Statement by Mr. Nojibur Rahman, Charge’ d’ Affaires, a.i. Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN, NY in the Security Council open debate on “Peacekeeping: Taking Stock and Preparing for the Future”, New York, 26 August 2011
Let me begin by congratulating the Indian delegation for assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of August 2011. I also take this opportunity to thank the Presidency for focusing this debate on Peacekeeping: Taking Stock and Preparing for the Future. This amply delineates the priorities and importance attached by the Security Council to the cause of international peace, security and stability. Our appreciations are also owed to the Secretary General and other speakers for their statements.
My delegation aligns itself with the statement made by the Kingdom of Morocco on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.
It hardly requires any reiteration that the United Nations peacekeeping operation is a unique and flagship activity of the organization. Presence of blue helmets in the field provides hope of sustainable peace among the victims of conflict, buttresses efforts of achieving peace among world communities, reinvigorates allied activities for making peace sustainable and compels the conflicting parties to resort to peaceful solution.
In this regard, we convey our heartfelt gratitude for those who have made their ultimate sacrifices while working under the UN umbrella. Their sacrifices however, did not go in vain. Mediation and peacekeeping have contributed to 80 percent decline in total armed conflicts since the end of the Cold War. As study suggests, 87 percent of UN peacekeeping operations have been successful as compared to 50 percent success rate of other peace operations. Furthermore, UN peacekeeping is much cost effective vis-a-vis that of others. Above all, the opportunity cost of peacekeeping is immeasurable in terms of any financial or other resource standards. It construes that the UN peacekeeping is a must and we must ensure proper and effective support services to them for implementation of their mandates with efficacy.
Peacekeeping has now turned out to be a multidimensional and complex task compared to what it was a few years ago. Peacekeepers are now also mandated to support humanitarian assistance in post conflict situations, as well as enforcing peace. Now-a-days peacekeepers help organize elections, assist in the development of political institutions, engage in judicial and security sector reforms, restore public order, facilitate and coordinate voluntary return of refugees, inter-mission cooperation, early start of economic activities and other development related activities. It enhances hopes and dreams of the
people of the conflicting zones and they look forward to a „peace dividend‟ such as job creation, youth employment, minimum infrastructure, two meals a day and the like.
The future success of peacekeeping mission will largely depend on the political support it receives and also on the adequate and timely provision of financial, logistical and human resources plus involvement of stakeholders on the ground. In this regard, we reiterate the importance of closer and active involvement with TCCs when deciding on new peacekeeping missions or extending or amending the mandates of the current Missions. We emphasize on the following specific measures for building effective partnership throughout the whole process especially at both the decision making and implementation levels for successful operation of peacekeeping missions in future :
Broader political partnership must be made between UN and the host government to ensure political support for the peacekeeping operations;
Ensuring effective and inclusive consultation between the Security Council, the Secretariat and the TCCs;
TCCs‟ views must be reflected while deciding mission start up and bringing any change in the mandate of existing missions;
Initial mandate must be crafted carefully giving full reflection of potential TCCs;
Specific timeline must be stipulated, in consultation with TCCs while finalizing the MOU;
Any change in the operations must be in compliance with the views of those who are working in the field;
Fair representation of TCCs in the decision making process within the Secretariat as well as in the process of their implementation must be ensured. The representational issue of TCCs in the relevant Department such as DPKO and DFS must be ensured as requested repeatedly by the General Assembly; and
Mandates of the peacekeepers must be clear, specific and well defined, supported by adequate resources with sufficient safety and security as well as provision of training.
At operational level, partnership should include the following:
Ensuring minimum peace to be kept by the peacekeepers;
Creating workable conditions for the peacekeepers to operate;
Ensuring necessary coordination among relevant stakeholders;
Necessary coordination among UN and other bilateral and regional stakeholders;
Concerted efforts among UN agencies, funds and programs and BWIs in the field;
On our part, Bangladesh has played a cardinal role in maintenance of international peace and security for which we take a modicum of pride. In this context, I refer to the statement of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the General Debate of 64th UNGA in which she said, “Bangladesh is proud of its outstanding role as a major troop contributing country serving the United Nations in maintaining peace and security worldwide.” We had to brave many odds and difficulties and endure many sacrifices in the process for the fulfillment of the commitment to international peace and security, as enshrined in our constitution, which has been a constant source of our motivation and dedication. Ever since 1988, Bangladesh has been involved in 36 UN peacekeeping operations with approximately 100,000 personnel. Today, Bangladesh is ranked the First in the field. Over the years, it is with a mix of pride and gratitude I say that around 103 of our valiant peacekeepers had laid down their invaluable lives for the cause of UN sponsored peace. On this occasion, we pay homage to all the peacekeepers from Bangladesh and other TCCs who made their supreme sacrifices for the noble cause of international peace and prosperity. We also reiterate our firm commitment to continue our partnership with the UN for maintenance of international peace and security.
I thank you Mr. President.