Statement by Brig Gen AKM Akhtaruzzaman, ndc, psc, Defence Adviser of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the UN at the Fourth Committee on Comprehensive Review of the whole Question of Peacekeeping Operations in all their aspects (agenda Item 51), New York, 21 November 2016

Statement by Brig Gen AKM Akhtaruzzaman, ndc, psc, Defence Adviser of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the UN at the Fourth Committee on Comprehensive Review of the whole Question of Peacekeeping Operations in all their aspects (agenda Item 51),  New York, 21 November 2016

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies and colleagues. Good afternoon. Let me join my previous speakers in thanking you for the leadership you provided to the Bureau. Mr. Chairman, I also thank Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping Mr. Herve Ladsous and Under Secretary General for Field Support, Mr. Atul Khare for their comprehensive briefing about the current perspective on peacekeeping operations.

Mr. Chairman, Bangladesh aligns itself with the NAM statement on peacekeeping. In our national capacity we would like to flag a few issues.
Our commitment to UN peacekeeping is strong and steadfast. As one of the leading troop and police contributing countries, Bangladesh has a vital stake in the effectiveness of peace operations. We recognize that the range and context of peacekeeping have rapidly changed over the years. With the evolving nature of peace operations we have constantly updated our deployment and operational capabilities. Let me highlight few of the issues from our perspective.

First, we acknowledge the need for improving rapid deployment and force generation in the field missions, particularly at start-up missions. Bangladesh remains firmly committed to bring an Infantry Battalion, a signal company and a formed police unit at Rapid deployment Level (RDL) in 2017. We are also willing to deploy Engineering Company, Level II hospital, Riverine Unit, Air Field Services Unit to address the existing and projected gaps in peacekeeping missions. Please also note that we are capable of deploying these compliments within 60 days of receiving
the formal offer.

Second, our peacekeepers are committed to protect the civilians and promote human rights and gender perspective issues. We train and equip our peacekeepers adequately to undertake POC mandate under all difficult circumstances. We have  incorporated a comprehensive POC component in our peacekeeping training curricula, with in-built demonstration exercises. Our peacekeepers have also  performed well in challenging missions like MINUSCA and MINUSMA. However, we have to bear in mind that POC is a concerted effort and we call for more coordinated approach including sharing of the responsibilities by the host nation.

Third, Bangladesh being one of the top troop and police contributors put special emphasis in preparing our peacekeepers to meet the future challenges of Peacekeeping. We recognize the need for modernization of peacekeeping with new technologies. Accordingly, we are equipping our contingents with new technology to meet the UN current and emerging requirements. We also support the concept of sharing real-time information both horizontally and laterally to enhance operational outreach.

Fourth, Bangladesh firmly supports the UN stand for increased participation of female peacekeepers. We have started sending our female peacekeepers from 2002. We are taking gradual steps to increase the number of female peacekeepers. We also seek support from DPKO and DFS to create certain conditions to facilitate more female participation; for example, deploying female officers in pairs etc.

Fifth, we strongly urge for continued measures for the safety and security of the peacekeepers. This includes provision of adequate defence stores, sharing of timely information and threat assessment. We would also like to emphasize that peacekeepers must not be engaged in any counter-terrorism tasks anytime.

Sixth, we call for continued triangular partnership between the TCC/PCC, Secretariat and the Security Council both at strategic and operation level. We have  seen few measures taken to strengthen this step in recent time. However, we still feel that it needs more comprehensive approach to yield better understanding and effective outcome at the field level.

Seventh, Bangladesh assures “Zero Tolerance” to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) cases. Our primary efforts are directed to prevent any SEA cases. We have taken serious punitive measures against the individual who was found guilty through investigation. Bangladesh reiterates her firm commitment to address such allegations with appropriate disciplinary actions against the perpetrator.

Eighth, Bangladesh has a state-of-the-art Institute for Peace Support Operation and Training (BIPSOT). We are developing it as a centre of excellence for the training of peacekeepers. We commit to provide customized training and support to other troop and police contributing countries.

Bangladeshi Peacekeepers had been operating in many complex and beleaguered areas of the world, under different trying situations; even against
serious threats to their lives. Bangladesh resolutely reiterates her firm commitment to undertake any UN assignment for global peace and stability in future.

In conclusion I would like to flag that UN Peacekeeping operations are mostly time bound and to have sustainable peace, stability and security, we need to create a mind-set of tolerance and respect for each other irrespective of ethnicity, colour, background, and religion. We are confident that if we commit more resources to create such a mind-set, we would succeed and see a more peaceful planet free from violence, misunderstanding and war and terror.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.