Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday (May 29, 2023) 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. Read more: PM seeks strong commitment from int'l community for dignified repatriation of Rohingyas “…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. Read more: PM Hasina credits peaceful democratic atmosphere for country's massive progress “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. Read more: PM Hasina credits peaceful democratic atmosphere for country's massive progress “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. Read more: PM mourns death of ex-Mohila League leader Taslima “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. Read more: PM leaves Doha for home ending 3-day visit “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. Read more: Govt’s continuity needed to ensure sustainable development: Food Minister 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. Read more: Dhaka, Beijing review Rohingya repatriation effort “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.
Senior official to the US Secretary of State in the office of "Global Women's Issues" Kat Fotovat will begin her four-day Bangladesh visit on January 20. Fotovat will participate in the 10th Commencement Ceremony of the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Chattogram from January 21 to 22. She will deliver remarks and meet with students and faculties. On January 23, Fotovat will engage with members of government and civil society in Dhaka to discuss women, peace, and security issues in Bangladesh and the region, according to the office of the Spokesperson at the US Department of State. She will participate in an inauguration event for the Reducing Child Marriage – Skills Training for Advancing Resources project, a partnership between the US Embassy and the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC). This programme will provide vocational training for 14-18-year-old girls and young women – especially those most at risk of a child, early, and forced marriage – from the most climate-vulnerable localities. Since 2017, the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues (S/GWI) has supported scholarships for young women from conflict zones in Asia and the Middle East to attend university at AUW. With S/GWI support, AUW aims to produce the next generation of women leaders for Asia and the Middle East by providing a high-quality education to women of great potential who would otherwise have few opportunities. Programming includes opportunities for training in leadership, human rights, and organisational and financial management, as well as practical internship experiences. Recently, through the Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund (GEEA) Fund, S/GWI and the Department of State's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor have provided additional resources for an AUW scholarship programme for 104 young Afghan women who otherwise would not be able to pursue higher education due to the Taliban's edicts closing secondary schools and universities to women. In support of the recently launched US Strategy on Global Women's Economic Security, the GEEA fund, managed by the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Hub and implemented by USAID and the Department of State, advances economic security for women and girls by increasing their access to resources, services, and leadership opportunities and by addressing the barriers that limit their ability to participate fully in the economy. Read more: US Official: Free, fair elections “must include a level playing field for all” Fotovat leads a team of gender experts promoting gender equality efforts including support of women, peace, and security, countering violent extremism, promoting women's economic empowerment, and combating gender-based violence. She has over 20 years of experience advocating gender and human rights globally, specifically in conflict and post-conflict settings. Read more: 'Frequent visits' by US officials a good development: Foreign Minister
Referring to the killing of a Bangladeshi in the US, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Friday said Bangladesh does not want any hate crime anywhere in the world. “The Bangladeshi community there (US) are alleging it to be a hate crime,” Momen told reporters about the death of a Bangladeshi expatriate after being shot by the police at Cambridge in Massachusetts of the US on Thursday. Read more: The recommendations some foreigners at times give seem to be “idiotic”: Momen Earlier, he inaugurated the three-day "Peace Run Bangladesh" by lighting the peace torch at the Suhrawardy Udyan premises in the capital on Friday. “We want to stop racism, communal violence and establish peace in the world,” Momen said. Regarding the Bangladesh visit of US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu, Momen said it is very good news that he is coming. "He is like a policymaker in this area. We welcome him.” Donald Lu became Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs on September 15, 2021. “We’ve a very good relationship with the US. We have multifaceted engagements with the US. There will be talks on different issues when he (Donald Lu) comes.” He also hoped Donald Lu’s visit will help strengthen the good relationship between the two countries. Read more: Govt to honour expats through National Expatriate Day: Momen Replying to a question from the reporters on the US sanctions on Rab, the minister said bilateral relation is not determined by a single issue. “The US is our biggest consumer and our biggest investor. With engagements on many areas, we don't have to worry about just one issue. We both have common values and principles.” He said the US wants a democratic system and Bangladesh also wants a democratic system. “The US wants to uphold human rights. We want, too. Three million people of Bangladesh have sacrificed their lives for human rights, justice and democracy,” he added. “We will talk about many things. It is open. Many issues will be discussed," he said.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and ActionAid have organised a hackathon to help young people in Cox's Bazar leverage digital means and tools to promote peace, tolerance, and diversity and contribute to SDG targets 4.7 and 16. The three-day "Digital Khichuri Challenge for Pathway to Peaceful Societies: Catalyzing Youth as Responsible Citizens," was organised under UND's Partnerships for a Tolerant and Inclusive Bangladesh (PTIB) project. Read: Banglalink SDG hackathon Code for a Cause 3.0 finale held Almost 100 students from different educational institutions submitted their ideas. The top nine teams attended a boot camp from September 25-27 and presented their ideas on September 27 to the jury. Team Hurricane and Team Decode the Peace were the winners among the nine teams who will receive mentorship from the UNDP.
UN Resident Coordinator Gwyn Lewis has said Bangladesh has been a strong advocate for peace nationally and internationally, and the United Nations in Bangladesh is happy to continue to accompany the country in this regard. In a message marking the International Day of Peace that falls on September 21, the UNRC said the UN in Bangladesh would like to echo the universal and still timely message of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in his speech in 1974 at the UN General Assembly “Peace is an imperative for the survival of humanity. It represents the deepest aspirations of men and women throughout the world”. Lewis said promoting peace and preventing violence, both at the international and national level, are at the core of the United Nations’ mandate. Every year for the past 41 years, she said, the UN has marked the International Day of Peace to uphold the ideal of peace and inspire a day of action for non-violence. Read: Gwyn Lewis of Ireland appointed UNRC in Bangladesh As violence makes headlines daily and socio-economic uncertainty undermines cohesion globally, Peace Day 2022 provides an opportunity for all peoples and governments around the world to commit to peace above differences, divides, and borders. "It invites us to pause and think about what peace means and how it can be built and sustained," Lewis said. This year’s theme ‘End Racism. Build Peace’ reminds us all that peace means more than silencing the guns. Building peace entails celebrating differences and leaving no one behind. It means promoting societies where everyone, regardless of origin, sex, age, religion, opinion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, is treated in an equal manner and given the opportunity to flourish. "Peace also requires a social contract and a shared vision between governments and their people and within societies," Lewis said. Sustainable Development Goal 16 ‘Promote just, peace and inclusive societies for sustainable development’ is the glue of Agenda 2030. "Peace is a prerequisite for sustainable development; and development can help address causes and drivers of conflict and violence in the long run. On the opposite, violence, in all its forms, sets progress towards development back," she said. "Peace should not be taken for granted. Sustaining peace and violence prevention requires intentional efforts and investments. It is the wise thing to do," she added. Lewis said sustaining peace is everyone’s business and everyone has a contribution to make. "What is your contribution to peace in your family, community, country and in the world?"
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said Bangladesh wants to see peace and stability everywhere including in friendly countries like Sri Lanka to keep up the momentum in the country’s economic sector. “We want stability everywhere. We want our friendly countries get back stability,” he said adding that Bangladesh’s economy largely depends on other countries’ stability. Also read: No chance of Chinese debt trap: FM The Foreign Minister made the remarks while talking to a small group of journalists after his meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Momen said they want peace and stability everywhere as they live in an interdependent world. Asked about the situation in Sri Lanka, he said, “Let us see what happens. We’re yet to sit to discuss it.” He again ruled out the fear of debt trap and said there is no such scope. “We’re prudent (while taking loans and its subsequent management). We don’t borrow that much and when we borrow we do it with much calculation.” Highlighting Bangladesh’s economic strength backed by stronger export growth and remittance inflow, Dr Momen said, “We are capable of (loans) repayment.” Also read: Religious harmony prevails in Bangladesh: FM Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming also reiterated that there is no debt trap in this country. The Foreign Minister said they also discussed the Rohingya repatriation issue through a tripartite mechanism. “We sought their (Chinese) help,” he said, adding that the tripartite process – Bangladesh-Myanmar-China - remains halted for a long time and the repatriation process should start.
India promotes a culture of peace as a part of its commitment to global order, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). Culture of Peace is the cornerstone of the global order to build inclusive and tolerant societies. Under the auspices of the United Nations, the promotion of a culture of peace has expanded into a global discourse, according to the statement issued by MEA. READ: Bangladesh, India to have much to do in next 50 years: Doraiswami The observation came in the light of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly's Agenda item 16 on Culture of Peace. India will continue to spread the message of humanity, pluralism and democracy. We reiterate our call to fight negative forces of intolerance, violence and discrimination together, said Ashish Sharma, First Secretary in the statement. Continuing this rich heritage, India has promoted this culture, inter alia, through tolerance, understanding, respect for all religions and cultures - all this under the overarching umbrella of pluralistic ethos and democratic principles. This is enshrined in our Constitution, the MEA's statement said. READ: Indian Foreign Secretary Shringla in city For millennia, India has regularly provided shelter to those persecuted in foreign lands and allowed them to thrive in India and it's is not just about a culture, but a civilization in itself. the statement further added.
Journalists Maria Ressa of the Philippines and Dmitry Muratov of Russia won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for their fight for freedom of expression in countries where media outlets have faced persistent attacks. The Norwegian Nobel Committee stressed that an independent press is vital in promoting peace. “Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda,” said Berit Reiss-Andersen, chair of the committee, explaining why the prize was awarded to two journalists. Read:Tanzanian Abdulrazak Gurnah awarded Nobel literature prize “Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it will be difficult to successfully promote fraternity between nations, disarmament and a better world order to succeed in our time," she said. Ressa in 2012 co-founded Rappler, a news website that has focused “critical attention on the (President Rodrigo) Duterte regime’s controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign,” the Nobel committee said. She and Rappler “have also documented how social media is being used to spread fake news, harass opponents and manipulate public discourse.” Reacting to the news, Ressa told Norway’s TV2 channel that “the government (of the Philippines) will obviously not be happy,” “I’m a little shocked. It’s really emotional," she added. “But I am happy on behalf of my team and would like to thank the Nobel Committee for recognizing what we are going through.” The award-winning journalist was last year convicted of libel and sentenced to jail in a decision seen as a major blow to press global freedom. She was the first woman to win a Nobel this year. Muratov was one of the founders of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta in 1993. “Novaya Gazeta is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power,” the Nobel committee said. “The newspaper’s fact-based journalism and professional integrity have made it an important source of information on censurable aspects of Russian society rarely mentioned by other media,” it added. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 17 media workers were killed in the Philippines in the last decade and 23 in Russia. The Nobel committee noted that since the launch of Novaya Gazeta, six of its journalists have been killed, among them Anna Politkovskaya who covered Russia’s bloody conflict in Chechnya. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov praised Muratov as a “talented and brave” person. “We can congratulate Dmitry Muratov — he has consistently worked in accordance with his ideals,” Peskov said in a conference call with reporters. Reiss-Andersen noted that the peace prize has gone to journalists in the past, including Ernesto Teodoro Moneta of Italy who was cited in 1907 “for his work in the press and in peace meetings.” In 1935, German journalist Carl von Ossietzky was awarded the prize “for his burning love for freedom of thought and expression” after revealing that the Nazi regime was secretly re-arming in breach of the World War I peace accord. Read:Nobel in chemistry honors 'greener' way to build molecules Ressa has been particularly critical also of the role of tech companies such as Facebook in manipulating public debate, and their failure to curb hate speech. Speaking on Rappler's site after the award was announced, Ressa said that the “virus of lies that has been introduced through the algorithms of the social media platforms, it infects real people and changes.”
Japanese Ambassador in Dhaka Naoki Ito has said the “Hiroshima Day" will keep inspiring people, especially the young generation, to become aware of the atomic bomb tragedies and the importance of peace. "I hope that we, the people of Japan and Bangladesh, stand together to make this world more peaceful and harmonious for all," he said in a message marking the day that falls on August 6. Read:Over 1.6 million AstraZeneca doses received from Japan Ambassador Ito said he genuinely appreciates Bangladeshi people who have shown sympathy to the victims and expressed compassionate views for world peace. Today marks the 76th anniversary of the tragedy in Hiroshima, the day when the atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima in 1945. "Since I came to Bangladesh in October 2019, I’ve been touched to realize so many Bangladeshi people know about the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and devote themselves to advocacy for peace," said the Ambassador. The atrocity of the atomic bomb and even SASAKI Sadako’s paper cranes are in the textbooks for elementary schools. The Ambassador said he knows many Bangladeshi people commemorate the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th as Hiroshima Day. Read: With eye on 3 SEZs, Japan wants to boost its investment in Bangladesh "That compassion the citizens of Bangladesh shown to the tragedies in Japan means a lot to us. Thus this `Hiroshima Day’ in Bangladesh is significant for our long-standing friendship and partnership." As humanitarian crises and pandemics spread across national borders, it seems that it is becoming more and more essential to share thoughts about peace and human tragedies and to show solidarity across our global community. The Ambassador said, "Today, I reverently express my sincere condolences to the souls of the great number of atomic bomb victims. It is inscribed on the monument for atomic bomb victims in Hiroshima that “Let all the souls here rest in peace, for we shall not repeat the evil.” The tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki must never be repeated, he said. Read: Japan to grab any opportunity to resolve Rohingya crisis for regional stability As the only country that has experienced the horror of nuclear weapons, Japan has the mission to work closely with other countries and citizens toward realizing a world free of nuclear weapons. "It has been 76 years since the atomic bombs were dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As the number of survivors is getting fewer each year, it is all the more critical for us to remember the tragedies and inhumanity of using nuclear weapons, and pass the lessons we have learned on to future generations beyond borders," he said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said ensuring global peace has become far more challenging than in the past due to the Covid-19 pandemic and other threats. “With the advent of invisible enemies like the coronavirus, the rapid spread of technology, and the advancement of time, new elements of threats have emerged,” she said. The Prime Minister was speaking at the closing ceremony of ‘Exercise Front Runner of Peace-2021’ from her official residence Ganobhaban. On the occasion of the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of Independence, a multinational exercise, organised by Bangladesh Army, was held at Bangabandhu Cantonment, Ghatail, Tangail from April 4-12. Also read:Maintain Covid precautions: PM Hasina Military members from India, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka along with their Bangladesh counterpart participated in the exercise. Currently, Sheikh Hasina said, peacekeepers in UN peacekeeping missions have to deal with multidimensional and complex situations. “So, the number of peacekeepers’ deaths has is rising at an alarming rate.” So far, she mentioned, 158 Bangladeshi peacekeepers have died and 237 injured. “Time has come to equip peacekeepers with appropriate training and equipment to deal with the upcoming crises in UN peacekeeping operations.” Hasina said the recent incidents that happened in UN peacekeeping missions were presented in ‘Exercise Front Runner of Peace’ so that the future peacekeepers may be trained well in making appropriate decisions to deal with such situations. Also read:Curb food adulteration with an iron hand: PM Hasina The Prime Minister said properly trained armed forces are essential to safeguard the national integrity and sovereignty of any country. “Similarly, there’s no alternative to regular exercise in proving the capabilities of the military members.” Returning to power in 2009, she said, the Awami League government has formulated a long-term plan titled 'Forces Goal-2030', and it is being implemented with the aim of building a highly professional and trained military. In 2016, she said, the government has established ‘Bangladesh Peacebuilding Centre (BPC)’. In the last 12 years, it has made significant progress in modernising the three forces. “We’ve added sophisticated weapons and technology to our military. We’ve adopted a 'zero-tolerance policy' to eradicate terrorism and militancy,” she said. So far, over 175,000 Bangladeshi peacekeepers, including 1,800 women ones, have participated in 54 missions in 40 countries of five continents while more than 7,000 Bangladeshi army and police personnel are currently deployed in 10 peacekeeping missions, the PM said. “In every mission that our peacekeepers destined they have raised the flag of the United Nations high as well as brightened Bangladesh’s image. That’s why Bangladesh has become one of the highest peacekeeper-providing countries in the world today,” she said. Talking about the socioeconomic development, the Prime Minister said even during the pandemic when the world economy got stalled, the government has tried to keep Bangladesh economy moving, enabling the country to achieve 5.4 percent GDP growth. “By the time we’ve been elevated to the developing nation status." Visiting Indian Army Chief General MM Naravane also spoke at the programme while Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed delivered the welcome and thanksgiving speeches. On behalf of the Prime Minister, the Army chief distributed certificates among the participants of the exercise.