UN to review peacekeeping, India presses for more funds

August 16th, 2011 - 2:56 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 16 (IANS) India, one of the largest contributors to UN peacekeeping operations, has pressed for more financing and greater innovation in deploying troops in the conflict zones - a key theme that will be debated by the Security Council next week.

India, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council (UNSC) for August, has floated several proposals for buttressing and streamlining peacekeeping.

In a concept note entitled “Peacekeeping: Taking stock and preparing for the future”, sent to UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon and other Security Council members, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri has underlined the need for innovation and legal clarity in international peacekeeping operations.

The Security Council is set to hold an open discussion on peacekeeping in New York Aug 26.

The resource crunch in meeting increasingly costly peacekeeping operations will top the agenda.

“While the number of peacekeepers is roughly the same as the number of international security assistance force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, the UN peacekeeping expense for last two decades is under $50 billion, which is reportedly less than the annual expenditure of ISAF,” says India’s concept note which was circulated Aug 8.

According to a UN estimate, the estimated cost of all peacekeeping operations from 1948 to June 2010 worked out to about $69 billion.

“This is an unsatisfactory situation and a serious discussion is required on the issue of resources. The inability of the Council to address this will lead to a performance deficit on the part of UN peacekeeping missions which in turn could erode the legitimacy of this Council,” says the concept note.

Clearing legal ambiguity around peacekeeping is another key concern India has emphasised.

“Peacekeepers are often asked to make life-and-death decisions in situations of legal ambiguity. They are also frequently asked to make tough moral choices. Effective peacekeeping requires that the men and women operate in an environment of legal certitude,” the concept note said.

The concept paper also draws attention to issues such as government consent and its implications for state sovereignty and problems faced by troop-contributing countries.

The paper also highlights the partnership for peacekeeping between the council, the General Assembly and the troop-and-police-contributing countries (TCCs/PCCs).

As of September 2010, the 10 main troop-contributing countries to UN peacekeeping are: Bangladesh (10,736), Pakistan (10,691), India (8,935), Nigeria (5,709), Egypt (5,458), Nepal (5,044), Jordan (3,826), Ghana (3,647), Rwanda (3,635) and Uruguay (2,489).

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