Indian peacekeepers in South Sudan receive prestigious UN medal

News:Recently,Indian peacekeepers serving in South Sudan have been awarded the United Nations(UN) medal for their service and contribution to building peace in the country.


About United Nations Peacekeeping: 

  • United Nations Peacekeeping was created in 1948.It provides security and the political and peacebuilding support to help countries make the difficult, early transition from conflict to peace.
  • It deploys troops and police from around the world, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to address a range of mandates set by the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the General Assembly.
  • The UN Peacekeeping is guided by three basic principles (1)Consent of the parties (2)Impartiality and (3)Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.
  • The UN Peacekeepers are led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations(DKPO).
  • UN Peacekeepers are often referred to as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets.

Significance of UN Peacekeeping:

  • UN peacekeeping is a unique global partnership.It brings together the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Secretariat, troop and police contributors and the host governments in a combined effort to maintain international peace and security. 
  • Its strength lies in the legitimacy of the UN Charter and in the wide range of contributing countries that participate and provide precious resources.

India and UN Peacekeeping:

  • India has a long history of cooperation with the UN peacekeeping.One of the earliest peacekeeping missions deployed in India was the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) in 1948 itself.
  • Currently, there are more than 6,700 troops and police from India who have been deployed to UN peacekeeping missions.India is the fourth highest amongst troop-contributing countries.
  • In 2007, India became the first country to deploy an all-women contingent to a UN peacekeeping mission.

Reforms needed under UN Peacekeeping:

  • Improving the safety of peacekeepers
  • Finding political solutions to conflicts and enhancing the political impact of peacekeeping
  • Reforming peacekeeping based on incentivisation, innovation and institutionalisation.
  • Allowing troop-contributing countries like India to participate in decisions of the UN Security Council concerning the deployment of her troops.