The United States Congress introduced a resolution On March 29, 2023, in recognition and commendation of Bangladesh’s remarkable socio-economic progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, as the country celebrated its 52nd anniversary of independence. Republican Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina, co-chair of the Congressional Bangladesh Caucus, introduced the resolution at the Congress.
Congressman Wilson has been serving as the US representative for South Carolina’s 2nd congressional district since 2001 and has a long history of public service, having previously served as the South Carolina state senator from the 23rd district from 1985 to 2001. In introducing the resolution, Congressman Wilson highlighted that the United States recognised Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan 51 years ago on April 4, 1972.
What is more in the resolution?
The resolution is a testament to Bangladesh’s significant progress in various fields, including poverty reduction, health, education, and economic development, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The resolution acknowledges the efforts of the government in promoting democracy, human rights, and gender equality, as well as its commitment to countering terrorism and extremism.
The resolution also recognises the growing partnership between Bangladesh and the United States in various areas, including trade and investment, security cooperation, and development assistance. It highlights the importance of the US-Bangladesh relationship in promoting regional stability and prosperity.
Moreover, the struggle for democracy and freedom led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman during the nine-month-long Bangladesh Liberation War is also acknowledged in the resolution, in which members of the Pakistan Armed Forces and pro-Pakistani militias killed hundreds of thousands of people and injured many more.
The resolution highlights Bangladesh’s remarkable progress over the past five decades, from being one of the poorest nations to having one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. The GDP per capita has increased to $2,457 in 2021, exceeding that of its regional neighbours, according to the World Bank. The resolution commends the government of Bangladesh and its people for their tremendous efforts in achieving this impressive feat.
The resolution also acknowledges the government’s commitment to promoting democracy, human rights, gender equality, and countering terrorism and extremism. The government’s efforts in reducing poverty, improving health and education, and promoting economic development are also acknowledged.
Progress of Bangladesh discussed in the resolution
It is noted by the resolution that Bangladesh’s economy has grown from $9 billion to $450 billion, and life expectancy has risen from 47 years to 73 years. The adult literacy rate has risen to more than 75 per cent, reflecting the country’s focus on education and human development.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has made substantial progress in various areas, including food production, disaster resilience, poverty reduction, improved health, education, and women’s empowerment. The resolution commended the government of Bangladesh and its people for their remarkable achievements in these areas.
The resolution also highlighted Bangladesh’s success in maintaining a moderate Muslim society and curbing extremism in the country. The people of Bangladesh have sought to maintain support for democracy and the rule of law, rather than descending into authoritarian rule, which is commendable.
Bangladesh’s trade relation with US recognised too
The resolution recognised the vital role that Bangladesh has played in promoting economic growth and regional stability, as well as its significant contributions to the United States and the international community.
The resolution noted that the US is the largest export market for Bangladesh and one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment. Bangladesh has also contributed to the US economy through bilateral trade and international security cooperation, which has benefited both countries.
Bangladesh’s generous and indispensable role in accepting and sheltering more than one million Rohingya people from the genocide perpetrated by its neighbour, Myanmar is also acknowledged in the resolution. According to the resolution, the American people appreciate Bangladesh’s humanitarian efforts and the significant contribution it has made towards addressing this crisis. It also added the United States’ contribution over $2 billion in humanitarian aid to support this cause.
Furthermore, the resolution recognised Bangladesh as one of the world’s largest contributors to United Nations’ peacekeeping efforts globally.
The importance of enhancing people-to-people and government-to-government relationships between the US and Bangladesh to achieve shared prosperity is also emphasised by the resolution.
The American people appreciate Bangladesh’s humanitarian efforts, and the resolution expressed gratitude for the contribution made by Bangladesh in accepting more than 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
The resolution recognised and commended the nation and people of Bangladesh as they celebrate five decades of independence, reinforcing the commitment of the United States Congress to supporting the continued growth and prosperity of Bangladesh.