News:Recently,Indian peacekeepers serving in South Sudan have been awarded the United Nations(UN) medal for their service and contribution to building peace in the country.
About United Nations Peacekeeping:
- United Nations Peacekeeping was created in 1948.It provides security and the political and peacebuilding support to help countries make the difficult, early transition from conflict to peace.
- It deploys troops and police from around the world, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to address a range of mandates set by the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the General Assembly.
- The UN Peacekeeping is guided by three basic principles (1)Consent of the parties (2)Impartiality and (3)Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.
- The UN Peacekeepers are led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations(DKPO).
- UN Peacekeepers are often referred to as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets.
Significance of UN Peacekeeping:
- UN peacekeeping is a unique global partnership.It brings together the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Secretariat, troop and police contributors and the host governments in a combined effort to maintain international peace and security.
- Its strength lies in the legitimacy of the UN Charter and in the wide range of contributing countries that participate and provide precious resources.
India and UN Peacekeeping:
- India has a long history of cooperation with the UN peacekeeping.One of the earliest peacekeeping missions deployed in India was the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) in 1948 itself.
- Currently, there are more than 6,700 troops and police from India who have been deployed to UN peacekeeping missions.India is the fourth highest amongst troop-contributing countries.
- In 2007, India became the first country to deploy an all-women contingent to a UN peacekeeping mission.
Reforms needed under UN Peacekeeping:
- Improving the safety of peacekeepers
- Finding political solutions to conflicts and enhancing the political impact of peacekeeping
- Reforming peacekeeping based on incentivisation, innovation and institutionalisation.
- Allowing troop-contributing countries like India to participate in decisions of the UN Security Council concerning the deployment of her troops.