I thank the UN Secretary General and other co-hosts for organizing this Ministerial Meeting.
As one of the largest troops and police contributing countries, Bangladesh has made significant contributions in bringing peace in conflict ravaged countries. Despite sacrifices and casualties, Bangladesh remains committed to undertake any UN assignment for global peace and security. Our commitment comes from the Foreign policy guidelines as enshrined in the Constitution and the vision of our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for a peaceful world. Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is carrying forward his vision.
To meet the UN requirement, Bangladesh has pledged 26 components to UN “Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System” including 09 components from Army, 06 from Navy, 03 from Air force and 08 from Police. In addition, Bangladesh has also pledged a unit for operational-level Unmanned Aerial Surveillance (UAS) in partnership with the United States. We have also demonstrated our commitment by contributing to the norms setting part of the peacekeeping including through our active participation in Action for Peacekeeping Agenda and in other parallel processes like C-34.
As Bangladesh endured atrocity crimes committed against civilians during our Liberation War in 1971, we endorsed the Kigali Principles on Protection of Civilians. We have incorporated a strong and comprehensive PoC component in our peacekeeping training with in-built demonstration and tabletop exercises. However, we must realize that the mandate for PoC must be realistic and achievable considering the complex and increasingly dangerous peacekeeping operations.
We must not forget the importance of adequate resources and critical enablers to ensure the safety and security and also the performances of the peacekeepers. We are doing our part. We have recently deployed 32 Mine Resistance Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles in Mali at our own cost. We are also in the process of procuring new equipment and modernized technologies to enable the peacekeepers for rapidly responding to threats.
Bangladesh has been supportive to the women, peace and security agenda of the UN since leading the adoption of the Security Council resolution 1325. We are currently developing a national action plan to empower women in playing their natural role as peacemakers. Bangladesh also maintains a ‘zero tolerance’ policy to sexual exploitation and abuse.
We are committed to increasing the number of female peacekeepers to achieve the target set by the UN. As part of Community Engagement Team, Bangladesh Armed Forces has already deployed 02 officers and 20 other ranks as female engagement team with the contingents in MONUSCO, DR Congo in February 2019.
Before I conclude, I would like to stress one important point. We must ensure the transparency and accountability of the PCRS as the only tool for pledge making and deployment.
I thank you.