India has emphasised the importance of timely reimbursements to nations for their contributions to UN peacekeeping operations, saying success of such missions depends on addressing structural challenges of timely payments, adequate resources and well-trained troops.
“UN’s Peace Operations have changed drastically. Peacekeepers are increasingly charged with implementing complex mandates, they have to frequently perform in challenging environments, in integrated and multi-dimensional missions,” First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Mahesh Kumar said here on Tuesday.
Kumar was speaking at a session on financing of UN peacekeeping operations.He said while the troops and police contributing countries had been asked to provide well-equipped and trained troops, the recognition of the importance of reimbursement to the peacekeeping partnership needed to be strengthened.
“Operationally, while the importance of clear mandates, most contemporary guidelines and policies from the secretariat and also leadership and accountability at all levels are critical, the success of our efforts here would largely depend on well-trained and equipped troops, adequate resources, full and timely reimbursement. We hope that these structural challenges are addressed,” he said.
As on March 31 last year, the UN owed a total of USD 777 million to member states for peacekeeping operations. The UN had to pay a total of USD 55 million to India for its contribution to the world body’s peacekeeping operations, the second highest outstanding payment to any member country.
India is the largest cumulative troop contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, having provided almost 200,000 troops in nearly 50 of the 71 peacekeeping missions mandated over the past six decades, including 13 of the current 16 missions.
With 168 personnel having paid the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty, Kumar said India is deeply conscious of the complexities and challenges involved in UN’s peace operations.Highlighting two crucial elements related to peacekeeping reimbursement, Kumar stressed that there is an urgent need to review the death and disability compensation package since the last such review was undertaken long ago.
Given that there is a drastic increase in the incidence and intensity of targeted attacks against UN peacekeepers, addressing this concern is of paramount importance, he said.Further, given that the UN owes a significant amount of outstanding reimbursement for active and closed missions to troops and police-contributing countries, India called for early and fast settlement of such dues.
He added that India welcomed the increase in the number of female uniformed peacekeepers from about 3,800 in January 2014 to almost 4,300 in December 2017 and urges their increased participation in peacekeeping operations.
India provided the first ever Female Formed Police Unit to UN peace operations in Liberia. “In this regard, we support the call for inclusion of cost data from aspects specific to the deployment of women peacekeepers in future determination of troop costs,” Kumar said.
He added that future survey exercises should also incorporate costs associated with post-deployment such as demobilisation expenses, medical examinations and procedures, tests and counselling that are specific to service in the peacekeeping operations.