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Belgian Queen Mathilde concludes Bangladesh visit

Staff Reporter
  08 Feb 2023, 22:32

UN Secretary General's SDG Advocate Queen of the Belgians Mathilde today concluded her three-day visit to Bangladesh, highlighting attention to the importance of building resilient communities and leaving no one behind.

She highlighted that the people of Bangladesh are the main drivers of the country's development and that it is critical to building inclusive societies in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, recent global economic volatility and the devastating floods that hit the country in June last year.

In a statement, UN Resident Coordinator of Bangladesh, Gwyn Lewis, yesterday said the Queen of Belgians visit highlighted once again that progress towards the SDGs needs to be accelerated.

She added that the UN and its partners will spare no effort to support Bangladesh in reaching the SDGs by 2030.

During her visit, Queen Mathilde saw UN's programmatic work covering several sustainable development goals including climate action, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, responsible consumption and production, and quality education.

She visited a garment factory in Narayanganj, a Unicef ability-based accelerated learning centre in Dhaka, a water treatment plant facility in Khulna's Sutarkhali union, an area that has been frequently hit by floods, cyclones, and was affected by salinity intrusion.

The Queen then took a boat ride to Jhulanta Para to see the impact of climate change and how local communities are adapting.

The Queen also went to Cox's Bazar to see the ongoing humanitarian response for the Rohingya in Cox's Bazar where she met Rohingya women, men, youths, and volunteers working in the camps, and also visited various facilities supported by the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and its partners.

UNHCR said the Queen's visit to the Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar is a significant support to the UN's ongoing efforts to mobilise sufficient funding for life-saving and life-sustaining assistance but also for key protection services.

In a statement, UNHCR Representative in Bangladesh Johannes van der Klaauw said the Queen's visit comes as the crisis is well into its sixth year of displacement, and against the backdrop of a serious decline in available funding.

"It will help keep the attention on the Rohingya situation, which continues to be one of the largest refugee crises in the world," he said.

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