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Bangladesh calls for greater unity of climate vulnerable nations

DHAKA, May 30 — Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday opened a two-day Asia Regional Conference of the Global Climate Change Alliance in the country's capital Dhaka, making a plea to the most vulnerable nations to forge a greater unity to press home their demands.

"We need to stand unitedly and raise our voice together. Otherwise, outcomes might not be favorable for us and we'll be the worst climate victims," she said.

Hasina said progress in disbursement of the 30 billion U.S. dollars fund pledged by the developed economies for the climate vulnerable nations for the years 2010-2012 is very slow.

She, however, expressed the hope that the developed countries will provide the climate-victim nations adaptation fund and technical assistance at the earliest to help them cope with the climate-induced calamities.

The Bangladeshi government and the European Union have jointly organized the conference, in which ministers and high officials of Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and the Republic of Yemen are attending.

Regarding the conference, Bangladesh's State Minister for Environment and Forest Hasan Mahmud on Saturday told reporters, the objective of the conference is to enhance understanding among the least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDSs) on climate change risks.

Ahead of the climate change conference in Mexico late this year, the conference is very significant, he said, adding through better understanding, it will be easier for the LDCs and SIDSs to take joint stance during the climate negotiations.

Bangladesh led the LDCs in the fifteenth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) in Copenhagen last year and hopes to hold the same position in the Mexico climate conference, Mahmud said, adding, "We're keen to make our concerted voice louder there in Mexico also." (PNA/Xinha)

DCT/rsm

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