General Assembly General Assembly

Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations

[Monday, 14 February 2022]


Statement by

Ambassador R. Ravindra, Deputy Permanent Representative



Thank you Mr. Chair, At the outset, I would like to congratulate you on your reelection as Chair of this important Committee. I also congratulate members of the bureau.


2. My delegation associates with the statement made by Morocco, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.


3. At the outset, I offer our tribute to, all the Men and Women, who continue to defend peace, through their professionalism, dedication, and courage in UN peacekeeping operations and those who have lost their lives in serving the cause of peace. India has been a pioneer in UN Peacekeeping, deploying more than a quarter of a million troops over the years in as many as 49 UN Peacekeeping Missions. Serving under the blue flag, 174 gallant Indian soldiers have made the supreme sacrifice over the years, the largest number among troop contributing countries. In keeping with this tradition, we have today more than 5000 personnel deployed across 9 missions.


4. UN peacekeeping operations has evolved to complex multidimensional missions operating in volatile security environment, particularly in Africa. Today, peacekeeping operations are increasingly called upon to not only maintain peace and security but also to facilitate the political processes, protect civilians, disarm combatants, support elections, protect and promote human rights and restore the rule of law.


5. In this context, I would like to highlight the following:


i. 21st century peacekeeping must be anchored in a strong ecosystem of technology and innovation. This is also in line with the Strategy for Digital Transformation of UN Peacekeeping which seeks to advance the use of technology across the Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) themes, including performance, safety and security, politics, protection and peacebuilding. India, during the presidency of the Security Council in August last year, piloted the Presidential Statement on ‘Technology for Peacekeeping’, the first such UN Security Council document on this topic.


ii. An effective mandate is critical for mission success and for the credibility of the UN peacekeeping. A practical, deliverable mandate can only be crafted in consultation with TCCs and other stake holders involved in execution of actions on ground. Their mandate should not be changed arbitrarily to that they are not equipped for when deployed initially. National ownership in peacekeeping and peacebuilding activities is critical for success of our field missions. Moreover, peacekeeping missions are meant to be transitional measures and not operate in perpetuity. There is an urgent need for time bound exit strategies to ensure that peacekeeping missions do not become instruments for furthering political interests. We also need to exercise caution in the new doctrinal approaches to peacekeeping. The new doctrinal approaches need to reflect ground realities and be objective.


iii. Multi-dimensional missions have complex mandates not just protection of civilians. Such missions have multiple components working together and all components need to perform in sync for the mission to succeed. Performance criteria for all components need to be identified and implemented and not just for the military component; only then will we genuinely improve Mission’s performance. A tendency to assess performance of only uniformed components must be avoided.


iv. In recent years, peacekeepers have experienced a greater level of asymmetric threats, ranging from landmines to IEDs and we cannot remain indifferent to this prospect. We must ensure that peacekeepers carry weapons and tools which enhance their mobility, performance, endurance, range, and load-carrying capabilities while guaranteeing their safety and security. This also includes strengthening of communication within missions and enhancing overall capacity to take informed decisions at the tactical or operational level. As a reflection of our deep commitment to ‘Protecting the Protectors’, the Government of India provided 2,00,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines for UN Peacekeeping personnel worldwide last year. India also piloted a resolution 2589 on ‘Accountability of Crimes against UN Peacekeepers’ during its presidency of the Security Council last year. We believe implementation of the resolution will help deter impunity and crimes against peacekeepers.


v. India has always voiced its support for adoption of “No National Caveats Policy” at UN peacekeeping deployments. The caveats compromise the success of the mission, besides jeopardizing safety and security of peacekeepers and equipment. A comprehensive policy on Caveats is long overdue. We also appreciate the Department of Operational Support’s efforts in processing reimbursement claims expeditiously. However, pending reimbursement for closed missions remains an unresolved issue that needs urgent attention.


Mr. Chair,


6. Providing greater clarity, direction and professionalism in our UN Peacekeeping operations is at the heart of India’s vision. We look forward to fruitful deliberations in the Committee. I thank you.