Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attributed Bangladesh's dedication to global peace to the ideals of Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (pictured on top left). Credit: Tajul Islam - Photo: 2024

Sheikh Hasina Proclaims Bangladesh as a Global Peace Model

By Tajul Islam*

DHAKA | 30 May 2024 (IDN) — Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has declared Bangladesh as a role model in establishing global peace. Speaking at the International Day of UN Peacekeepers 2024 on an event at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka on 29 May, she emphasized the country’s unwavering commitment to peace and the significant contributions of Bangladeshi peacekeepers worldwide. She reiterated her call for an end to ongoing wars, advocating for resolving conflicts through dialogue and redirecting the resources spent on arms races towards the welfare of humanity.

“Bangladesh is a dependable and responsible name in the efforts of protecting peace and safety alongside establishing global peace. We are acknowledged by all and have become a role model on the global stage,” stated the Prime Minister. Her remarks reflect the nation’s extensive involvement and esteemed reputation in UN peacekeeping missions.

Currently, 6,092 Bangladeshi peacekeepers, including 493 women, are serving with distinction in 13 different UN peacekeeping missions. “They have been working with fame and glory,” she remarked, highlighting the high regard in which Bangladeshi peacekeepers are held by the heads of state and government in the countries where they are deployed. “I feel really proud hearing the appreciation,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina attributed Bangladesh’s dedication to global peace to the ideals of Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. “We are actively participating in other international forums alongside the UN peacekeeping missions to establish global peace,” she asserted. The Prime Minister recalled Bangladesh’s “Culture of Peace” proposal, which was unanimously adopted as a UN resolution in 1999, leading to the declaration of 2000 as the “International Year of the Culture of Peace.” This initiative is a testament to Bangladesh’s long-standing commitment to fostering a peaceful global community.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s legacy as a peace envoy and a voice for the distressed globally was also highlighted. For his efforts, he was awarded the “Joliot Curie Peace Medal” on May 23, 1973. Sheikh Hasina emphasized that this legacy continues as Bangladeshi peacekeepers work tirelessly to protect civilians, uphold human rights, and establish peace in various regions of the world.

The Prime Minister praised the Bangladeshi peacekeepers for not only their professional excellence but also for promoting Bangla culture and language in the countries where they serve. “So, the people of those countries (where the peacekeepers are working) have given you untold love and affections,” she remarked. This cultural exchange and the professionalism displayed by Bangladeshi peacekeepers have enhanced the country’s image on the global stage.

Sheikh Hasina also paid tribute to the 168 Bangladeshi peacekeepers who have sacrificed their lives and the 266 others who have been severely injured in the line of duty for global peace. She honored three injured peacekeepers during the event and called upon all Bangladeshi peacekeepers to continue their exemplary work, further brightening the country’s image internationally.

“We don’t want war, we want peace”

The event was graced by the Defence and Security Adviser to the Prime Minister Major General Tarique Ahmed Siddique (retd), Chief of Army Staff General S M Shafiuddin Ahmed, Senior Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, and United Nations Resident Coordinator Gwyn Lewis, among others. A minute of silence was observed at the outset to honor the memory of the fallen heroes. Additionally, a video documentary showcasing the achievements of Bangladeshi peacekeepers in UN missions was screened.

Addressing a crucial aspect of global security, Sheikh Hasina called upon the international community to halt the arms race and allocate resources towards more humane causes. “The money of arms race can help save the countries vulnerable for climate change impacts and for food, education and health for underprivileged children,” she stated. She emphasized that Bangladesh consistently favors peace over war and advocates for resolving conflicts through dialogue.

“We don’t want war, we want peace. We want to solve everything through dialogue,” she affirmed. She criticized the massive expenditure on arms production and the ongoing arms race among wealthy nations, questioning the rationale behind conflicts when the focus should be on peace. “We talk about peace. But why be engaged in conflicts?” she questioned.

Prime Minister highlighted the dire consequences of wars and conflicts, mentioning the Russia-Ukraine war, Israel’s actions in Gaza, and the plight of the forcibly displaced Rohingya people of Myanmar. She noted that these conflicts exacerbate global instability, with women and children bearing the brunt of the suffering.

“Conflicts and wars in different parts of the globe are disrupting the world peace today,” she said, emphasizing the urgent need to redirect resources towards alleviating human suffering. “As the arms race continues to rise, the lives of the people become more and more miserable, and the women and children are the worst sufferers,” she concluded.

Sheikh Hasina’s address underscored Bangladesh’s role as a leader in global peacekeeping efforts and called for a united global approach to end conflicts and invest in humanity’s welfare. Her message is clear: the world must prioritize peace, dialogue, and human development over the destructive pursuit of arms and conflict.

The author is a senior journalist and Special Correspondent of Weekly Blitz. He writes on a broad-range of issues in local and international media. Follow him on X@tajulraj1 [IDN-InDepthNews]

Photo: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attributed Bangladesh’s dedication to global peace to the ideals of Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (pictured on top left). Credit: Tajul Islam

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