India today said it was committed to the UN peacekeeping operations and provide troops for the UN missions as pledged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking at the UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial summit, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Ramrao Bhamre highlighted India’s “consistent and substantive response” over the past seven decades of peacekeeping operations.
“More than 230,000 Indian troops have participated in 50 of the 71 UN peacekeeping operations mandated by the UN Security Council so far,” the minister said here.
“India has also aided in capacity building of many countries, training 114 prospective peacekeepers from 35 countries this year itself; with a special course each for African countries and for female peacekeepers,” he said.
Bhamre drew attention to the challenges being faced by UN peacekeeping, with armed groups and non-state actors playing “spoilers” to peace efforts. He said the Peacekeeping Missions are no longer “benign and humanitarian tasks” but a major facet of current UN missions.
He exhorted the United Nations to work in sync with host governments to avoid “turbulence”. He also voiced the need to bring about qualitative improvements in the performance of UN contingents, UN staff and mission leadership.
The minister reiterated the issues raised by Modi in New York last year during the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping, including the necessity to involve Troop Contributing Nations in mandate formulation, representation in key leadership positions in mission areas; and above all, the requirement of a more representative Security Council.
The London ministerial meeting, hosted by UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, is a follow-up to the Leaders’ Summit in New York in 2015.
Its agenda involved following up on the peacekeeping commitments made by countries during the US summit.