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UN yet to recognise Pakistan genocide in Bangladesh in 1971

Reiterates hope for ‘free, fair and credible’ election in Bangladesh
UNB . Dhaka
09 Dec 2023 13:46:44 | Update: 09 Dec 2023 15:19:54
UN yet to recognise Pakistan genocide in Bangladesh in 1971
UN chief’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric — Courtesy/X

A questioner said the United Nations is yet to take action to recognise the genocide action committed by Pakistani occupying force in Bangladesh during the Liberation War in 1971 and sought comments from the spokesman.

In reply, he said, “First of all, with all due respect to historical events and those who suffered during those historical events, I will not comment on things that happened that long ago. Second, as we’ve said here repeatedly over and over again, it is not for the Secretary-General to designate an event as genocide. It is up to competent judicial authorities.”

Every 9 December, the Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide marks the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide – a crucial global commitment that was made at the founding of the United Nations, immediately preceding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

UN hope for ‘free, fair and credible’ election

The United Nations has reiterated its hope for "free, fair and credible elections" in Bangladesh.

"I haven’t seen the letter, and I would just refer you to what I’ve already said extensively on the elections in Bangladesh and our hopes for a free, fair, and credible election," Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, told reporters during a regular briefing on December 8.

Earlier in November, Bangladesh conveyed to the United Nations that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is “determined to hold a free and fair election” but will not tolerate burning of public and private properties and human lives in the name of demonstration that the opposition frequently perpetrates.

“In the context of undue, unwarranted and vested political pressure that we are facing from different comers ahead of our upcoming National Parliamentary Election, we hope that United Nations system, including its Secretariat, agencies and country office, would play a constructive and collaborative role to assist Bangladesh to remain persistent in its development trajectory,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen wrote in his letter to the UN.

The letter was written on November 19 and the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN transmitted it to the UN on November 20.

Responding to a question, the UN Secretary-General’s spokesman said the UN does not send election observers without a specific mandate.