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The US still cares deeply about democracy

Social and environmental resilience, for example, is critically important. My team and I intend to continue engagement with Bangladesh on climate change and the transition to clean energy. Climate change affects everyone, Americans and Bangladeshis alike. And I hope to build on our excellent cooperation that brought more than 100 million of Covid vaccines to the people of Bangladesh.

The security relationship between our countries and in the region is also an important one. Our militaries (or armed forces) and law enforcement officials are finding more ways to expand their ability to work together to counter security threats and alleviate the impact of natural disasters. We also hope to play a role in the modernisation of Bangladesh’s military.

On the labour front, the United States believes that Bangladesh must align its laws, policies, and practices with international labour standards. President Biden has set out a global labour strategy that prioritises labour rights around the world. This strategy will guide our actions in encouraging Bangladesh to adopt laws and policies that ensure workers can form and join independent, democratic unions freely and without fear, reprisal or retribution.

This did not happen. The United States still cares deeply about democracy—in Bangladesh and elsewhere. Quite simply, we believe democracy is the best way to achieve enduring economic prosperity that serves all of a country’s people. We will continue to support the brave members of civil society and human rights defenders. We will continue to call for an end to the systematic repression and harassment of media professionals who are just doing their jobs. We will continue to press for greater freedom of speech and assembly. And we will continue to call for meaningful political dialogue to pave the way for a more open, peaceful, and democratic society.

My country’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.” As I begin my third year as US ambassador to Bangladesh, these words ring true—each day, I remain impressed by the potential of the country, by the energy and resiliency of its people, and by its vibrant civil society.

As I said last year, Bangladesh has come a very long way from its beginnings. As I look to the future—a future that comes one day at a time—I see opportunity, but also significant challenges. Prior to the January 7, 2024 parliamentary election, the United States advocated publicly for a free and fair election that would reflect the democratic aspirations of the people of Bangladesh.

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