NEW YORK: Raising the bar, India has unveiled plans to scale up its contribution to UN peacekeeping operations and linked it up with the urgent necessity of fast-tracking reform and expansion of the UN Security Council to make it more effective.
Speaking at the UN Peacekeeping summit hosted by US President Barack Obama in New York on September 28, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi also pitched for a greater role for troop-contributing countries in the decision-making process related to peacekeeping operations.
The new contributions by India include additional battalion of up to 850 troops in existing or new operations; additional three Police units with higher representation of female peacekeepers; commitment to provide critical enablers; deployment of technical personnel in UN missions; and, additional training for peacekeepers at facilities in India and in the field.
Over the years, India has emerged as the largest contributor to UN peacekeeping missions with over 180,000 Indian troops having participated in missions all over the world. “India has participated in 48 of the 69 UN peacekeeping missions so far. 161 Indian peacekeepers have made the supreme sacrifice while serving in UN missions. India was the first country to contribute a Female Formed Police Unit to UN Mission in Liberia,” said Mr Modi.
India has trained nearly 800 peacekeeping officers from 82 countries.
“Today’s peacekeepers are called upon not only to maintain peace and security, but also address a range of challenges.” Mr Modi underlined that the UN peacekeeping summit was timely as the security environment was changing, with a resource-crunch hitting peacekeeping.
Thanking the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for his prompt report by accepting the recommendations of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations, Mr Modi stressed that India’s commitment to UN Peacekeeping remains strong and will grow.
The Indian leader also pitched for making UN peacekeeping operations more effective by providing a bigger role for troop-contributing countries in the decision-making process. “The problems arise to a large extent because Troop Contributing Countries do not have a role in the decision-making process. They do not have adequate representation in senior management and as Force Commanders,” he said.
“Peacekeeping missions should be deployed prudently, with full recognition of their limitations and in support of political solutions,” he underlined.
Linking peacekeeping with UNSC reforms
In a deft diplomacy, the Indian leader sought to link effective peacekeeping with the ongoing drive to make the UN Security Council more credible and democratic.
“In conclusion, l wish to emphasise that the success of UN peacekeeping ultimately depends not on the weapons that the soldiers carry, but on the moral force that decisions of the UN Security Council command,” he said.
“We must complete the long-pending task of reforms within a fixed time frame of the UN Security Council to preserve the relevance and effectiveness of the UN,” he said.
The leaders of the G4 countries comprising India, Brazil, Japan and Germany, met in New York last week and called for completion the UNSC reforms at the earliest.
- Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.