Dhaka, 25 June, Abnews: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today reaffirmed Bangladesh’s firm commitment to remain engaged with the United Nations (UN) in its efforts towards preventing conflict and establishing peace in the world.
“Bangladesh always remains ready to contribute troops and police to respond to the call of the UN for strengthening world peace and stability,” she said when visiting UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean Pierre Lacroix paid a courtesy call on the premier at her Jatiya Sangsad office here this evening.
After the meeting, Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh also remains prepared to support for enhancing the capability and readiness steps of the UN. “As per the UN’s request, we’re ready with ‘rapid deployment-battalion’ for MONUSCO, Democratic Republic of Congo,” she said.
The prime minister underscored the implementation of the nine-point reform agenda for the UN peacekeeping operations presented by the UN Secretary General and assured Dhaka’s support in this regard.
While talking about the Rohingya issue, the prime minister said Bangladesh’s policy is to maintain peace with all.
In this connection, Sheikh Hasina pointed out Bangladesh’s foreign policy — friendship to all, malice to none — enunciated by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“Accordingly, we’ve opened a dialogue with Myanmar to solve the Rohingya crisis. Myanmar has agreed to take back their nationals from Bangladesh, but they didn’t act in this regard,” she said.
The premier said the presence of nearly 11 lakh Rohingya people is creating a huge burden for Bangladesh and causing sufferings to the local people where they were given shelter.
Sheikh Hasina said all — army, navy, air force, police, BGB, administration and volunteers — are working to mitigate the sufferings of the Rohingya people.
At the meeting, the UN Under Secretary General highly praised the role of Bangladeshi peacekeepers including the female troops and police in maintaining peace at UN missions in different parts of the world.
Lacroix recalled that many Bangladeshi peacekeepers sacrificed their lives while they were on duty in establishing peace at the UN missions.
He mentioned that Bangladesh is a key member regarding peacekeeping efforts under the umbrella of the world body.
The UN Under Secretary General assured of continuing the UN support for further development of Bangladesh.
About Rohingya issue, Lacroix highly praised the Bangladesh government for giving shelter to over one million Rohingyas who were forcibly displaced from their homeland of Rakhaine State of Myanmar following a military crackdown there since August last.
Principal Staff Officer of the Armed Forces Division Lt Gen Mahfuzur Rahman and PMO Secretary Sajjadul Hassan were present on the occasion.
Lacroix, who arrived in Dhaka on a three-day visit today, is leading a five-member high-powered UN delegation to thank the troop-contributing country (Bangladesh) for their service and update them on the ongoing reforms in the peace and security area. – BSS