United Nations: Pushing for speedy UN Security Council reforms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today regretted that nations contributing to peacekeeping operations have no say in decision-making in a changing security environment.
Addressing the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping hosted by US President Barack Obama here, Modi noted that mandates sometimes make peacekeepers party to conflicts, putting at risk their lives and success of their missions. “The problems arise to a large extent because troop contributing countries do not have a role in decision-making process,” he said, adding, “they do not have adequate representation in senior management and as Force Commanders”.
“Today’s peacekeepers are called upon not only to maintain peace and security, but also address a range of challenges,” the Prime Minister told the gathering that included UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and leaders from other countries.
Underlining the difficult circumstances under which troops have to do their duty, Modi said peacekeepers today are called upon not only to maintain peace and security, but also address a range of “complex challenges”. He said India remains committed to the peacekeeping efforts and announced contribution of one additional battalion of Indian troops comprising 850 soldiers, three police units with higher representation of women peacekeepers.
India is one of the largest contributors to the peacekeeping having provided 180,000 soldiers to 48 of the 69 such UN missions. 161 Indian peacekeepers have lost their lives while serving in UN missions, he said. “Success of peacekeeping ultimately depends not on the weapons they (soldiers) carry but by the moral force of the UNSC,” he said. The Prime Minister reaffirmed the need for completing the “long pending task of reforms” of the UN Security Council within a fixed time frame to preserve the “relevance and effectiveness of the UN”.
Thanking Obama for hosting the peacekeeping summit, he said it was timely not just because of the 70th anniversary of the UN, but also because of the “security environment is changing, the demands on peacekeeping are growing and the resources are harder to find.” He called for peacekeeping missions to be deployed “prudently” with full recognition of their limitations and in support of political solutions.
Modi said Indian soldiers had been working on peacekeeping missions since World War II during which it lost more than 24000 troops and nearly half of that went missing. “This legacy of sacrifice is shared by three nations present here,” he said, in an apparent reference to Pakistan and Bangladesh. He said that a memorial wall for the fallen peacekeepers should be erected expeditiously, for which India will contribute financially also.