India has offered its experience and expertise to the United Nations for its peacekeeping and peace-building efforts saying it stands ready to do more for international peace and security as a partner of the UN.
"India has a proud history of UN peacekeeping dating back to its inception in the 1950s," Hardeep Singh Puri, India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, told the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations Tuesday.
"After over sixty years of nation-building in one of the most diverse circumstances, India today has the experience and expertise that could be most useful for the UN in its peacekeeping and its peacebuilding efforts," he said.
"While we have contributed nearly 100,000 troops, eminent force commanders and participated in more than 40 missions, we stand ready to do more in furtherance of international peace and security as a partner of the UN," Puri said.
The Indian envoy saluted "the 118 Indian peacekeepers, as well as those from other countries, who have made the supreme sacrifice and laid down their lives while serving in UN Missions, most recently in Haiti."
Describing peacekeeping as a flagship activity of the UN, Puri noted that in the last two decades, Peacekeeping budgets have increased 27 times; the number of peacekeepers has grown about ten-fold and the number of peacekeeping operations is at an all time high.
Puri said the base of Troop/Police Contributing Countries (TCCs) needs to be expanded further and enhanced efforts must be made to encourage more countries to engage with the UN peacekeeping as troop and police contributors.
The permanent members of the UN Security Council must also demonstrate their political commitment to this endeavour by contributing troops under UN command and control, he said.
Puri also suggested integration of the gender dimensions in all peacekeeping missions noting "the effectiveness of the female Indian Formed Police Unit in Liberia provides testimony."
Noting that bulk of peacekeeping presence is in operations that have undergone protracted conflict, Puri said this situation has arisen due to the tendency of the Security Council to move into certain conflict areas without adequate deliberation.
"We must, at this juncture, avoid the temptation to add further to the repertoire of 'quick-fixes,'" he said, as there cannot be any short cuts in such operations.
"Where effective and durable peace agreements cannot be arrived at, peacekeeping operations need to be prepared for the long-haul."