Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen on Saturday said Bangladesh envisions an Indian Ocean that is free, open, peaceful, secure and inclusive, promoting shared prosperity for all.
“We remain committed to working with all our regional partners towards this end,” he said, adding that Bangladesh advocates “shared prosperity” through “shared responsibility” over the region, through which they would achieve the global Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
While delivering his closing remarks at the 6th Indian Ocean Conference, Foreign Secretary Masud said if they fully appreciate and realize this, they can grow together towards peace, prosperity, and partner-ship for a resilient future.
Bangladesh considers the stability and prosperity in the Indian Ocean as an essential component in achieving her ‘Vision 2041’ of establishing a modern, knowledge-based developed country by 2041, he said.
The Foreign Secretary said Bangladesh believes the Indian Ocean can significantly contribute to the global GDP, international trade, towards climate action, and growing technological advancements for ensuring global peace and prosperity.
He said Bangladesh stands ready to extend cooperation in the region towards a result-oriented focus that will augment achievement for the common good of the region.
Masud said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday suggested six priority areas where the Indian Ocean Region should focus on – maritime diplomacy; combating climate change and natural disasters; strength-ening partnerships; strengthening mechanisms for maritime safety and security; promoting a culture of peace; and promoting equitable and sustainable development.
“In line with these, we may build on our cooperation and collaboration among the Indian Ocean coun-tries to ensure a better future for us,” said the Foreign Secretary.
On behalf of the government, he expressed sincere gratitude to all the participating countries in this 6th Indian Ocean Conference-2023 in Dhaka.
“With your commitment and contribution, I believe this 6th Indian Ocean Conference has become a re-markable success and we can carry forward the take aways of this Conference to the next conference and other global discourses,” he said.
President of Mauritius and Vice President of Maldives, among others, joined.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the conference.
The Foreign Secretary said the world’s centre of political and economic gravity is moving eastwards to Asia and Africa.
The importance of the Indian Ocean Region needs no reiteration especially for many countries whose existence, prosperity and security were, and will always be, intimately linked to it, he said.
Yet, he said, Indian Ocean Economy is perhaps not one of the highly economically integrated regions of the world.
“We should not also lose focus of the fact that the oceans are both an engine for global economic growth and a key source of food security,” said the Foreign Secretary.
Bangladesh puts great emphasis on enhancing physical, institutional, energy, digital and human connec-tivity, facilitate movement of goods, services, capital, and people in a systematic manner, and promote
technology transfer and access to innovations in the region, he said.
“We would like the other countries in the region to engage and cooperate proactively in promoting food security, water solidarity, and disaster risk reduction,” he said.
Cooperation among the countries to address the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, marine pollution, and other significant and harmful impacts on the environment is also critically important, said the Foreign Secretary.