We want a world free of nuclear weapons: Rabab Fatima

Special Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Rabab Fatima

Rabab Fatima

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Ambassador Rabab Fatima reaffirmed Bangladesh's full and unwavering commitment to a world free of nuclear weapons in a speech at a ceremony hosted by several UN member states at a historic moment in the implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Bangladesh joined the international community at a joint virtual event in New York, Geneva and Vienna on Friday (January 22nd) to commemorate the historic moment of the implementation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (TNW).

Ambassador Rabab Fatima, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, addressed the commemorative event organized by the United Nations. Ambassador Fatima quoted Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's call to the UN General Assembly in 1974 to free the world from the horrors of nuclear war.

He said Bangladesh's constitutional commitment to nuclear disarmament made it one of the top 50 signatories to the treaty. As one of the proponents of nuclear disarmament, Bangladesh signed the UN Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty for the first time on September 20, 2016, in response to repeated calls from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Later, during the 74th session of the UN, Bangladesh ratified the agreement on September 26, 2019.

Highlighting the inhuman and destructive consequences of nuclear weapons, Ambassador Fatima called on all countries that have not yet signed the treaty to sign it so that its universal implementation can be achieved. Citing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's call for peaceful use of nuclear technology, Ambassador Fatima said more investment should be made in nuclear technology research. He also called for continued global efforts to raise awareness against nuclear weapons for a peaceful and nuclear-free world. He said Bangladesh will always be committed to achieve this global goal.

Bangladesh pays deep respects to all those who have worked tirelessly for nuclear disarmament for so long, including the survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan (Hibakushas) who contributed to the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons. Ambassador Fatima also paid deep tribute to all the victims of nuclear radiation and the survivors of its wounds.

It is the first international agreement to ban the use, development, testing, production, stockpiling, establishment, transfer, and threat of nuclear weapons for the signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (TPNW). The agreement has so far been signed by 6 countries and ratified by 51 countries. The agreement came into force on 22 January 2021, 90 days after Honduras became the 50th ratifying country to the UN Secretary-General on 24 October 2020.

The event is jointly organized by Austria, Brazil, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria, New Zealand, South Africa and Thailand. Among others, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Coalition to the Evil Nuclear Weapon. The UN Secretary General delivered a video address on the occasion.