We want a global order which should pave solutions to poverty alleviation, mitigating climate change effects, preventing conflicts, and financing technological transfer for a knowledge-based society. – Sheikh Hasina
You come to realize that you’re not just a Floridian or an American; you’re an earthling. The bottom line is that we’re all earthlings. – Nicole Stott
Indeed, we are all inhabitants of this planet, and recognizing our shared identity as earthlings is the first step towards unity. The G20 Summit in 2023 is championing the concept of global unity and the “One Earth” proposition, as emphasized by astronauts like Nicole Stott. Consequently, Bangladesh, as an invited member of the summit, shares this dream, placing a significant emphasis on environmental safety and sustainable development. In the context of the G20 Summit, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina presented a five-point agenda to world leaders, highlighting the imperative need for unity and commitment to address the pressing global challenges of our time.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, while addressing this distinguished gathering at the Bharat Mandapam Convention Centre in Pragati Maidan, underscored the significance of collaborative efforts in securing a dignified life and a prosperous future for every inhabitant of our planet. Her insights and recommendations shed light on Bangladesh’s vision for a better world through international collaboration and cooperation.
The Prime Minister’s Recommendations
Sustainable Development as the Top Priority
The first proposal made by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasised how critically important it is to carry out the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda must continue to take precedence over all other international endeavours, including those of the G20. The concept of sustainable development is more than just a goal; rather, it is an obligation that extends across national boundaries and ideological frameworks.
Supporting Countries in Transition
The leader of Bangladesh pushed for cooperation from the G20 to assist in making it easier for nations to make the transition from Least Developed nations (LDCs) to developing countries. This assistance should include the retention of duty-free market access as well as market access without quotas, as well as the extension of unilateral tariff preferences and TRIPS exemptions for a significant amount of time after graduation. This strategy assures that these countries will have a smooth transition that is also sustainable.
Ensuring Stable Supply Chains
During her third recommendation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasised the importance of the G20 supporting vulnerable economies by maintaining open markets. Ensuring the smooth, timely, and predictable supply of essential goods and commodities, including agricultural products, is of utmost importance. Implementing such measures is of utmost importance as they play a critical role in averting potential disruptions that have the potential to escalate into worldwide crises.
Gender Equality and Inclusive Societies
The fourth recommendation put forth by the Prime Minister emphasised the utmost importance of promoting and achieving gender equality in our society. It is crucial to acknowledge that women make up approximately 50% of the world’s population. Therefore, it is imperative that they are given equal consideration when it comes to constructing societies that are peaceful, fair, and inclusive. Empowering women is not only a matter of justice, but it also serves as a catalyst for driving societal progress forward.
Strengthening Global Cooperation
In her concluding recommendation, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasised the utmost significance of bolstering South-South and triangular cooperation. Ensuring human development on a global scale requires the essential cooperation of various stakeholders, including partners, international financial institutions, private sectors, and other supporters. Their collective support is crucial in achieving this goal. Collaboration between nations has the potential to bridge gaps and create valuable opportunities for those striving for progress.
A Call for a Just and Fair World
The challenges in today’s world, characterised by unprecedented uncertainty and the far-reaching consequences of globalisation, are borne by the developing nations. The voices of developing countries often go unheard amidst this global turmoil. Representing the concerns of the developing world, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s resounding voice echoes the cries for justice, safety, and humanity across the globe. In the years to come, her proposals and recommendations carry profound implications for the future, offering hope for a world where conflicts and sorrows may diminish.
Far beyond the borders of Bangladesh, the voice of Sheikh Hasina at the G20 Summit and similar sessions reverberates. Amplifying the concerns and aspirations of nations that often find themselves marginalised in the global arena, it represents the voice of the developing world. In a world grappling with uncertainty and challenges, her recommendations and proposals carry profound implications for the future, providing a glimmer of hope.
In part, the complex phenomenon of globalisation is responsible for the uncertainties plaguing our world today. A host of challenges has been unearthed by globalisation, while also bringing about numerous advancements. The developing nations, who often find themselves disproportionately affected by the changes brought about by globalisation, have perhaps felt the most significant impact. In the global discourse, their voices are often overshadowed, resulting in a lack of representation in the international arena. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh shines brightly in this context, showcasing her leadership. Resonating with the aspirations and struggles of numerous developing nations, her voice transcends national boundaries, encompassing not just her own country but others as well.
Also, establishing a just and fair economic order was aptly pointed out by Bangladesh’s PM. Widespread supply chain disruptions and crises in essential resources such as food, fuel, and fertiliser have been caused by the current global economy, which is marred by the COVID-19 pandemic, sanctions, and counter-sanctions. Living conditions for people worldwide have been exacerbated by these crises. Questioning whether actions aligned with this noble sentiment, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina challenged the international community to uphold the principle of “one world, one family.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s address at the G20 Summit reflects Bangladesh’s commitment to global cooperation and a shared vision of a better world. Her recommendations encompass sustainable development, support for transitioning economies, stable supply chains, gender equality, and enhanced global cooperation. As we navigate the complex challenges of the 21st century, it is leaders like Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who remind us of the importance of unity, compassion, and a collective commitment to building a brighter future for all members of our global family.
– S. M. Saifee Islam is a Research Associate at the KRF Center for Bangladesh and Global Affairs (CBGA).