Brief History of Bangladesh Peacebuilding Centre (BPC)
Bangladesh is one of the largest troops contributing countries to the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions and also a leading country working for the global peacebuilding effort. Since its independence, the country has always been promoting the idea of global peace and stability. In 2011, during the 66th UN General Assembly’s meeting, Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina proposed a six point global peace model covering the areas of eradication of poverty and hunger, reduction of inequality, mitigation of deprivation, inclusion of excluded people, acceleration of human development and elimination of terrorism. Bangladesh Prime Minister’s model was appraised by all the developing and developed countries. The proposal included all the elements of peace which entails the interests of all the nations of the world. Due to its commitment for the global peacebuilding efforts and contribution to the idea of peacebuilding, Bangladesh always takes a lead role in the global peacebuilding process.
During the visit of the Foreign Minister of Japan to Bangladesh on 22 March 2014, the proposal of a “Peacebuilding Centre” was raised by the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh and his Japanese counterpart agreed to cooperate on the issue taking Japanese experience on the subject.
Following the proposal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of Bangladesh took the initiative to organise first inter-ministerial meeting on 05 May 2014 to establish a peacebuilding centre in Bangladesh. The meeting was chaired by the Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh where representatives from eight ministries/divisions/agencies were present. Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan present at the meeting shared his views for the proposed peacebuilding centre.
During the visit of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh to Japan from 25-28 May 2014, the Prime Minister of Japan expressed his interest to share Japan’s experience, including dispatching experts for the proposed project of establishing a peacebuilding centre in Bangladesh. Later on, during the Japanese Prime Minister’s visit to Bangladesh from 06-07 September 2014, the issue was again reflected in the ‘Joint Statement’ signed by both the Prime Ministers, expressing satisfaction for the progress made towards setting up of the peacebuilding centre.
The second inter-ministerial level meeting was held on 24 December 2014 at MoFA. Basing on the suggestions of various ministries in the inter-ministerial level meeting, a summary was prepared by MoFA for Prime Minister’s approval for the establishment of a peacebuilding centre at Dhaka. The summary was approved by the Prime Minister on 27 January 2016. It is thus the journey of ‘Bangladesh Pecebuilding Centre’ officially started on 28 January 2016. It was also approved that the peacebuilding centre will be initially established under the supervision of Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) until it has a permanent administrative structure and Director General (DG) of BIISS will act as the interim DG of the Peace Building Centre. It was also decided that a Governing Body (GB) for the centre may be formed which will be co-chaired by the Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Principal Staff Officer (PSO)of Armed Forces Division (AFD). The members of the GB may include representatives from Ministry of Public Administration, Foreign Ministry, Home Ministry, Defence Ministry, AFD, Bangladesh Police, Election Commission and experts and academia from relevant institutions.
Following the approval of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, the third inter-ministerial meeting was held at MoFA on 18 February 2016 in which it was decided that BIISS would convene the first GB meeting at its premises. The first GB meeting was therefore held at BIISS auditorium on 28 August 2016. PSO, AFD and Foreign Secretary co-chaired the meeting where other members of the GB were present. During the meeting, the board approved the name of the centre as the ‘Bangladesh Peacebuilding Centre (BPC)’ and its logo.
On 30 October 2016, the Government of Bangladesh allocated the ground floor of the former SAARC Meteorological Research Center (SMRC) located at E-4/C, Agargaon, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar as the temporary space for BPC. Since 01 November 2016, the activities of BPC started in its present location at Agargaon.