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The quest for peace

  • Published at 06:02 pm May 28th, 2018

Our role has increased as global citizens

Today, the United Nations commemorates the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

It is a matter of great pride for Bangladesh that we are the second-largest contributor of uniformed personnel to the UN peacekeeping operations worldwide -- with a total of over 6,990 military and police personnel currently serving.

 This year, we salute the four fallen Bangladeshi peacekeepers who are slated to be honoured at the UN headquarters in New York next Friday.

The brave individuals who lost their lives in the line of duty are: Sergeant Md Altaf Hossain, Lance Corporal Md Jakirul Alam Sarkar, Private Md Monowar Hossain, and Private Md Abdur Rahim.

Every day, the brave men and women of the UN peacekeeping forces put their lives on the line in the quest for peace, and we owe them a great debt.

But let us go beyond mere gratitude and really support our peacekeepers in tangible ways -- this means giving them the right equipment, training, and preparation to ensure they can complete their missions successfully with loss of life kept to a minimum.

Ever since Bangladesh first deployed troops to a UN peacekeeping mission 30 years ago, our role has increased as global citizens.

When our first all-female unit was deployed in 2010, Bangladeshi Deputy Inspector General Mili Biswas was the only female commander out of 41 contingents from different countries, paving the way for greater gender equality in the armed forces, and overthrowing stereotypes.

And even though there have been allegations of misconduct and sexual abuse, we are glad that the prime minister has assured us that such transgressions will not be tolerated, and perpetrators will be brought to book.

Let us hope such elements are rooted out completely, and our peacekeepers continue to be a force for good in conflict zones throughout the world.

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