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UN urged to recruit BD peacekeepers at commanding level

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Staff reporter
Bangladesh has requested the United Nations (UN) to recruit Bangladeshi peacekeepers at ‘policy and commanding-level’ posts in the coming days.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam conveyed the request to visiting under-secretary-general and head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) of the UN Hervé Ladsous during a meeting at the Foreign Ministry.
“They’re considering a Bangladeshi peacekeeper at deputy-commander level and he (Ladsous) hoped that a positive outcome would come soon in that front,” Shahriar told reporters after the meeting.
Responding to a question, Shahriar said they are in discussion for increasing Bangladeshi peacekeepers in African countries.
“It’s still at working level,” he said adding that two destinations -- Mali and Central African Republic -- are in consideration where Bangladeshi peacekeepers will be deployed.
The State Minister said Ladsous highly appreciated Bangladesh’s role in the UN peacekeeping missions. “He specially applauded female peacekeepers’ contributions.”
Shahriar said some 7,083 armed forces members and 1,758 police members, including 218 female police, are now deployed in UN peacekeeping missions abroad. The UN wants to increase the number of female peacekeepers in the missions.
The State Minister thanked the UN for increasing financial benefits for the peacekeepers that took place after 18 years.
Bangladesh also wanted to know how effectively and efficiently the country can contribute to the UN peacekeeping missions.
In response, Ladsous laid emphasis on ‘speed of deployment’ in which Bangladesh is a unique example. He also talked about language skill, especially French.
Replying to another question on Ameerah Haq, Ladsous said she worked very efficiently in her 38-year long UN career and it is usual to go on retirement.
Ladsous arrived here on Tuesday night on a three-day official visit. He is scheduled to meet President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the chiefs of the three services - army, navy and air force.
Bangladesh described his visit as ‘very significant’ as this will be the first visit of USG level from the United Nations to Bangladesh, the top peacekeeping contributing country in the world, after the present government assumed office for the second consecutive term following the January-5 elections.
Ladsous will also address a seminar, titled 'Peacekeeping Trends and Challenges', to be arranged by the Foreign Ministry at a city hotel on Wednesday afternoon.
He is likely to highlight the current global situation and how Bangladesh could more effectively contribute in peacekeeping.