India calls UNSC ineffective, powerless

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In one of its strongest critique of the UN Security Council (UNSC), till date, India lashed out at the UNSC calling it ineffective, powerless for its lack of accountability and transparency in mandating peacekeeping operations, while also blaming it for the rising casualties among the peacekeepers.

“We are dismayed at the opaque manner in which the Security Council continues to mandate peace operations, without any accountability or transparency,” India’s Permanent Representative Asoke Kumar Mukerji said at a General Assembly session on peacekeeping operations on October 12.

“The human costs of this failing are evident in both the rising number of casualties among UN peacekeepers, as well as an alarming growth in the number of civilians, now reaching 60 million, according to the Secretary General, whose lives are being disrupted by the conflicts that an ineffective Security Council is powerless to resolve,” Mr Mukerji added. As of the end of September, 85 peacekeepers have died this year.

India is the largest contributor to UN peacekeeping missions since its inception, contributing around 180,000 troops till date that have served in 48 of the 69 UN missions. India currently has 7,794 personnel under UN’s blue flag. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has offered to increase India’s troop-contribution by 10 per cent when he participated at a summit on peacekeeping last month, Mr Mukerji said.

India would also be adding three police battalions with a high proportion of women and provide training for peacekeepers from other nations, Mr Mukerji added while appealing to Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft to “take the lead to prioritise agreement on an early reform of the Security Council during this 70th Session.”

Stressing on the fact that the implementation report had great importance for India, Mr Mukerji also reiterated India’s demand to implement in “letter and spirit” the UN Charter provisions that require the UNSC to consult with troop-providing countries when issuing peacekeeping mandates.

Backing the call for better coordination between the Security Council and troop-contributing countries, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said,”A shared understanding of the tasks involved between the Security Council and the troop and police contributing countries was required, as was cooperation with national actors and local communities.”

South Asian countries are among the largest contributors of personnel to the UN peacekeeping operations. Bangladesh, which is currently the largest contributor, has 9,432 personnel in UN missions, Pakistan 7,533 and Nepal 5,346.

India welcomed the Secretary-General’s plan for implementing the recommendations of the High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO).

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