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Peacekeeping: UN wants India to play bigger role
Ops becoming more complex due to non-state actors in conflict zones, says Army Chief
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 6
The United Nations today said that it wanted more cooperation from India in bringing peace to conflict zones across the world. UN Assistant Secretary-General for Field Support Anthony Banbury, who is nowadays in the Capital, told reporters that the United Nations was looking “to further strengthen the partnership with India to meet growing challenges around the world” commensurate with the country’s emergent stature.

Even as the UN sought more Indian participation, Army Chief Gen VK Singh did some straight talking as he addressed international policy makers, saying that UN peacekeeping operations were becoming more complex due to threats posed by non-state actors in conflict zones. The problem needs to be addressed “much more seriously”.

The Army Chief was addressing a seminar on ‘Peacekeeping Vision 2015’ organised by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs here today. General Singh said, “It is easy to deal with state players. But, as far as non-state players are concerned, the possibility of what they will do and how they will convert their own capability and their influences on the state to the detriment of the peace-keeping mission needs to be seen much more seriously”.

He went on to add that peacekeeping missions were facing the “unique challenge” of implementing mandates that were either “nebulous” or have aspects that may not be “implementable or enforceable”. He said this issue needed to be addressed by the UN and countries contributing their troops, or it could pose problems on the ground. “More often than not, the UN comes under fire because it is not able to enforce the mandate,” Gen Singh said.

India is the third largest contributor to UN Peacekeeping missions after Bangladesh and Pakistan. It has dispatched around 8,000 troops to places like Congo, Sudan, Lebanon, Liberia and the Golan Heights.

Earlier in the day, Banbury met the Army Chief. He will also hold talks with senior officials in the Ministry of External Affairs and Defence.





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