Washington: As the United Nations is facing shortage of both manpower and tools for its peacekeeping operations, India on Tuesday said UN member states are reluctant to contribute to such missions, which is vital in bringing peace to the conflict zones.
“We need to carefully examine the reasons behind this state of affairs and collectively take the steps that are required to rectify matters,” Indian ambassador to the UN Hardeep Puri told the UN Security Council at a special meeting on peacekeeping operations.
India is one of the largest contributors to the UN peacekeeping operations, Puri said and urged the UN Security Council to have a “clear and achievable” mandate for peacekeeping operations.
It is a self-evident truth that there is no scarcity of the personnel and capacities of the type that the United Nations requires. There are enough troops, enough policemen, enough civilian experts, enough capacities and enough helicopters available to the international community, he said.
“That is not the problem. The problem is that there is reluctance on the part of member States to make these available to the United Nations,” Puri argued.
A major issue that needs to be tackled is the nature of the Security Council’s mandates and the manner in which they are generated, the Indian Ambassador said.
“Related to this is the question of whether the mandates have any correlation to the ability of the organisation to deliver. Mandates are increasingly “robust” and place peacekeepers, most of whom come from member States not represented in this Council, in non-permissive environments,” he noted.
They are faced with situations where they are more frequently being called upon to use force not just to defend but to enforce mandates, Puri said.
Unrealistic mandates have led to situations where mission personnel are forced to ask national contingents to undertake tasks and utilize COE in a manner that is inconsistent with the legal framework under which they are deployed.
Calling that peacekeeping “mandates be clear and achievable”, Puri reiterated that this will not be possible without substantively involving countries who contribute manpower and resources to peacekeeping operations.
Observing that the operating environment for peacekeeping has changed, Puri said the conventional wisdom that peacekeepers must be drawn from the ranks of the military is an idea whose time is past.
India believes that the future of peacekeeping, and at least a part of peace building, lies in the development of police and rule of law capacities in UN missions, he said.