India urges transparency in UNSC peace operations

RSTV Bureau
Photo courtesy: UN

Photo courtesy: UN

India has firmly raised the issue of lack of transparency and accountability in the framing of the peacekeeping accords by the UN Security Council. Speaking at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly on Monday, India’s permanent representative to the UN Asoke Mukerji expressed strong dismay at what he termed the “opaque manner” in which the Security Council mandates peace operations.

“We are dismayed at the opaque manner in which the Security Council continues to mandate peace operations, without any accountability or transparency,” Asoke Mukerji said making a reference to the report of a High-level Independent panel, established by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last year to make a comprehensive assessment of the UN peace operations.

The permanent representative to UN further referred to the “alarming growth” in the number of civilian casualty which has now reached 60 million. Mr. Mukerji also dubbed the UN Security Council “powerless” in resolving the conflicts which are leading to loss of lives.

India has been a prime contributor to the UN peacekeeping operations, with over 185,000 troops having served in 48 of the 69 missions. But simultaneously the country has also suffered the highest number of casualties touching 160 since the operations began in 1948.

Though the Permanent Representative did not argue for the lives of particularly Indians in the operations, he called for prioritising an early reform of the Security Council “in order to bring hope to these millions of ordinary men, women and children” of the world.

The report of the High-level Independent panel has recommended the UN to be committed to open and impartial dialogue with “all parties, States and non state actors” alongside to explore every avenue to find alternatives to violence and minimize the suffering of civilians and promote respect.

Raising a significant point, Mr. Mukerji added that the report recognises that a UN peace operation is not meant to “impose” political solutions through “sustained use of force” and that the UN peace operations are not the appropriate tool for military counter-terrorism operations.

Asoke Mukerji also urged a review of the current allocation of resources within UN peace operations to ensure that the growing resource constraint faced by UN peace operations is considerably mitigated.

(With inputs from the PTI)