Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Colleagues, Ladies, and Gentlemen
Good morning to you all from Dhaka.
Annyeong Hasimnika ( আনইয়াং হাশিমনিকা)
With great honour and pleasure, I cordially welcome His Excellency Ban ki-Moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, in today’s session of Bangabandhu Lecture Series.
His virtual presence in today’s event commemorating the Birth Centenary of our Father of the Nation is a befitting tribute. Because like Bangabandhu- His Excellency Ban Ki-moon is also dedicated to establishing peace, security, justice and development in the world and is giving voice to people suffering due to discrimination, conflict and inequality. I once again extend my heartiest welcome to His Excellency Ban Ki-moon for his virtual presence on this occasion.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Bangabandhu is the founder and epic of Bengali nationalism, the architect of sovereign Bangladesh and a symbol of our independence- the soul of Bangladesh. Under his charismatic, unwavering and dynamic leadership Bangladesh emerged as an independent country 50 years ago.
Bangabandhu remains one of the most passionate and fearless advocates for world peace as his historic speech delivered on 7th March 1971 continues to enthrall our people and will continue to inspire succeeding generations in their quest for freedom and emancipation. Given its uniqueness and significance, the speech, that transcends time and space, is included in the ‘Memory of the World International Register’, as part of the world’s documentary heritage by UNESCO.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Bangabandhu, envisioned Bangladesh to be a nation that would be recognized as a torch-bearer for peace, democratic values, non-violence, tolerance, secularism, and, above all, harmony.
Bangabandhu declared his firm commitment to fight against poverty, hunger, illiteracy and unemployment. In this regard, he also called upon all the nations for their concerted efforts in eliminating those impediments with an aim to ensure sustainable development and lasting peace. His sincere initiative and ardent advocacy to support the struggle for peace all over the world encouraged the world leaders as well.
Again, Bangabandhu adopted people-oriented policies which prioritized the welfare and basic rights of the people. Resultantly, his endeavors largely concentrated on the principles of social inclusion, empowerment, and justice, while underlining the need for fostering and strengthening international cooperation.
Following principles and ideology of Bangabandhu to establish world peace, Bangladesh, under the dynamic and the visionary of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has become a remarkable example of women empowerment and gender equality- a ‘role-model for sustainable and inclusive development- the term coined by none other than His Excellency Ban Ki-moon who is present among us today - though virtually.
In addition, Bangladesh is also one of the leading contributors to global peace and harmony through participation of its hundreds and of soldiers in the peacekeeping initiatives of the United Nations-and also, a glowing example of humanity – for temporarily sheltering 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas from Myanmar for quite some time.
Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
As I end, let me once again express my gratitude and warm appreciation to the distinguished speaker and discussants and all of you for your gracious presence at this event.
I understand you all are eagerly waiting to listen from His Excellency Ban ki-Moon on the life and legacy of Bangabandhu. I hope that today’s deliberations will provide us with the unique opportunity of further enriching our knowledge of Bangabandhu and his vision and philosophy.
With these few words, I welcome all my friends, excellencies, colleagues to listen to the speaker of the day - His Excellency Ban ki-Moon.
Joy Bangla. Joy Bangabandhu.
Long live the friendship between Bangladesh and the Republic of Korea.
Gamsamnida( গামসাম নিডা)