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Bangladesh pushes for comprehensive training for UN peacekeepers

  • Published at 10:49 am May 9th, 2019
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File photo:202 new BAF peacekeepers stands at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport moment before departing from Dhaka for Congo via a UN chartered aircraft on Friday, December 1, 2018 ISPR

Bangladesh's UN envoy said the country is committed to increasing the number of female peacekeepers

Bangladesh has called for strong collaboration—among the UN secretariat, member states, troops, and police-contributing countries—to achieve comprehensive training for peacekeepers.

Bangladesh's Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Masud Bin Momen, said this at an open debate titled “Peacekeeping Training and Capacity-Building” at the UN Security Council on Wednesday, reports UNB.

Among the troop-and-police-contributing countries, Bangladesh stood in fifth place for the number of female peacekeepers contributed in 2018.

The envoy said: “The UN peacekeepers, working in a complex cultural and political situation in a foreign country, require comprehensive management of training needs.”

He underscored three aspects of training and capacity-building, namely, priorities for training needs, partnership, and practices.

Ambassador Masud highlighted Bangladesh's priorities regarding training needs; particularly, pre-deployment training on awareness against sexual abuse and exploitation.

He mentioned several training courses under the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operations and Training, such as: the Potential Observers and Staff Officers Course; the Warrant Officers’ and Non-Commissioned Officers’ Peace Support Operations Course; the Contingent Members Course; Improvised Explosive Device (IED) training; and training for how to handle modern equipment.

The courses were prepared following a UN-specified training curriculum, and these are reviewed regularly as per the latest guidelines and policies of the Integrated Training Service of UNDPO.

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Throughout, Ambassador Masud highlighted Bangladesh's partnership with Germany, US PACOM & UNDPKO, and UNHQs; for the IED Train the Trainer Course, seminar on Achieving Operational Readiness, and the upcoming Comprehensive Protection of Civilian Course.

He emphasized the importance of sharing relevant experience and practices from other UN missions— and sharing recommendations of senior mission leaders—to mitigate the training gaps in areas of human rights, safety and protection of troops and civilians and gender violence.

Highlighting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's zero-tolerance policy, Ambassador Masud said: "Bangladesh has always stood strongly to support the secretary general's zero-tolerance policy against all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers."

He also said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is a member of the Circle of Leadership on the prevention of, and response to, sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers.

Ambassador Masud reaffirmed Bangladesh's strong support to the secretary-general's initiatives on Peace and Security reforms; Action for Peacekeeping agenda; DPO's Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy; and shared commitments laid out by the council.

While speaking about Bangladeshi peacekeepers' success stories, he reiterated the country's commitment to gradually increasing the number of  female peacekeepers.

The open debate was convened by Indonesia, the president of the UNSC for this month.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered the opening remarks, focusing improving and strengthening comprehensive training and its related mandate — which is a major shared commitment of the Action for Peacekeeping initiative.

More than 60 member states participated in the event, including 15 members of the council.