India considers committing aviation assets for UN

India said it is considering to commit aviation assets to help UN enhance its peacekeeping capabilities as the world organisation faces shortage of critical enablers such as rapidly deployable forces, engineer companies and medical services for its peacekeeping operations.

Addressing the UN Chiefs of Defence Conference here on Thursday, Vice Chief Of Army Staff Lieutenant General Devraj Anbu said India has deployed four hospitals, one Engineer Company and a Signal Company in various UN missions.

India has also pledged an Infantry Battalion, an Engineer Company and a Signal Company which is at Level 3 of Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System (PCRS).

"As we understand that UN is facing shortage of critical enablers such as rapidly deployable forces, francophone troops, aviation assets, engineer companies and medical services... the issue of committing aviation assets is presently under consideration," Anbu said.

Senior military officials from over 110 member states and regional organisations, including 56 chiefs of defence staff, participated in the two-day third biennial Chiefs of Defence Conference at the UN headquarters in New York on July 10 and July 11.

The theme for this year's conference was 'Generating Capabilities to Meet High-Performance Requirements' in UN peacekeeping.

The conference aimed at exchanging information with member states and generate solutions to issues related to specialised capabilities and gaps, performance, training and expanding the role of women in UN operations.

Anbu also met Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix and Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support Atul Khare.

India has been providing training facilities for the conduct of UN courses, joint exercises and mobile training teams.

India has also incorporated jungle warfare qualified troops as part of contingents who are likely to induct in the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) in August 2019.

Underlining the world body's efforts to increase participation of women peacekeepers in UN missions, Anbu said India is committed to the 'Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy' and had complied to the UN requirement of deploying 15 per cent women staff officers and military observers in 2017.

"Presently, 21 women officers are deployed in UN missions and 26 women officers will be deployed by December 2019," he said.

India has already deployed a Female Engagement Team (FET) in MONUSCO to increase women participation as part of contingents last month.

On the issue of improvement in performance, training, capacity building and equipment, the highly-decorated Indian Army officer said India is committed to supporting the UN in its efforts to improve the performance of peacekeeping and capacity building.

"On this aspect, A4P initiative provides an ideal platform," Anbu said, adding that the Centre for UN Peacekeeping (CUNPK) in India has been a flag bearer for imparting quality instructors in the field of UN peacekeeping training.

India has been conducting UN-related courses like Female Military Officers Course (FMOC), Senior Mission Leaders’ Course (SMLC) and Conflict-related Sexual Violence (CRSV).

On the aspect of Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA), India is funding the Pipeline for Peacekeeping Command Programme which is aimed at training commanders and managers in the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, he said.

India had also conducted a Joint Field Training Exercise on UN Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO) and Humanitarian Mine Assistance (HMA) with 19 countries as part of ASEAN Defence Ministers Meet (ADMM) Plus in February 2016.

This year, India conducted the Joint Field Training Exercise on UNPKO and HMA with 17 African Countries in March 2019, besides conducting bilateral Army Exercises with Myanmar, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Cambodia and Kyrgyzstan, Anbu said. 

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