Covid vaccine emerges as another tool of exploitation: Dr Momen
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said on Tuesday that the rich countries are sitting with more vaccines than their requirement. They are not using those and there are cases of date expiry, this is unfortunate but reality is Covid vaccine apparently emerged as another tool of exploitation.
"Rich countries assure us just saying, 'you don't worry', but nobody gives us vaccines. In some cases, they want to know whether Bangladesh will support them on a particular issue
(various elections in global forums). That shouldn't be tagged with Covid vaccination. It should be string-less," he said without naming any specific country.
He said Covid-19 vaccine has apparently become another 'tool of exploitation' now, noting that some rich countries are holding back vaccine doses beyond their internal demands.
The Foreign Minister made the remarks while talking to journalists at his office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrapping up his New York visit.
He said he talked about Covid and vaccination issues in all his meetings in New York and received a lot of assurances as usual.
The Foreign Minister said the US wants to give vaccine doses to Bangladesh but they want to give it mainly through the Covax facility.
Replying to a question about the UN General Assembly resolution that did not cover the Rohingya repatriation issue, Dr Momen said they will continue their efforts keeping Rohingya repatriation as the first priority. "It'll remain our number one objective," he said.
Upholding Bangladesh's position on abstaining from voting the resolution, Momen said Bangladesh abstained from voting the resolution as its priority issue - Rohingya repatriation was not accepted. "We also made a strong statement. Let them realize that repatriation is a big issue for us."
Bangladesh expressed 'deep disappointment' over the new resolution on Myanmar at the United Nations General Assembly as 'it has failed to recommend actions' on repatriation of the Rohingyas and failed to adequately reflect on the crisis.
"The resolution that was adopted falls far short of our expectations," said Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Rabab Fatima after adoption of the resolution on the 'Situation in Myanmar' at the 75th session of the UNGA.
In an explanation, she said the resolution failed to recognize in its operative part, the urgent need for creating conditions for the safe, voluntary and sustainable return of the displaced minorities of Myanmar, particularly the Rohingyas.
"We share borders with Myanmar, we host over a million of their people. Therefore, stability in Myanmar is critically important for us in finding a durable solution for the million of Rohingyas we host, who are victims of atrocious crimes," she said.