Bangladesh prioritizes reforming UN peacekeeping
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for upholding the dignity of UN peacekeeping.
She said Bangladesh prioritizes reforming UN peacekeeping, reports BSS.
The prime minister said: “We must all work with a positive mindset to uphold the dignity of UN peacekeeping,” she said while talking at a High-Level Event on Action for Peacekeeping (A4P)—held at the Trusteeship Council Chamber of the UN Headquarters on Tuesday.
The event was held at the initiative of the UN secretary General Antonio Guterres.
She said as a leading contributor to troops and police, Bangladesh prioritizes UN peacekeeping reform.
Sheikh Hasina said peacekeepers are now deployed in certain places where they face growing, unconventional threats from non-state actors.
She said the UN missions are often working alongside other forces, who abide by different standards, which is making UN peacekeeping operations difficult and dangerous.
“Peacekeepers should, therefore, be given clear mandates and they should be adequately authorized and equipped to fulfill their mandates,” the prime minister said.
Stressing the safety and security of peacekeepers, the premier said their commitment and performance would set the benchmark for their deployment.
“Their safety and security must be improved. We hope that A4P will help make UN peacekeeping ‘fit for purpose’,” she said.
Deeming the Declaration of Shared Peacekeeping Commitments an important outcome, Sheikh Hasina said: “It underlines the collective responsibility of all concerned.
“It reaffirms the primacy of politics for UN peace operations.”
Investment in UN peacekeeping is worth every life it saves, she said adding: “Reducing costs and personnel can have a serious impact on the ground.”
Sheikh Hasina said: “Countries that contribute troops and police should be taken into confidence by the Security Council and the Secretariat.”
Noting that peacekeeping is one of Bangladesh’s foreign policy priorities, she said: “We have never failed to respond to the UN’s call to maintain peace.
“This year, we celebrated 30 years of Bangladesh’s contribution to UN peacekeeping operations.”
Sheikh Hasina said many of Bangladeshi peacekeepers have lost their lives in the line of duty.
She added: “Yet our resolve to serve has not been shaken. We can now deploy our peacekeepers in the shortest possible time.
“We train them well and in advance. They adapt fast to any challenging situation and they work to win the hearts and minds of the people they serve.”
The premier said Bangladeshi peacekeepers should be able to keep themselves safe and secure to protect civilians where needed.
“To that end, we have provided mine-protected vehicles to our troops in Mali with our own resources,” she said.
“We are following suit in other Missions … our peacekeepers are also advised to reduce their environmental footprint,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina said she is taking a personal interest in increasing the number of female peacekeepers.
She said: “We have deployed our first female helicopter pilots in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This has been a milestone for us.”
The premier said Bangladesh would be happy to provide more senior leadership at the Headquarters and in the field.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh maintains a “zero tolerance policy” on sexual exploitation and abuse.
“I remain committed to the work of the Secretary General’s Circle of Leadership,” she said.