Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has reaffirmed Bangladesh's commitment to achieve all targets of Sustainable Development Goal-14 "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development" at the plenary session of the 2nd UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon.
While delivering the country statement at the conference on Thursday, the foreign minister attached importance to marine science for eradicating poverty, contributing to food security, conserving the world's marine environment and resources, helping to predict and respond to natural and anthropogenic events and promoting the sustainable development of the oceans and seas in his statement.
He stated that under the able leadership and guidance of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh settled the maritime boundary issues with both the neighbours and is poised to collaboratively utilise the resources.
To eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing, Bangladesh declared an area totalling about 8.8% of its Exclusive Economic Zone as the Marine Protected Areas and implemented it in its National Plan of Action in 2019, he added.
The government has amended Bangladesh Ship Recycle Act 2018 and set a target of compliance with the Hong Kong Convention by 2023. Bangladesh also announced new actions aimed at ensuring safe ship recycling by 2023 and is the first amongst developing countries to take initiative to ban the manufacture of single-use plastic shopping bags, he said further.
Stressing the importance of capacity development and even distribution of scientific knowledge, he viewed those disparities in scientific capacity in terms of financial, technological, and human resources between developed and developing countries must be addressed for sustainable management of the ocean.
Momen affirmed that Bangladesh is ready to cooperate in keeping with its capabilities to actively engage with the developed countries willing to transfer marine science and marine technology on fair and reasonable terms and conditions by the provisions of part XIV of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The foreign minister arrived in Lisbon Thursday on a two-day visit to Portugal to lead the Bangladesh delegation to the conference.
Secretary of the Maritime Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh Rear Admiral (Retd) Md Khurshed Alam, Bangladesh Ambassador to Portugal Tarik Ahsan and other officials were the delegation members accompanying the foreign minister at the conference.
Later, the minister visited the permanent Shaheed Minar situated at a public park in Lisbon, named Campo dos Mártires da Pátria and paid his tribute to the language martyrs by placing floral wreaths.