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Rohingyas' presence creating multidimensional problems for BD: Minister
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Sunday said Bangladesh is currently facing multidimensional problems due to influx of forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals.
"The protracted presence of these forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals in our country is creating multidimensional problems for us," he said.
The Foreign Minister was addressing the opening ceremony of preparatory meeting on Smart Pledges at Radisson Blu Hotel in the city.
He said international peace and security is facing many new challenges. "In addition to poverty and conflicts, other emerging global issues such as climate change and natural disasters, outbreaks of new diseases, discrimination and persecutions, displacements – all these are posing new threats to the humanity."
Since August 25, more than half a million Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh to flee ethnic cleansing in their own country.
He said despite space and resource constraintd Bangladesh has given them shelter solely on humanitarian consideration.
"In fact even before the current influx began, we had been hosting nearly 400,000 Rohingyas from Myanmar for three decades," Minister Ali said.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has presented her five –point proposal in the UN General Assembly. "In line with that we would like to peacefully resolve this issue at the earliest possible," said Minister Ali.
The Minister mentioned that UN Peacekeeping is a core element of Bangladesh’s foreign policy and they attach high importance to peacekeeping to promote international peace and security.
"Our contribution to UN peacekeeping is guided by our constitutional values and underpinned by the convictions that only the UN can legitimately intervene in conflict situations that poses threat to international peace and security. As such, if properly planned and supported, peacekeeping is the most effective way to address crises around the world," he said.
He said Bangladesh has never failed to respond to UN’s call for peacekeeping. "We also put our highest efforts in the global initiatives to strengthen planning, capacity building and mandate of peacekeeping."
He said Bangladesh believes, there are practical ways, where the troops and police contributing countries can strive together to better address the present and future need of UN peacekeeping.
Peace operations today are more complex than they were during the early days of the ‘Blue Helmets’.
UN peacekeeping operations now need to address a range of challenges to be made ‘fit for purpose’.
"We are investing in building our forces’ capabilities. We are putting our utmost efforts to maintain our rapid deployment and self-sustaining capabilities. We are committed to increasing female participation in peacekeeping. We attach high importance to protection of civilians. Our ‘zero tolerance’ to sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers will be firmly upheld," he said.
Hosting this preparatory meeting asserts Bangladesh’s willingness to remain forefront at the UN peacekeeping endeavors.
It also demonstrates a practical way of working together to improve peacekeeping.