Statement by the Bangladesh Delegation under Agenda Item 82: Consideration of effective measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives at the Sixth Committee of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly
10 October 2016, Trusteeship Council Chamber
Mr. Chairman/ Distinguished delegates,
Bangladesh believes that ensuring necessary protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions as well as representatives is absolutely crucial for proper conduct of international relations at the inter-governmental level. As a State Party to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Affairs 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Affairs 1963, Bangladesh remains committed to ensuring due compliance with the provisions of those instruments.
The unprecedented terrorist attacks in a restaurant located in the diplomatic area in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 01 July 2016, and the targeted killing of an international aid worker in the same area last year created some evident concern among the resident diplomatic and consular missions and country offices of international and regional organisations. A number of these missions and offices made requests to our Government to strengthen security around their premises, residences, important installations and their citizens’ investments in Bangladesh. Such concerns and requests were duly considered by our authorities concerned, and accordingly a number of measures were put into effect while some others remain under implementation.
The law enforcement agencies have already identified or apprehended the masterminds and perpetrators of the July terrorist attack, and dealt with them
under the purview of law. Significant gains have been made in disintegrating the new band of home-grown terrorist networks. The law enforcement and intelligence authorities remain seized with their counter-terrorism efforts, with close eyes on any possible linkage between the local operatives and the international terrorist groups the former tends to draw inspiration from.
In the aftermath of the attacks, a high level task force was formed under the chair of the Foreign Minister, with representations from various Ministries and agencies to look into the security concerns of the diplomatic missions. The number of security check-posts were increased covering all the entry/exit points of the diplomatic area. All check-posts are manned by armed police personnel and equipped with hand-held metal detectors. The whole area remains under CCTV camera surveillance, and boat patrolling has been introduced in a nearby lake.
As per request of some diplomatic missions, the Government has decided to provide, on a temporary and optional basis, non-distinguishable, digital, white number plates to vehicles of diplomatic missions, subject to compliance with certain provisions.
In addition to regular security coverage provided to diplomatic missions, law enforcement personnel patrol the diplomatic areas in plain clothes. The government has also decided to raise a pool of appropriately trained para-military forces that interested Missions may hire on a monthly payment basis for additional security measures. Import and purchase permissions are being given for obtaining armored vehicles by diplomatic missions, if so desired.
Adequate number of security personnel has been deployed in front and around the educational institutions run by foreign mission(s) and usually attended by wards of diplomats. Security measures have been beefed up at foreign investment facilities around the country. An Expatriate Help Cell has been set up on round-the-clock basis, run by trained personnel.
Such measures have generally helped bring back confidence of our people as well as diplomatic officials and foreigners living and visiting the country. A number of high-profile incoming visits in recent times should bear testimony to that.
To conclude, our delegation has taken careful note of the information and observations furnished in the Secretary General’s report contained in Document A/71/130, and wishes to better utilize the reporting mechanism in future.
I thank you.