Bangladesh called on the European Union to take effective measures to create an enabling environment in Myanmar for the sustainable repatriation of Rohingya hosted in Bangladesh.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen raised the issue and explained that Bangladesh faces enormous social, economic and environmental costs in sheltering over 1.1 million Rohingya.

Dr Momen had a bilateral meeting with Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission (HRVP) on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly at New York recently.

HRVP Borell thanked Bangladesh for the humanitarian gesture towards the Rohingya and assured that the EU will work with Bangladesh and the international community to ensure a sustainable repatriation of the Rohingya.

The issue of climate change was discussed during the bilateral meeting.

Foreign Minister Momen briefed HRVP on Bangladesh’s role as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

He raised the issue of the annual $ 100 billion climate fund pledged by developed countries, and called on the EU to honor that pledge.

Dr Momen stressed the importance of allocating 50 percent of climate finance to adaptation measures.

He explained the significance of the loss and damage incurred due to river erosion, salinity intrusion, sea level rise, floods and drafts.

The Foreign Minister emphasized the sharing of responsibilities for climate migrants – people uprooted from their homes and traditional jobs due to the impacts of climate change.

Dr Momen also explained the need to create tall and wide dikes in the coastal belt and in areas prone to river erosion. He called for public funding and EU private sector investment in the development of embankments, with roads, solar panels and wind turbines on them.

Josep Borell noted that significant efforts would be needed to contain the temperature rise to the maximum limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

He believed that there would be social and economic shocks in the effort to address the challenges of climate change.

The foreign minister agreed with the HRVP and called for a transfer of technology to meet the mitigation targets.

Dr Momen raised the issue of trade with the EU and thanked the HRVP for providing duty-free market access to Bangladeshi products under the EU’s EBA program.

He also thanked Borell for continued access to the Bangladesh market until 2029, and requested to provide SPG + facilities once EBA facilities in Bangladesh are completed in 2029.

The HRVP assured the Foreign Minister that it would forward the request with a positive recommendation to the relevant EU authorities.

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