Peacekeeping makes Bangladesh net security provider: Biswal
US Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Nisha Desai Biswal has said peacekeeping is a great example of how the countries of South Asia including Bangladesh are becoming net security providers.
“Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Nepal are four of the top six contributors to UN peacekeeping operations – in fact, over one-third of all deployed UN peacekeepers are from South Asia,” she said.
Biswal made the remark while addressing at the annual meeting of the Association of the United States Army in Washington recently, according to a copy of the speech received from the US Department of State on Tuesday, UNB reports.
She also said of course, mil-mil relations with some of the countries in South and Central Asia are complicated by their human rights records. “But we continue to air our concerns in frank discussions with their leaders, and are committed to making progress in this area.”
Biswal said if anybody looks at some of the greatest challenges facing South Asia in the future – earthquakes, flooding, infectious disease – all will require land-based forces to craft an effective response.
“So I really can’t overstate the value of the U.S. Army’s peacetime engagements in South Asia. And not just for that region, but also globally, for its neighbors to the east and west, especially in Africa,” she added.
Biswal said she saw in Bangladesh, in the cyclone shelters that the Army Corps of Engineers and USAID started building in 2004.
“When Cyclone Sidr – one of the strongest on record – hit Bangladesh in 2007, over 2 million people had already evacuated to shelters. While over 3,000 people still lost their lives to Cyclone Sidr, consider that nearly 140,000 were killed when a cyclone of similar strength hit Bangladesh in 1991 – before the shelters were built.”