Statement by H. E. Sheikh Hasina Hon’ble Prime Minister Government of the People’s Republic of BangladeshHigh-Level Event for Action for Peacekeeping at the UNHQ, New York on
25 September 2018
Mr. Secretary General
Ladies and Gentlemen
I thank you for inviting me to this High Level Event on ‘Action for Peacekeeping’, or A4P. As a leading contributor of troops and police, we attach high importance to UN peacekeeping reform.
Peacekeepers are now deployed in certain places where there is no peace to keep. They face growing, unconventional threats from non-state actors. UN missions are often working alongside other forces with different standards. These are making UN peacekeeping operations difficult and dangerous.
Peacekeepers should, therefore, be given clear mandates. They should be adequately authorized and equipped to fulfil their mandates. Their commitment and performance should set the benchmark for their deployment. Their safety and security must be improved.
We hope that A4P will help make UN peacekeeping ‘fit for purpose’. The ‘Declaration of Shared Peacekeeping Commitments’ is an important outcome. It underlines the collective responsibility of all concerned. It reaffirms the primacy of politics for UN peace operations.
Investment in UN peacekeeping is worth every life it saves. Reducing costs and personnel can have serious impact on the ground. The concerns of those on the frontline must be heard. Troop and police contributing countries should be taken into confidence by the Security Council and the Secretariat.
The Declaration should have meaningful follow-up. The commitments made should be accounted for. Bangladesh stands ready to do its part.
Peacekeeping is one of our foreign policy priorities. We have never failed to respond to the UN’s call for maintaining peace. This year, we celebrated 30 years of Bangladesh’s contribution to UN peacekeeping operations.
Many of our peacekeepers have lost their lives on the line of duty. Yet our resolve to serve has not been shaken. We can now deploy our peacekeepers in the shortest possible time. We train them well and in advance. They adapt fast to any challenging situation. They work to win the hearts and minds of the people they serve.
Our peacekeepers should be able to keep themselves safe and secure. They should be able to protect civilians where needed. To that end, we have provided mine-protected vehicles to our troops in Mali with our own resources. We are following suit in other Missions. Our peacekeepers are also advised to reduce their environmental footprint.
I take a personal interest in increasing the number of our female peacekeepers. We have deployed our first female helicopter pilots in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This has been a milestone for us. We would be happy to provide more senior leadership at the Headquarters and in the field.
We maintain a ‘zero tolerance policy’ on sexual exploitation and abuse. I remain committed to the work of the Secretary General’s Circle of Leadership.
UN peacekeeping is a global public good. We must all work with a positive mindset to uphold its dignity. We must respect the beacon of hope it is in the lives of many.
I thank you all.