of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state, in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions. He reiterated the fundamental undertaking of the Bandung to support any just struggle against colonialism and foreign occupation.
The Ministerial Meeting has gathered 35 Ministers from the countries of Asia and Africa.
The Foreign Secretary, Bangladesh Ambassador to Indonesia and Director General (United Nations), Ministry of Foreign Affairs accompanied the Foreign Minister at the Meeting. The Foreign Minister also had bilateral meetings with his counterparts from Myanmar, Libya and Gambia on the sidelines of the Ministerial Meeting.
The Conference would continue with the Meeting of Heads of State or Government on 22-23 April 2015. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to lead the Bangladesh delegation at this Meeting.