Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said maintaining peace in the world has now become more difficult than in the past as evil forces are using advanced technology against it.
“With the recent development and advancement of technology, new threats of evil forces are increasing,” she said.
The prime minister was addressing a programme marking the International Day of UN Peacekeepers-2023 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC).
She said that technology is giving people opportunities in all fields including socioeconomic development.
“…but we also see that the evil forces are also using technology creating confusion among the people and is taking away the peace of people’s lives,” she said.
She said that peacekeepers in UN peacekeeping missions have to deal with complex multidimensional situation.
“Hence the need to enrich peacekeeping missions with advanced technology has increased manifold,” she stated.
Hasina mentioned that her government has always prepared Bangladeshi peacekeepers with the latest training to deal with complex situations in the world's most challenging and dangerous regions.
“We are ensuring the supply of clothing, other essential items, and modern military equipment compatible with the mission area's environment, weather, and terrain,” she said.
In this connection, she mentioned that the government incorporated added modern mine-resistant and ambush-protected vehicles to the Bangladesh contingents and state-of-the-art technology for peacekeeper communications.
“Incorporating modern technology and training are an ongoing process that we will continue in the future,” she added.
The prime minister reiterated that Bangladesh believes in peace and would do whatever is required for peace.
“We believe in peace, not in conflict. Bangladesh always believes in peace and it would do whatever is required to establish peace,” she said.
Hasina said that her government's efforts will continue so that the peacekeepers of Bangladesh can respond to the UN’s call with more confidence.
“I hope Bangladeshi peacekeepers will keep the country's honour and image bright by working with their skills, professionalism, courage, and dedication,” she added.
She said that peacekeepers of the country work tirelessly to prevent conflict, protect civilians, ensure human rights and establish peace.
“Because of your sincere work, the people of all those countries have given you unconditional love,” she said.
She mentioned that Local citizens of many countries associated with the Bangladeshi contingent have learned Bengali culture and language from them.
Bangladeshi peacekeepers have set an exemplary example in maintaining world peace and brighten the image of the country, she said.
Currently, 7,436 peacekeepers of Bangladesh are engaged in the UN peacekeeping missions and activities, and the number is about 9.8 percent of the total number of peacekeepers deployed worldwide. This includes 572 Bangladeshi women peacekeepers.
“We continue our efforts to increase the number of women peacekeepers,” she said.
The UN secretary general has requested to send more female peacekeepers, she said.
She said that Bangladesh’s peacekeepers have successfully completed 63 UN missions in 40 countries worldwide.
Currently, Bangladeshi peacekeepers are engaged in 14 UN missions and activities. 20 contingents of the Bangladesh Army, two of the Bangladesh Navy, four of the Bangladesh Air Force, and three of the Bangladesh Police are working in these missions.
The PM said that Bangladesh has deployed a Force Protection Battalion in Abyei of South Sudan, while added a mechanised infantry company as a Quick Reaction Force in Mali, an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Platoon in the Congo, and a Level-2 Hospital Contingent in the Central African Republic.
Besides, she said, deployment of a new Armed Utility Helicopter Unit of the Bangladesh Army, a new Mechanized Infantry Company as the Base Defense Contingent, and an Airfield Support Unit of the Bangladesh Air Force is underway in Mali.
She added that high-ranking officers of the Bangladesh Armed Forces are engaged in several missions as Force Commanders, Deputy Force Commanders, and Sector Commanders.
“Apart from peacekeeping missions, we actively participate and contribute to other international forums,” she said.
“Today, Bangladesh is a responsible and reliable name in international efforts to maintain peace and security,” she added.
At the end of the function, the prime minister virtually talked with the members of Bangladeshi peacekeepers deployed in different countries including South Sudan, Mali, Lebanon, Central African Republic and D R Congo.