After the second world war, the International community wanted to remove the chances of war and to establish peace. As a result of that, in 1945, the United Nations was established. Today, the UN can be recognized as the world leading International Organization that helps to establish peace and stability in the world.
Basically, the UN peacekeeping mission helps countries to stabilize from conflicts to peace. In other words, UN peacekeeping missions have legitimacy and can deploy troops in the countries which have conflicts to establish peace.
India is one of the countries that directly engage in UN peacekeeping missions as an original founding member of the UN. In this post, I will discuss the role of India in UN peacekeeping missions. So let’s begin.
Why is India relevant for peacebuilding?
India is one of the countries which tried to establish a peaceful world order, since in history. Also, India is the world’s largest democratic state that always respects democratic values domestically and internationally.
India has a strong tradition to respect rule of law. On the other hand, India is a good example that successfully experienced the nation building process.
Also, the historical experiences faced by India always shaped its attitudes about peacebuilding. After the independence, India followed some important principles such as Panchsheel, that advised peaceful relations between countries and Non- alignment that prevented India and newly established states from cold war.
Due to these reasons, India always shaped its status as a peace loving country.
Contributing by Troops
Since the beginning, India provided troops for UN peacekeeping missions. Since 1948, more than 200,000 Indians have served in 49 of the 71 peacekeeping missions of the UN launched around the world.
India was the first country that deployed all women contingent to UN peacekeeping missions in Liberia, 2007.
Indian troops helped to protect civilians and support for the peace establishing processes in countries.
Also, in 1950 India sent its paratroops for medical assistance during the Korean war.
India participated for many peacekeeping missions including Cambodia (1992-93), Sudan (2007), Liberia (2007).
According to the statistics of the UN, India is the 4th highest troop contributor for the UN peacekeeping missions, currently having 6700 troops and police.
In recent times, India supported by providing 200,00 doses of made in India Covid-19 vaccines to vaccinate for the people who engaged in peacebuilding missions.
Also, India is working with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations to introduce a mobile tech platform known as UNITE AWARE. This platform can provide terrain related information to peacekeepers who engage in missions.
Challenges faced by India
One of the challenges faced by all the countries including India, who participated in peacekeeping missions is, the threats from non state actors. For example, Indian UN military officers faced many challenges by Jabhat Al- Nusra terrorist group, in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) deployed in Golan Heights of Syria.
Also, India can not participate in the decision making process of the Security Council regarding deployment of troops, due to the denial of the Permanent members of the Security Council.
India is one of the frontier states that directly works with the UN in its peacekeeping mission. As a peace loving state, India’s role in peacekeeping missions are notable.
You can go through my previous articles about Evolution of Indian Foreign Policy, Top 3 determinant factors of Indian Foreign Policy.