Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has lauded the role of Bangladeshi peacekeepers as ambassadors of peace, saying they are actually helping brand the country abroad as a peace-loving nation.
"Even during this global pandemic, our peacekeepers continue to serve in various peacekeeping missions, fearlessly rendering their responsibilities," he said on Friday.
Dr Momen felicitated all Bangladeshi peacekeepers for their dedicated service to humanity and hoped that their endeavours will help achieve sustainable peace for the international community.
The Foreign Minister made the remarks while inaugurating the 'Peacekeepers Day Rally: Run to Commemorate the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers-2021' in the city.
Bangladesh remains a proud contributor to UN peacekeeping operations. It is currently the top contributor of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping missions, with almost 6,500 peacekeepers currently deployed in eight countries.
"Our peacekeepers are deployed in some of the most challenging hotspots in the world where they diligently work for peace, security and human rights of the local people and the protection of civilians along with performing other multi-faceted roles," he said.
Dr Momen recalled that he was personally involved in engaging valiant soldiers in a mission to restore democracy and voice of the people in Haiti in 1994 that subsequently helped them to engage with the UN peacekeeping operations more actively.
"During my six-year tenure at the UN as Bangladesh's Permanent Representative, with the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, I could engage women peacekeepers for the first time and many more police and naval forces in the UN peacekeeping missions," he said.
"What could be a better way to fulfill the dream of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for a peaceful world, who so ardently declared in his maiden speech at the United Nations General Assembly way back in 1974."
"I know that the souls of our martyrs join us in pledging that the Bangalee nation fully commits itself to the building of a world order, in which the aspiration of all men for peace and justice will be realised," Dr Momen quoted Bangabandhu as saying.
He said Prime Minister Hasina's government has been pursuing a dynamic foreign policy based on the principle of "friendship to all, malice towards none", as enunciated by Bangabandhu.
"Imbued with this value, Bangladesh has consistently contributed in all ways possible to international peace and security," said the Foreign Minister.
Principal Staff Officer (PSO) at Armed Forces Division (AFD) Lieutenant General Waker-Uz-Zaman and UN Resident Coordinator in Dhaka Mia Seppo also spoke.