India demands greater say in UN peacekeeping mandate

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Monday held "expansive talks" with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who raised the issue of the need for troop-contributing countries to have greater say in the UN peacekeeping mandate.

New Delhi: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Monday held "expansive talks" with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who raised the issue of the need for troop-contributing countries to have greater say in the UN peacekeeping mandate.

India is the largest contributor to UN peacekeeping missions with 8,000 personnel, deployed in 10 of the 16 countries where the UN peacekeeping operations are on.

According to external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, Sushma Swaraj "raised the view that the role of troop-contributing countries should have a say in the UN peacekeeping mandate. Right now the mechanism is fairly frail in terms of mandate of role".

Ban said a group has been set up to review the mandate and it has an Indian representative in a former peacekeeper, the spokesperson said.

Both sides also discussed the forthcoming congress on climate change in Paris later this year.

Sushma Swaraj pointed out that India has started ventures to ensure sustainable development.

She explained the government`s initiatives in renewable energy and the cooperation with neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bhutan on hydropower generation.

"India conveyed that it is putting in a lot of effort and that the government is being responsive to global environmental concerns," she said, according to the spokesperson.

Sushma Swaraj also raised the issue of reform of the UN, which is to celebrate its 70th anniversary this year.

"It would be an appropriate occasion for member states to try and renew an organisation which is increasingly being seen as not being able to act in terms of peace and security due to the anachronistic nature of the Security Council and its actions lack credibility," he said.

The budget of the UN was also discussed.

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