Troop contributing nations need greater say in peacekeeping, says Army Chief

New Delhi: Reflecting the concern of the several developing countries Army Chief General Dalbir Singh said that nations contributing troops to United Nations Peacekeeping (UNPK) missions need greater say in the conduct of the missions they are part of.

A file photo of Chief of the Army Staff General Dalbir Singh.

“Troop contributing nations have very little say in peacekeeping missions. They must have a say in the change of mandate and policy formulation. The concerns of stakeholders have to be taken care of,” Gen. Singh said on Monday, speaking at a seminar by the Centre for Land Warfare Studies and the Centre for UNPK (CUNPK) on the occasion of the U.N. international day of peacekeepers.

This has been constant demand of several developing countries which are the major troop contributing nations while the decision-making is done by the developed countries and the permanent five countries who hardly contribute any boots on the ground.

Noting that the nature of peacekeeping has changed from the traditional “peacekeeping to peace enforcement”, Gen. Singh stressed the need for force restructuring.

India has been consistently among the top troop contributing nations for peacekeeping and as on date 7,925 Indian soldiers are serving under various U.N. missions across the globe. So far over 2,00,000 Indian have served under the U.N. flag since the beginning of UNPK operations.

Yuri Afanasiev, U.N. Resident Coordinator for India observed that 167 Indian peacekeepers have so far laid down their lives in U.N. missions till date.

May 29 of every year is observed as the U.N. International day of peacekeepers to mark the establishment of the first U.N. peacekeeping mission on May 29, 1948.