India unhappy with no say in deciding UN peacekeeping mandate

India, the largest contributor of troops to the United Nations peacekeeping operations, is getting increasingly concerned, as it has no role in deciding the mandates of such missions, particularly after its exit from the Security Council.

The country has lost 154 of its soldiers to maintain peace around the world.
With 7,795 military personnel and policemen from India currently engaged in peacekeeping operations in Congo, South Sudan, Liberia, Golan Heights, Haiti, Lebanon, Abeyi, Cyprus and Cote de’ Ivoire, New Delhi recently called upon the Security Council to evolve a mechanism to ensure greater say of the troop contributing countries in deciding the mandate of such missions.

“The nature of the peacekeeping mandate is constantly changing in keeping with the situation on the ground,” Asoke Mukerji, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said last Wednesday. “It is my hope that troop contributing countries like India will be enabled to find a mechanism by the UN Security Council (UNSC) in drawing up the technical parameters of this mandate in consultation with the troop contributing countries, to deal professionally with such new challenges,” he said
Mukerji was speaking at the inauguration of a photo exhibition at the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations in New York. The photo exhibition on India’s contribution to UN peacekeeping operations was held on the occasion of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

India has contributed 1,60,000 troops in 43 peacekeeping missions of the UN over the past six and a half decades. The country has also contributed quite a large number of police personnel for the UN missions. The latest fatality came on April 9 last, when five soldiers of the 6 Mahar Regiment of the Indian Army were killed in a rebel attack on a convoy of UN vehicles at Jonglei in South Sudan. India has 1,937 soldiers, 23 police personnel and five experts participating in the UN mission in conflict-hit South Sudan.

New Delhi, however, has been increasingly concerned over the mismatch between the resources made available to the UN peacekeepers and the mandates of the missions.
During its two-year-term as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from January 2011 till December 2012, India persistently argued for greater role of troop and police contributing countries in making decisions on “establishment, conduct, review and termination of peacekeeping operations, including the extension and change of mandates, as well as for specific operational issues”.

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