India to focus on UN peacekeeping during presidency

August 3rd, 2011 - 9:51 am ICT by IANS  

United Nations, Aug 3 (IANS) India will focus on the issue of UN peacekeeping during its UN Security Council presidency for the month of August, Hardeep Singh Puri, permanent representative of India to the UN has said.

An open debate on this matter has been scheduled for Aug 26, Xinhua reported.

Puri’s statement came while he briefed reporters on the Security Council’s programme for August, which was approved by the council Tuesday.

India will hold the presidency of the 15-member UN body in charge of maintaining global peace and security for the month.

“Peacekeeping in and of itself is becoming a somewhat complicated exercise. We have moved on from the traditional paradigm of peace to be kept after hostilities within a country. There are elements of peace-building which now peacekeepers are expected to pursue, the issue of mandate generation,” Puri said.

He said India has a great deal of experience in peacekeeping as a major troop contributor to UN operations all over the world.

India has so far contributed more than 100,000 peacekeepers since the process of peacekeeping started.

There are also several country-specific issues that Puri said the council is slated to examine during the month of August.

This would include Somalia, which has been hit by a drought and famine.

Besides, the council will hold consultations on Sudan, the renewal of mandate of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

Elected to the council for a two-year term, India will serve as one of the 10 non-permanent members through the end of 2012. It is the first time India has served on the council since 1992.

Although non-permanent members like India can vote on Security Council matters, the five permanent members of the group - Britain, France, Russia, the US and China - hold veto power.

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