Hasina plants tree, dedicates bench to Bangabandhu at UN Headquarters garden

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has planted a honey locust tree at a garden in the UN Headquarters dedicated to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to mark his birth centenary.

She also unveiled a bench engraved with a message from Bangabandhu at the north lawn of the UN Headquarters on Monday morning local time.

The honey locust, or gleditsia triacanthos, can reach a height of 20–30 metres. They exhibit fast growth, but live a medium-long life span of about 120 years.

Following the planting, Sheikh Hasina said September was a special month as Sept 17 was the first time the United Nations acknowledged Bangladesh as an independent nation.

After the UN recognised Bangladesh, Bangabandhu went to its headquarters and delivered a speech in Bangla on Sept 25.

“It was great to plant a tree and dedicate a bench (to Bangabandhu) in the month of September. The tree will live over a hundred years and carry a message of peace,” Hasina said.

Trees contribute to maintaining the environment and provide shade and food to people, the prime minister said.

“They save people’s lives.”

She also spoke about the bench as a spot for reflection.

“One can sit on the bench at their leisure and ponder a variety of issues, not only related to themselves but also to people across the globe. The Father of the Nation always fought to ensure peace and to bring about a positive change in poor people’s lives. In addition to thinking about the people of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu also always thought about the oppressed, poor and hungry around the world.”

Hasina highlighted Bangabandhu’s foreign policy which followed the motto of friendship with all and conflict with none. “His aim in life was to nurture friendship with all, as it would ensure peace. He spent his entire life in a struggle to uphold peace. No country can prosper without peace, as we know well.”

The prime minister paid her homage to peacekeepers killed in action by placing a wreath at their memorial.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, State Minister Md Shahriar Alam and Rabab Fatima, Bangladesh’s permanent representative to the UN accompanied her.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived in New York to attend the 76th United Nations General Assembly on Sunday.

On Friday (Sept 17), the prime minister left Dhaka for a two-day stopover in Finland before heading to New York.