I commend you for your excellent stewardship of the Fifth Committee during this unprecedented situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bangladesh associates itself with the statement delivered by Republic of Guinea on behalf of G77 and China.
Allow me, Mr. Chair, to highlight some additional points in my national capacity.
As the leading TPCC, Bangladesh attaches special importance to this resumed session largely dedicated to UN peacekeeping budget. Bangladesh has been a steadfast supporter and longstanding contributor to UN peacekeeping operations. At present, we are the top troops and police contributing country in UN peacekeeping operations with nearly 7,000 peacekeepers serving in 7 missions. I wish to express my deep gratitude to all peacekeepers who have been braving the challenges of ending conflicts globally with extraordinary courage under the UN flag. I pay tribute to around 4,000 blue helmets, including 150 from my own country Bangladesh, who made supreme sacrifices in the line of duty.
UN peacekeeping operations remain central to the UN’s efforts to promote international peace and security. Sufficient and sustained peacekeeping budget is critical for the peacekeeping missions to carry out their diverse mandates effectively. It is therefore, imperative to ensure that the peacekeeping missions are sufficiently funded, while ensuring effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability of the budget. When making allocations for the peacekeeping missions, it must be done in a rational and prudent manner based on requirements, facts and data, and we must avoid the tendency of cuts for the sake of cuts only. While our peacekeepers are putting their lives on the line, it is our duty to ensure adequate funding for appropriate logistic supply, equipment support, training and capacity building measures for them.
We thank the relevant division of the UN for timely reimbursement to the troops and police contributing countries for their personnel and equipment support as well as for training and capacity building initiatives. The key to easing the peacekeeping budgetary situation is the timely payment of assessed contribution by the member states. We urge all member states to pay their peacekeeping assessment in full and on time.
COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives everywhere including for our peacekeeping missions. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, peacekeepers have continued to fulfill their responsibilities in maintaining peace, stability and security in the conflict prone countries and regions. They have also been providing important support to national pandemic response efforts of their host governments and communities by distributing essential drugs and protective equipment, and raising community awareness. In the process many of them have got exposed to the virus and some have lost their lives. From our part, we are trying to ensure that all of our peacekeepers are fully vaccinated prior to their departure from Bangladesh for the peacekeeping missions. . It is critical for peacekeepers to be prioritized for vaccines everywhere.
We believe that safety and security of peacekeepers while on duty is of paramount importance. COVID-19 has added additional challenges in terms of health safety of our peacekeepers. I thank the relevant UN departments in addressing these additional adversities. When we consider the peacekeeping budget, we need to take into account the impact of COVID-19 on peacekeeping operations and ensure sufficient allocation in order to allow them to cope with the challenges posed by the pandemic pandemic including medical needs and evacuation needs. Furthermore, taking lessons from the current pandemic, we believe that there is an urgent need to scale up preparedness for such future pandemics and emergencies in all mission settings.
We must continue to invest in our collective efforts towards the full, effective and meaningful participation of women at all peacekeeping levels and positions. While we take note of the UN’s targeted initiatives and some achievements in this regard, we are not convinced of the current state of affairs marked by low representation, especially in the senior leadership positions. In this regard we welcome the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2538 and the call for increased resource allocation for creating an enabling environment for women in peacekeeping.
We also call for diversification of women’s role through targeted training and capacity building. Increased participation of women in peacekeeping has been made a key strategic objective of our National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security in Bangladesh. We stand ready to provide more women peacekeepers at all levels, including for command positions, and in diversified roles.
The Fifth Committee has long tradition of maintaining consensus-based decision-making in its work. We hope that the Committee will be able to uphold this guiding principle during this peacekeeping budget session. We urge all delegations to demonstrate utmost flexibility and engage in constructive discussions in order to ensure that our peacekeeping missions are appropriately funded for effective delivery of their mandates.
I wish to conclude by reiterating Bangladesh’s unwavering commitment to UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts. Bangladesh shall remain constructively engaged with all other UN member states towards a fruitful peacekeeping budget session this year. You can rest assured of my delegation’s full support to your important work.
I thank you.