India will continue to be a force multiplier for peacebuilding with an emphasis on the human-centric approach. The country’s fundamental approach to peacebuilding efforts is to respect national ownership and be guided by host States’ development priorities. This was stated by Minister of State for External Affairs, Meenakshi Lekhi, while speaking at the UN Security Council Open Debate on UN Peacekeeping Operations-Transitions yesterday.
The Minister said New Delhi is convinced that human-centric, gender-sensitive and technologically primed solutions and the robust functioning of democratic institutions of governance that give all stakeholders a say in creating a better future is the biggest guarantee for the success of peacebuilding and for sustaining peace.
She said UN Peacekeeping Missions have been playing an important role in bringing about peace and stability in countries of deployment, despite numerous operational challenges. Ms Lekhi added that one of the major operational challenges that continues to hamper peacekeeping operations has been the transition phase from peacekeeping to peacebuilding. She said the drawdown of a UN Peacekeeping Operation and its reconfiguration into a minimal modified UN presence represents a critical phase for the success of a UN Peacekeeping Mission.
For the host country, on the one hand, this signals progress towards political stability and new development opportunities, but on the other hand, it also presents a real risk of the country relapsing into conflict.
Highlighting India’s contributions to UN Peacekeeping, the Minister said the country is the largest troop contributor to UN peacekeeping operations in cumulative terms since its inception, having deployed more than two lakh 50 thousand peacekeepers across 49 UN missions. This bears testimony to India’s commitment towards contributing a reliable, well-trained and highly professional peacekeeping force. She said the country was also happy to donate vaccines for all UN peacekeepers and upgrade two of its hospitals for peacekeeping to combat the pandemic.