PM REAFFIRMS BANGLADESH’S SUPPORT TO PEACEKEEPING, REVIEW OF UN SECRETARY GENERAL
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today reaffirmed Bangladesh’s unequivocal support to UN Secretary General’s strategic review on peacekeeping by providing rapid help at all times.
“Bangladesh has become a brand name in peace support operations for our utmost dedication and professionalism,” she said.
” So I want to reaffirm our full support to UN Secretary General’s strategic review on peacekeeping, and our resolve to strengthen his hands by providing rapid support at all times,” she said.
The Prime Minister also reiterated Bangladesh’s pledges to build partnerships with countries that need critical enablers, personnel, force and mission.
“As a tested and a confident peacekeeper country, Bangladesh pledges to build partnerships with countries that need critical enablers, personnel, force and mission,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said this while delivering her speech at a high-level summit on UN Peacekeeping at the UN Headquarters today.
The Prime Minister said UN Peacekeeping has evolved as a central pillar of Bangladesh’s value-driven foreign policy.
“As invoked in our Constitution, Bangladesh has, never ever failed to respond positively and quickly to UN’s call for strengthening peace and stability worldwide,” she said.
She said Bangladesh’s commitment to peacekeeping is reaffirmed through the supreme sacrifice made by 119 of its valiant sons.
“To carry on their legacy, we are currently working on a National Peacekeeping Strategy to pursue evolving pledges and capabilities to UN peacekeeping.”
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh also remains ready for triangular co-operation. “We will provide training and skills to emerging troops contributing countries (TCCs) with support from partners,” she said.
“We further pledge to contribute well-trained and self-sustained infantry units and formed police units, including all-female police units at shortest possible time,” she said.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh pledges to offer critical enablers including air power, helicopters and aircrafts at shortest notice.
“We pledge engineers, signals, medical teams, riverine and sea-based units on shortest notice. We are also keen on providing senior leadership both at UN Headquarters and in field missions,” she said.
She said Bangladesh looks forward to entering into logistics and services supply partnerships for field support to missions, including with the African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has a state-of-the-art Institute for Peace Support Operations and Training, BIPSOT. “We have planned to turn BIPSOT into a global centre of excellence for training peacekeepers, specially women peacekeepers from all countries,” she said.
“We pledge to share our expertise through customized training, joint exercises and necessary technical support to other TCCs and police contributing countries (PCCs),” she said.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh aims to make Protection of Civilians (POC), gender and human rights issues an essential component of our regular peace support training. “We pledge to invest in further enhancing language skills of our peacekeepers,” she said.
“We value our partnership with the US and other co-hosts to carry our pledges forward. My salute to peacekeepers all over the world,” she said.
With our longstanding experience in delivering Mission mandates, she said, Bangladesh has constantly updated its deployment capabilities with evolving nature of peace support operations.
“Our capacity to quickly respond and adapt fast enough to high-risk, complex missions, has placed us in the league of most dependable contributors.
Last December, at the UN Secretary General’s emergency call to me, we got ready to deploy an infantry unit to South Sudan within 48 hours.
She said Bangladesh deployed medical and engineer units within two to three weeks. “Our Air Force helicopters and Police units were deployed from Congo to South Sudan at very short notice,” she said.
In Mali, Eastern Congo and Central African Republic, Bangladesh was quickest to deploy troops under blue helmet.
“In Sierra Leone and DR Congo, when no other country was willing to, our peacekeepers negotiated, entered rebel held territory and maintained peace,” she said.
And in all these, she said, Bangladesh remained fully self-sustained including in accommodation, taking the pressure off from UN logistics system.
“I can assure that Bangladesh would maintain similar rapid deployment and self-sustaining capabilities in the future,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said peacekeeping continues to face newer challenges. “It is becoming more complex, demanding, and dangerous for UN peacekeepers and the UN,” she said.
She said UN Missions are currently being called to end ethnic conflicts, prevent violence, assist countries to make the difficult transition from conflict to peace and from chaos to state-building.
The Prime Minister said the troops and police need much more costly and comprehensive training. “They face asymmetric and high-risk security threats with the challenge to fulfill more robust mandates,” she said.
The Prime Minister said there is a call for improving rapid deployment and force generation for start-up missions. “There is a call for stronger protection of civilians,” she said.
“There is a call for support to lacking enabling capabilities in fulfilling mandates and these must be met through joint and individual contributions and new partnerships,” she said.
SEPTEMBER 27, 2014