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ED: Let’s hear it for our peacekeepers

  • Published at 12:49 am November 13th, 2020
peacekeeping women
UN peacekeeping women Bangladeshi ISPR

Our peacekeeping missions have an opportunity to become examples of gender equality and women’s empowerment

Bangladesh’s contribution to the United Nations peacekeeping forces is a matter of great national pride. With 6,731 of our peacekeepers worldwide, Bangladesh is the largest contributor of troops on UN peacekeeping missions around the world, with Ethiopia and Rwanda coming in second and third respectively.

Every single day, these brave men and women risk life and limb in the line of duty. So far, thousands of peacekeepers have perished on the field -- last year alone saw over a 100 deaths. It goes without saying that being a UN peacekeeper is not easy.

It is all the more remarkable, then, than 861 members of the Bangladesh Armed Forces serving with the UN mission in South Sudan have been awarded the UN medal for excellent protection of civilians. The mission tweeted: “Take a bow, Bangladesh!”

The year 2020 has been an unusual one, with the world fighting Covid-19 along with other conflicts. Our peacekeepers have had to remain vigilant against both, because a virus too small to see can be just as deadly as armed conflict. These peacekeepers have not, in this trying time, shied away from their duty.

It must be noted that “Women in Peacekeeping” is the theme of the year. When serving in countries torn apart by conflict and political instability, creative problem solving is required, and women are often able to gain access to communities that are hard to reach by conventional means. Our peacekeeping missions, then, have an opportunity to become examples of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

We salute our peacekeeping troops around the world, for they bring honour to our nation.