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UNSC admits need to consult troop-contributing countries

Friday, Jan 1, 2016,13:59 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

United Nations | Echoing India’s concerns, the UN Security Council has acknowledged that troop contributing countries are not sufficiently consulted over peacekeeping mandates and stressed on the importance of effective consultations and their full participation to improve peace operations. The 15-nation Council, in a presidential statement, issued here yesterdaysaid that it recognises that sustained consultations with the Secretariat and troop and police contributing countries are essential for a shared understanding of appropriate responses and their implications for the mandate and conduct of an operation.

The powerful UN body, however, admitted that current consultations among the Security Council, troop and police-contributing countries and the Secretariat do not meet their expectations and have yet to reach their full potential. The Security Council recognises that the experience and expertise of troop and police contributing countries in theatres of operation can greatly assist the planning of operations. The Security Council stresses the importance of substantive, representative and meaningful exchanges and underscores the importance of full participation by the three stakeholders so that meetings are useful and productive, the UNSC said in the statement.

India has repeatedly criticised the Security Council over the lack of accountability and transparencyin the framing of peacekeeping mandates and has said that this failing by the world body is resultingin rising casualties among peacekeepers and civilians. India’s PermanentRepresentative to the UN Asoke Mukerji, who retired last month, has said at various UN fora that the SecurityCouncil must consult troop contributing countries before drawingup peacekeeping mandates given that troops now have tofunction is increasingly difficult and hostile conflictsituations across the world’s hot-spots.

Mukerji had said that Article 44 of the UN Charter clearly calls on the Security Council to invite Member States not represented in the Council to participate in the decisions of the Security Council concerning the employment of contingents of that Member’s armed forces but lamented that this hardly ever happens in actual practice. He had stressed that troop and police contributing countries can play a role in assisting the Council to determine the kind and number of troops required for the proposed mandate, the nature of equipment required, and the costs of operating in the specific terrain of the theatre of operations.

India is the largest cumulative troop contributor to UNpeace operations, with over 185,000 troops having served in 48of the 69 missions mandated so far. Issuing the presidential statement, the Council noted, in particular, the view of the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and the Secretary-General that the lack of effective dialogue among those stakeholders had generated frustration on all sides and undermined mandate implementation. Further, the Council recognised that those consultations failed to reach their full potential despite the existence of many mechanisms, such as the Working Group, formal and informal dialogues, the General Assemblys Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, and the Military Staff Committee.

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