India today stressed on the need to ensure “best possible training” to United Nations peacekeepers for them to meet the evolving challenges in missions across the world. Addressing the senior mission leaders course of the the Centre for UN Peacekeeping (CUNPK), MEA Secretary (East) Preeti Saran highlighted the political, legal and military questions that the troops, also known as blue berets, have to negotiate.
“Perhaps the most practical of practical steps, or the starting point to addressing the challenges inherent in modern day UN peacekeeping is to ensure the best possible training for UN peacekeepers deployed in various missions,” she said.
Saran also rued how there is a general lack of acknowledgement when it comes to serious implications for the safety and security of peacekeepers, both military and civilian, when they are asked to ignore certain principles.
“…cardinal principles of effective UN peacekeeping – consent of all parties, neutrality, and resort to force only in self-defence – in pursuit of robust mandates that we set for them,” she said.
“While we in the international community continue to raise the bar of performance that we demand from our peacekeepers, we also seem to be flagging in our commitment, and our duty, to provide them with adequate resources to fulfil their ever more ambitious mandates,” she said.
India has historically been one of the leading contributors to UN peacekeeping missions.
Around 1 lakh peacekeepers, contributed by 126 member states, are presently deployed in 16 missions across the globe.