President asks peacekeepers to uphold country’s image

DHAKA, May 29, 2018 : President M Abdul Hamid today asked Bangladesh peacekeepers to uphold country’s image in the UN peacekeeping mission through their bravery and heroic work showing utmost professionalism and expertise.

“I expect you (peacekeepers) to work to establish Bangladesh as a peace-establishing country by upholding country’s national flag in the global arena,” he said while addressing a programme at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) here on the occasion of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.

The President laid emphasis to enhance the IT and technical expertise of the peacekeepers of Bangladesh with the development of the information and technology to compete with peacekeepers of the other countries.

“Bangladesh’s active participation in the UN peacekeeping mission and other international forums has taken the country to a dignified position globally. Besides, the peacekeepers are contributing a lot to the country’s economy and strengthening bilateral and multilateral diplomatic relations also,” the President observed.

Referring to the historic address of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the UN General Assembly on September 25 in 1974 expressing his firm desire to establish global peace, Abdul Hamid said, “Since then Bangladesh has been playing an important role in maintaining good relations with different peace loving and friendly countries in the world by taking part in the UN peacekeeping mission.”

Noting that Bangladesh is one of the largest troop contributing nations in UN Peacekeeping mission, President Hamid said apart from male peacekeepers, female peacekeepers are also working with outstanding contribution and necessary steps will be taken to increase women’s high-level representation.

Giving a salient feature of the UN peacekeepers from Bangladesh, the President said a total of 7,075 peacekeepers including 157 women, out of 91,058, are working in 124 countries across the world where Bangladeshi troops are working in 10 UN Peacekeeping missions.

At the outset of his speech, the President paid rich tribute to the memory of Bangladesh peacekeepers who embraced martyrdom while working in UN peacekeeping mission and prayed for peace of their departed souls and also showed due respects to those who received injuries at different peacekeeping missions in different times.

The President gave awards to 10 deceased peacekeepers who faced martyrdom and 11 others who were injured while on duty in the missions. He later exchanged views with the peacekeepers of Mali, Congo and Lebanon through video conference and inquired about their well-being in the missions.

He asked them to continue their activities professionally in their respective assigned places.

Earlier Abdul Hamid watched a short documentary film on Bangladesh Peacekeepers working in different UN missions. The President later visited a book stall and some other nicely decorated stalls including the ones on fallen peacekeepers, weapons used in the UN missions.

The President also unveiled a special postal stamp on the occasion of the “30 years of Bangladesh in UN Peacekeeping Operations”. Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar was present there.

Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, MP, senior most peacekeeper and Chief of Army Staff General Abu Belal Muhammad Shafiul Huq and UN Resident Coordinator Mia Seppo, among others, spoke on the occasion.

Ministers, members of diplomatic corps, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Nizamuddin Ahmed, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Abu Esrar, members of parliament (MPs), Inspector General of Police (IGP), senior civil and military officials, and secretaries to the President were also present.