Nations Contributing To Peacekeeping Have No Say In Decision Making, Says Prime Minister Narendra Modi

29/09/2015 7:49 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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NEW YORK -- Pressing for UNSC reforms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi regretted that nations contributing to peacekeeping operations have no say in decision-making as he asserted that success of such mission depends ultimately on the "moral force" of the world body.

Addressing the Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping hosted by US President Barack Obama, he said India remains committed to the peacekeeping efforts and announced contribution of one additional battalion of Indian troops comprising 850 soldiers, three police units and higher representation of women peacekeepers to such missions.

"Success of peacekeeping ultimately depends not on the weapons they (soldiers) carry but by the moral force of the UNSC," he told the gathering including Obama, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and leaders from a large number of other countries.

narendra modi

"The problems arise to a large extent because troop contributing countries do not have a role in decision-making process," he added.

India is one of the largest contributors to the peacekeeping having provided 180000 soldiers to 48 of the 69 such missions.

Modi underlined the need for carrying out the "long pending task of reforms" of the UN Security Council to ensure its "relevance and effectiveness". Modi welcomed holding of the peacekeeping summit at a time when the UN is in the 70th year of its existence.

He said the security environment was changing with peacekeepers facing a range of complex challenges as demands are growing and resources are decreasing. "Mandates are ambitious but resources are limited... Today's peacekeepers are called upon not only to maintain peace and security, but also address a range of challenges," the Prime Minister said.

Asserting that India's commitment to peacekeeping remains strong and will grow, he noted that the country had been contributing to such missions from the beginning and was the first to send its female unit to Liberia.

161 of Indian soldiers have made the supreme sacrifice during peacekeeping missions, he said.

Modi pointed out that Indian soldiers had been working on peacekeeping missions since World War II during which it lost more than 24000 troops and nearly half of that went missing.

"This legacy of sacrifice is shared by three nations present here," he said, in an apparent reference to Pakistan and Bangladesh.

He said that a memorial wall for the fallen peacekeepers should be erected expeditiously, for which India will contribute financially also.

Thanking Obama for hosting the summit, he said it is timely not just because of the 70th anniversary of the world body but also because the security environment is changing, the demands on peacekeeping are growing and the resources are harder to find.

Modi expressed pleasure that the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations has recognized these issues and hoped that the panel's recommendations will be considered soon.

India is among the largest contributors to the UN peacekeeping operations with over 1,80,000 troops having participated in missions - more than from any other country.

The country has participated in 48 of the 69 UN missions so far and was the first country to contribute a Female Formed Police Unit to UN Mission in Liberia. It lost 161 of its peacekeepers in the line of duty.

India has also been providing training to peacekeeping officers from a large number of countries and till date has trained nearly 800 officers from 82 countries.

Modi pointed out that Indian soldiers had been working on peacekeeping missions since World War II during which it lost more than 24,000 troops and nearly half of that went missing.

"This legacy of sacrifice is shared by three nations present here," he said, in an apparent reference to Pakistan and Bangladesh.

He said that a memorial wall for the fallen peacekeepers should be erected expeditiously, for which India will contribute financially also.

Modi left for home after concluding his two-nation tour of Ireland and the US.

"My USA visit demonstrates the extraordinary depth and diversity of our relationship. A lot of ground has been covered in these few days (sic)," Modi tweeted before his departure.

"I got the opportunity to attend a widespread of programmes each of which generated many positive outcomes that will benefit India," he said in another tweet reflecting on the series of meetings he attended during his US visit.

"I shared my thoughts on key global issues at the @ UN and also met many more leaders to strengthen India's ties with the global community," the Prime Minister tweeted.

"My gratitude to the American people for the very warm welcome and the hospitality wherever my delegation & I went," he said. In the first leg of his seven-day trip, Modi visited Ireland, marking first Prime Ministerial visit from India in almost 60 years. In Dublin, he held talks with Enda Kenny, the Taoiseach of Ireland.

On September 23, he flew to New York, where he addressed a UN Sustainable Development Summit and participated in a Summit on peacekeeping hosted by Obama.

The Prime Minister also met several world leaders and had interactions with leading investors and financial sector firms. There was a working dinner where major Fortune-500 companies were present to deliberate on investment opportunities in India. He also traveled to West Coast where he visited Facebook Headquarters for a Townhall Q&A with its CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

He visited Google campus and Tesla Motors. In San Jose, he interacted with the Indian community on September 27.

On the last day of his visit, Modi met leaders of the three permanent members of the UN Security Council -- Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande.

Also Read: In New York, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Gets Love And Hate From Indian-Americans

Also Read: Full Text Of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Speech At The Digital India Dinner In San Jose

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