A Discussion with Ambassador Mosud Bin Momen, Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative to the UN
DATE: November 20, 2017
SUBJECT: A Discussion with Ambassador Mosud Bin Momen, Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative to the UN | NYUMUN UN Initiative
- Ambassador Bin Momen introduced the history of Bangladesh in the United Nations, from its attempts to gain accession to the UN after gaining independence from Pakistan in 1971 to its present role of representing the interests of developing countries at the UN.
Bin Momen addressed the situation of Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh, calling for increased international attention towards the Rohingya and an agreement that would allow the Rohingya return to Myanmar in dignity.
Listing climate action as among Bangladesh’s top priorities at the UN, Bin Momen called on the international community to engage with major polluters to secure an effective global climate action plan.
The event can be viewed here.
Date: November 20, 2017
Time: 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Location: Kimmel 908
Mosud Bin Momen, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN
The discussion began with Ambassador Mosud Bin Momen introducing the history of Bangladesh at the UN, starting with its attempts to gain recognition from the UN after winning independence from Pakistan in 1971. According to Bin Momen, Bangladesh’s present role at the UN consists of representing the interests of developing countries, contributing to UN peacekeeping, and pushing for action on climate change.
One issue that dominated the discussion was the humanitarian crisis involving Rohingya Muslims, many of whom have fled to Bangladesh to escape persecution in Myanmar. Bin Momen suggested that the crisis cannot continue indefinitely, noting that the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya in Bangladesh have put a strain on the country’s overall food supply and economy. Furthermore, the refugees are vulnerable to diseases such as HIV/AIDs, posing a threat to public health in Bangladesh. Ambassador Bin Momen called on the international community to become more involved in the Rohingya crisis; eventually, he hopes Bangladesh and Myanmar can reach an agreement that would allow Rohingya refugees return to their homes in dignity.
Another issue touched upon in the discussion was climate change in Bangladesh. Calling climate change the “most important challenge,” Bin Momen said rising temperatures and sea levels may stifle Bangladesh’s stable economic development. He noted that climate change has already caused many headaches for Bangladesh — from infertility to internal displacement. The ambassador said the world should further engage industrialized countries in acting on climate change, since industrialized countries have a greater effect on man-made climate change.
One question concerned the effects of India-China relations on India-Bangladesh and China-Bangladesh relations, to which Bin Momen replied that Bangladesh enjoys good relations with both India, which supported Bangladesh in its secession from Pakistan, and China, which is investing in Bangladesh as part of the Belt and Road Initiative. Bin Momen said it is possible for Bangladesh to get along with both China and India, though admitting that maintaining a balance between the two countries may be difficult at times because of disputes between Beijing and New Delhi.
Asked if he has any doubts about Bangladesh’s plan to become an industrialized country by 2041 given the negative effects of industrialization in the West, Bin Momen acknowledged that industrialization has encouraged the formulation of shortsighted policies that prioritize economic over people-centered development.
In response to a question about the possibility of an outbreak of a massive HIV/AIDs epidemic in Bangladesh due to the influx of Rohingya refugees, Bin Momen said the availability of technology to curb HIV/AIDs and other diseases should prevent the outbreak of any epidemic.
Report by: Jamin Chen, Event Reporter. Editor Chao Wang.