UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix will visit India and three other nations to thank the troop-contributing countries for their service and update them on the ongoing reforms in the peace and security area. Lacroix will visit Bangladesh, Nepal, India, and Pakistan from June 23 to July 3. He will visit Dhaka, Bangladesh, following which he will travel to Kathmandu. He will then travel to New Delhi, before concluding his trip to the region with a visit to Islamabad.
A note issued to reporters here yesterday said that troops and police from these four countries together make up close to one-third of some 91,000 uniformed personnel across 14 UN peacekeeping operations. The purpose of Lacroix’s visit is to “thank the four countries for their service and sacrifice in the name of peace, as well as to update on the ongoing reforms in the UN peace and security reform area, and specifically the UN Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative to make peacekeeping more focused, safer and stronger,” the note said.
While in the region, Lacroix will meet with senior officials from all four countries, including government, military and police officials. India is among the largest troop-contributing countries to UN peacekeeping missions with 6,712 Indian personnel currently deployed in about nine peacekeeping missions. The highest number of personnel, 2928, is deployed with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has lauded India’s contribution to peacekeeping missions and paid tribute to those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. India lost the highest number of its peacekeepers deployed in various UN peacekeeping operations in the last 70 years, with 163 military, police and civilian personnel from the country making the supreme sacrifice.
During this year’s commemoration of UN International Day of Peacekeeping, Guterres thanked the government of India for its strong and sustained support to UN peacekeeping. “…You have indeed given a very strong contribution to global solidarity and to international peace and security,” he had said. “For decades now, India has been one of the top contributors of military and police personnel to UN Peacekeeping.”
Paying tribute to the Indian Peacekeepers who died in the line of duty, Guterres said the 163 Indian peacekeepers, the highest number of all troop-contributing countries, have given their lives for peace. “We recognize their service and sacrifice as well as the service and sacrifice of all those from all countries that have fallen in the line of duty,” the UN chief had said.