Statement By Her Excellency Sheikh Hasina Prime Minister People’s Republic of Bangladesh HIGH LEVEL SUMMIT ON UN PEACEKEEPING 10:15 hrs-12:00 hrs
26 SEPTEMBER 2014, Conference Room 2, Conference Building , UN Head Quarters , New York
Mr. Vice-President, Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to co-host this High Level Summit on Peacekeeping.
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.
Peacekeeping continues to face newer challenges. It is becoming more complex, demanding,and dangerous for UN peacekeepers and the UN. 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 troops and police need much more costly, and comprehensive training. They face asymmetric and high-risk security threats with the challenge to fulfil more robust mandates. With our longstanding experience in delivering Mission mandates, 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, atUN Secretary General’s emergency call to me, we got ready to deploy an infantry unit to South Sudan within 48 hours. We deployed medical and engineer units within 2 to 3 weeks. Our Air Force helicopters and Police units were deployed from Congo to South Sudan at very short notice. In Mali, Eastern Congo and CAR, 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 into rebel held territory and maintained peace. Andin all these, we remained fully self-sustained including in accommodation, taking the pressure off from UN logistics system. I can assure youExcellencies, Bangladesh would maintain similar rapid deployment and self-sustaining capabilities in the future.
There is a call for improving rapid deployment and force generation for start-up missions. There is a call for stronger protection of civilians. There is a call for support to lacking enabling capabilities in fulfilling mandates. These must be met through joint and individual contributions and new partnerships.
As a tested and a confident peacekeeper country, Bangladesh pledges to build partnerships with countries that need critical enablers, personnel, force and mission. We also remain ready for triangular co-operation. Bangladesh will provide training and skills to emerging TCCs with support from partners. 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.
We pledge 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. We look forward to entering into logistics and services supply partnerships for field support to missions,including with the African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership.
Bangladesh has a state-of-the-art Institute for Peace Support Operations and Training, BIPSOT. We have plans to turn BIPSOT into a global centre of excellence for training peacekeepers, specially women peacekeepers from all countries. We pledge to share our expertise through customized training, joint exercises and necessary technical support to other TCCs and PCCs. We aim 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.
Bangladesh has become a brand name in peace support operations for our utmost dedication and professionalism. For our high respect for religious, cultural and social values of the people we serve. Our commitment to peacekeeping is reaffirmed through the supreme sacrifice made by 119 of our 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. I wish to conclude by conveying 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. We value our partnership with the US and other cohosts to carry our pledges forward.My salute to peacekeepers all over the world.
I thank you all.