India has warned the UN Security Council that the new trend of using peacekeepers to tackle internal political conflicts is an “unsustainable” approach to the maintenance of global peace and security.
India, which is one of the largest contributors of troops to the UN Peacekeeping operations, said that a new trend of mixing peacekeeping mandates directly affects the operational effectiveness of the peacekeeping operations and “exposes traditional mandate peacekeepers to unnecessary threats from armed internal conflicts which the United Nations has not itself instigated”.
“We would like to point out the dangers of using the UN peacekeepers to tackle what are essentially internal political conflicts. In doing so, the Council is effectively endorsing an unsustainable approach to the maintenance of international peace and security,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Asoke Mukerji said at the UNSC open debate on peacekeeping operations.
India has sent more than 170,000 troops to 43 of the 69 peacekeeping operations mandated so far.
Mukerji added that with the changing nature of conflict, new demands have been placed on the peacekeeping operations.
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He said greater strategic guidance and support from the headquarters would provide effective command and control structure but these would be short-term remedies to long-term unresolved political issues that the peacekeepers are unable to resolve.
Mukerji also called on the Council to engage with troop-contributing countries while drafting new multi-dimensional mandates of the UN peacekeeping operations.
Further, he reiterated that it must be ensured that all attempts at the pacific settlement of disputes have been exhausted by the Member States belonging to regional arrangements before the Council is asked to approve new peacekeeping operations by regional organisations.
On the operational aspect of cooperation between UN and regional organisations, Mukerji said that it has been India’s experience that investment in equipments, logistics and training go a long way in making the peacekeeping operations more viable and sustainable.
Addressing the financial aspect of peacekeeping operations, Mukerji said that with the emergence of multidimensional mandates, new peacekeeping mandates are approved without providing for matching financial resources.
“The larger issue of financial imbalance must be taken into account when we look at the issue of providing sustainable and predictable financial support to the joint peacekeeping operations,” he said.