Industry Desk: Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen yesterday said Bangladesh recognises the invaluable contributions of women peacekeepers while it is committed to promoting their meaningful participation in peacekeeping operations at all levels.
“Aligning with the UN’s “Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy”, we have taken initiatives to increase the number of women peacekeepers,” he said at the opening session of the preparatory meeting of the UN Peacekeeping Ministerial held in the capital.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is a global champion of women’s empowerment while she is an ardent proponent of increasing the number of women Peacekeepers in various UN Peacekeeping Missions.
“The all-female Formed Police Unit (FPU) contingents were the results of her active encouragement and support,” he added.
As a leading Troop and Police Contributing Country to UN Peacekeeping Missions, the foreign secretary said, Bangladesh remains firmly committed to the principles and objectives of the United Nations in promoting peace, security, and gender equality.
“We believe that, gender equality and empowerment of women are crucial for sustainable peace and development,” he added.
The theme of the preparatory meeting, ‘Women in UN Peacekeeping,’ resonates deeply with the values and principles that Bangladesh holds dear, he observed.
“I would like to emphasize that meaningful participation of women in peacekeeping is not only a matter of gender equality, but also a fundamental factor in enhancing the effectiveness of Peacekeeping Missions. Their active involvement in the peacekeeping brings added value and contributes to sustainable peace,” he added.
Therefore, the foreign secretary said, it is essential to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of women peacekeepers, and the vital role they play in building trust, protecting civilians, and fostering gender-responsive approaches to peacekeeping.
“I firmly believe that this preparatory meeting will set the stage for the upcoming UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Meeting, which would need to take into account emerging concerns of the member states about the security situations in some missions,” Masud said.
United Nations Under Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix and Under Secretary General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance Catherine Pollard joined the two-day meeting.
“We will discuss how we can increase the number of women in peacekeeping and ensure they access all roles within our missions. It requires everyone’s commitment, including member states and partners,” the foreign secretary said.
The commitments and recommendations that emerge from the discussions will constructively shape the future of peacekeeping, inspire all member states, and propel them towards a more inclusive, gender-responsive, and effective peacekeeping architecture, he said.
“Let us work together to create a more inclusive and equitable peacekeeping environment, where the voices and contributions of women are recognised, valued, and celebrated,” the foreign secretary said.
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