The government wants to prepare the armed force to face future challenges to ensure peace, she added
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said Bangladesh has to maintain friendship with all as the government wants to turn the country into a developed and prosperous one.
"We want to build Bangladesh as a developed and prosperous country. I think Bangladesh has to step forward keeping friendship with all to this end," she said on Saturday.
The prime minister was addressing a function at Shenakunja at Dhaka Cantonment on the occasion of the International Peace Keeping Day 2021.
Sheikh Hasina joined the function from Ganabhaban through video conference.
She said that the prime task of the government is to improve the economic condition of the people of the country, remove poverty, and ensure education, healthcare and employment for the future generations.
Keeping to the theme of International Day of UN Peacekeepers, the premier said: "The road to a lasting peace: Leveraging the power of youth for peace and security," the government wants to establish young and youth force one of the agents for ensuring world peace.
"I believe that our young members of the armed forces and police force are ready to face the challenges of establishing world peace in the 21st century," she said.
She also said that the government wants to prepare the force to face future challenges to ensure peace.
"The young generation has to learn that peace is the only way of development, security and welfare," she said.
The prime minister also said Bangladesh always stands ready to establish peace at any corner in the world under the UN Security Council.
She asked the peacekeepers of Bangladesh Army, Navy, Air Force and Police to accomplish their responsibilities with professionalism, honesty, integrity and sincerity.
"Bangladesh has been playing very important role in maintaining world peace and security as well as building culture of peace in the world. Bangladesh’s peacekeepers are working at different UN peace missions risking their lives particularly in conflict-prone countries," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said steps have been taken to develop the Bangladesh’s peacekeepers as the most qualified through providing them with time befitting training, improved technology and equipment to face the new challenges.
Highlighting Bangladesh’s peacekeepers’ contribution in maintaining world peace, she said that they have brightened the mage of the country alongside upholding flag of the United Nations by demonstrating their efficiency.
"That’s why, Bangladesh has now become one of the highest number of peacekeeper providing countries in the world," she said.
The prime minister continued that some 6,742 peacekeepers are deployed in different UN missions right now and officials with the ranks of Major General and Brigadier are also there as Deputy Force Commander and Sector Commander respectively.
The prime minister hoped that Bangladeshi peacekeepers would be able to establish the country as a strong peace building nation in the world side by side upholding the national flag.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed and UN resident coordinator Mia Seppo also spoke at the program.
The prime minister also interacted with the peacekeepers at various places across the globe through video conference.
At the beginning of the program, a one minute silence was observed to show respect to the peacekeepers who sacrificed their lives in efforts to establish peace across the globe.
A short documentary on Bangladesh's peacekeeping missions across the globe was played at the program.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen handed over awards among the family members of the deceased and the injured peacekeepers for their sacrifice and bravery.
Momen: Our peacekeepers branding Bangladesh abroad as peace-loving nation
Earlier on Friday, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen lauded the role of Bangladeshi peacekeepers as ambassadors of peace, saying they are actually helping brand the country abroad as a peace-loving nation.
"Even during this global pandemic, our peacekeepers continue to serve in various peacekeeping missions, fearlessly rendering their responsibilities," he said.
Dr Momen felicitated all Bangladeshi peacekeepers for their dedicated service to humanity and hoped that their endeavours will help achieve sustainable peace for the international community.
The foreign minister made the remarks while inaugurating the "Peacekeepers Day Rally: Run to Commemorate the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers-2021" in the city.
Bangladesh remains a proud contributor to UN peacekeeping operations. It is currently the top contributor of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping missions, with almost 6,500 peacekeepers currently deployed in eight countries.
"Our peacekeepers are deployed in some of the most challenging hotspots in the world where they diligently work for peace, security and human rights of the local people and the protection of civilians along with performing other multi-faceted roles," he said.
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Dr Momen recalled that he was personally involved in engaging valiant soldiers in a mission to restore democracy and voice of the people in Haiti in 1994 that subsequently helped them to engage with the UN peacekeeping operations more actively.
"During my six-year tenure at the UN as Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative, with the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, I could engage women peacekeepers for the first time and many more police and naval forces in the UN peacekeeping missions," he said.
"What could be a better way to fulfill the dream of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for a peaceful world, who so ardently declared in his maiden speech at the United Nations General Assembly way back in 1974."
“I know that the souls of our martyrs join us in pledging that the Bangalee nation fully commits itself to the building of a world order, in which the aspiration of all men for peace and justice will be realised," Dr Momen quoted Bangabandhu as saying.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government has been pursuing a dynamic foreign policy based on the principle of “friendship to all, malice towards none,” as enunciated by Bangabandhu.
"Imbued with this value, Bangladesh has consistently contributed in all ways possible to international peace and security," said the foreign minister.
Principal Staff Officer (PSO) at Armed Forces Division (AFD) Lieutenant General Waker-Uz-Zaman and UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka Mia Seppo also spoke.