H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh
H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Hon’ble Chair, Global Adaptation Center
and other distinguished guests and dignitaries, ladies & gentlemen
First of all, I would like to pay my deepest homage to our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who had realized the adverse impacts of climate change a long ago, and called for greater international cooperation to face the natural calamity in his very first speech at the United Nations General Assembly in 1974.
Cause of climate change is global so naturally the solution requires a global initiative. Today’s inauguration of the GCA South Asia Regional Office in Dhaka is an important part of that collective initiative. However, the origin of this happy occasion of today goes back to the “Dhaka Meeting of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA)’’, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in July 2019, where our Hon’ble Prime Minister invited the GCA Chair H. E. Ban Ki-Moon to establish GCA regional office for South Asia in Dhaka which ultimately culminated in today’s inauguration. For that I wholeheartedly thank Excellency Ban Ki Moon and the entire GCA team for today’s success.
Dear friends & colleagues,
The whole planet is at risk but according to the Global Climate Risk Index, particularly South Asia is the most vulnerable region associated with climate change related risks and threats. Together with the countries of this region, GCA Bangladesh office will promote locally developed nature-based sustainable solutions and innovative adaptation measures. We will create a Center of Excellence not only for the regional countries but also for the other regions of the world by sharing our best practices. Let me tell you one of our best practices. In 1970 during a devastating cyclone almost half a million people perished. But due to our cyclone and Disaster Preparedness programs, in 2009 although we faced similar devastating cyclone and tidal waves, only 190 people died. This is not miracle but achieved through sustained efforts and commitment.
GCA Dhaka will be a milestone for international partnership as after the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will build back our climate resilience much better by making transition to a green economy and investing in more decarbonization of the production methods and consumption. But this requires a strong global commitment and effort. Bangladesh is ready to share her experience and best practices regarding adaptation and disaster management. We have already formulated 82 year-long “Delta Plan 2100” which is a living test case for all the deltas of the world.
During the establishment of GCA South Asian regional office in Dhaka, Ministry of Foreign Affairs was closely associated with other stakeholders including GCA HQ and it would continue to do so in the future. We hope to receive necessary support from the international development partners in our efforts as it is very easy to achieve and demonstrate climate resilience successes in this region. I wish a very effective and successful operation of the GCA South Asian regional office in Dhaka.
Thank you all.
Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu.