Foreign envoys stationed in Bangladesh must abide by the Vienna Convention

Certain foreign dignitaries stationed in Dhaka continue to blatantly collude with anti-Bangladesh and destabilizing forces, attempting to interfere with our country's affairs.

3 mins read
Beautiful rural life, Padmabil, Khulna, Bangladesh [ Photo Credit: ]

We firmly believe that all countries, regardless of their size, strength, wealth, or poverty, are equals, and the internal affairs of any nation should be handled through consultation by its own people. The era of foreign meddling in the internal affairs of countries and the dictation of global decisions by a small group of nations is long gone.

Despite this, some foreign diplomats and chiefs of international organizations stationed in Bangladesh have maliciously engaged in slandering and smearing the Bangladesh government or grossly interfering in its internal affairs through various means.

We reject the politicization of human rights issues, double standards, and any interference in Bangladesh’s internal affairs under the pretext of human rights.

They should refrain from making irresponsible comments. Bangladesh will continue to take resolute measures to defend our national interests.

According to Article 41 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961, diplomats have a duty not to interfere with the internal affairs of the host State where they are serving.

They should bear in mind that Bangladesh can take legal action under the Convention, as stated in Article 9(1), which allows the receiving State to declare the head of the mission or any member of the diplomatic staff persona non grata or not acceptable at any time without having to explain the decision.

Certain western power countries suddenly attempt to rewrite our history, but this is an assault on the truth.

The foreign diplomats stationed in Bangladesh, particularly those from the US mission, have been working against our freedom and sovereignty. We will no longer tolerate this behaviour.

Their actions have given the impression that they are taking sides with some opposition political parties, taking advantage of the current so-called political situation.

If the purpose of diplomacy is to develop and diversify international relationships, avoid conflicts, foster understanding, and promote confidence, tolerance, and mutual respect, it has clearly failed, and new causes of conflict between nations have emerged.

We urge them to abide by the principle of non-interference in international law and other basic norms governing international relations, and to cease meddling in Bangladesh’s internal affairs on the pretext of values like human rights, freedom of speech, and democracy, which they do not uphold in their own countries.

Sovereign equality is a fundamental norm of international relations and a basic principle of international law, as expressed in the Charter of the United Nations (UN). The principle of non-intervention is also central to sovereign equality and has been reaffirmed in the UN General Assembly’s declaration on friendly relations and co-operation in 1970. The International Court of Justice has reiterated non-intervention as a principle of customary international law in its 1986 judgment.

Certain foreign dignitaries stationed in Dhaka continue to blatantly collude with anti-Bangladesh and destabilizing forces, attempting to interfere with our country’s affairs. Such acts violate international law and undermine the spirit of the rule of law. Any society that cherishes the rule of law should condemn and prevent such behaviours.

We do not need to resort to laws from other countries. Furthermore, the country does not require endorsement by foreign envoys for the next general elections.

Bangladesh is not a banana republic, and the country will not accept arrogant behaviour from ambassadors and high commissioners of any foreign diplomatic missions, regardless of the country they represent.

They must respect the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which stipulates that foreign countries have “the duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State.”

Despite the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the US on our elite force – RAB, and their attempts to meddle in Bangladesh’s internal affairs, we are determined to fully and faithfully implement the principles of development and democracy.

All attempts by foreign forces to exert pressure and sabotage will be in vain. Bangladesh firmly rejects and strongly condemns any gross interference in our country’s internal affairs.

It is time to reevaluate the norm of non-intervention in domestic affairs, particularly as it applies to non-forcible efforts to influence another state’s internal politics. The existence of such a norm is widely proclaimed, and it is commonly assumed to be a legal obligation rather than a mere practice of comity or aspirational objective.

No external interference can shake the determination of the Bangladesh government to continue with the principle of development and democratic processes.

There should be no “bossing” and “meddling” in the internal affairs of other countries, as Dhaka faces increasing pressure from Washington and its allies over so-called issues of human rights violations and the voting process.

We must advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy, and freedom, which are common values of humanity, and encourage exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations to promote the progress of human civilization.

What we need in today’s world is justice, not hegemony.

Large countries should behave responsibly and with a greater sense of responsibility in line with their status.

Our concerns against Washington stem from their vigorous pursuit of a strong Bangladesh containment policy initiated by previous presidents.

Biden united US allies like the UK, the EU, and other countries over his Bangladesh policy, holding the first quadrilateral summit of the emerging alliance called QUAD, where the QUAD countries took a united position on Bangladesh, trying to exert control over our country.

Global governance should reflect the evolving political and economic landscape in the world, promote peace, development, and win-win cooperation, and address global challenges effectively.

Regarding climate change, we emphasize the importance of green development, advancing international cooperation, and implementing the Paris Agreement more effectively.

Efforts should also focus on boosting the digital economy and increasing cooperation in areas like artificial intelligence, biomedicine, and modern energy to benefit people in all countries from scientific and technological innovation.

Finally, we must refrain from singling out the United States for being interventionist, as many nations engage in similar behaviours. We oppose any foreign attempts to meddle in Bangladesh’s internal affairs.

Let’s encourage a peaceful and respectful approach to international relations that upholds justice and mutual cooperation.

Anwar A. Khan

Anwar A. Khan is an independent political analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh who writes on politics, political and human-centred figures, current and international affairs

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