External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that UN peacekeeping missions continue to operate in challenging settings involving terrorists, armed groups and non-state actors. He said, as nature of peacekeeping has become more complex, it is vital that our capabilities to secure the peace keepers keep pace. Dr S Jaishankar said, 21st-century peacekeeping must be anchored in a strong ecosystem of technology and innovation that can facilitate UN peacekeeping operations in implementing their mandates in complex environments. He was chairing the UN Security Council Open Debate on ‘Technology and Peacekeeping’ at UN headquarters in New York. Dr Jaishankar announced India’s support to UN in roll out of UNITE AWARE- a technology platform for peacekeeping missions.
External Affairs Minister said, India believes in walking the talk when it comes to the safety and security of UN peacekeepers. He said, peacekeeping continues to play a crucial role in India’s vision of ensuring international peace and security. Dr Jaishankar said, serving under the blue flag, 174 gallant Indian soldiers have made the supreme sacrifice, the largest number among troop contributing countries. He said, today over 5 thousand Indian personnel are deployed in nine missions. External Affairs Minister said, as a reflection of our deep commitment to protecting the protectors, Government of India provides 2 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine for UN Peacekeeping personnel worldwide.
He proposed a 4-point framework to lay out a possible architecture for securing UN peacekeepers to meet contemporary threats. Dr Jaishankar said, the UN Security Council has adopted a Resolution on Accountability of Crimes against UN Peacekeepers as well as Presidential Statement on Technology for Peacekeeping, the first such UN Security Council document on this topic.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Foreign Minister of Estonia Eva-Maria Liimets also spoke at the event. It was the 2nd signature event under Indian Presidency. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had chaired the first signature event a High-level Open Debate on Maritime Security on 9th of this month through video conferencing.
Dr Jaishankar also participated in a solemn ceremony with UN Secretary General at the UN Peacekeepers Memorial. He paid tribute to those who have sacrificed their lives serving under the blue flag. Foreign Minister of Estonia Eva-Maria Liimets was also present.
In his remarks at the Memorial, the External Affairs Minister said, UN peacekeeping is a unique global partnership. He said, it brings together the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Secretariat, troop and police contributions and the host governments in a combined effort to maintain international peace and security. Dr Jaishankar said, its strength lies in the legitimacy of the UN Charter and in the wide range of contributing countries that participate and provide precious resources.
He said, at a time when we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the UN, peacekeeping has proven to be one of the most effective tools available to the UN to assist host countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace.
The External Affairs Minister said, united by a commitment to maintain or restore world peace and security, our women and men in blue share a common purpose to protect the most vulnerable. He said, their sacrifices on behalf of the international community are one of the most concrete expressions of the UN Charter’s determination to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. Dr Jaishankar said, peacekeeping, in that sense, is a high calling, and the noblest duty.
India and the United Nations exchanged MoU in support of the Partnership for Technology in Peacekeeping initiative and to UN C4ISR Academy for Peace Operations. Dr Jaishankar said, training and capacity building of peacekeepers in technology is more important than ever.