United Nations: India, as one of the largest troop contributing countries to UN peacekeeping missions, has the "right" to participate in the decisions of the UN Security Council regarding formulation of peacekeeping mandates and deployment of forces, Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag said.
Gen Suhag made the remarks at the world body's first-ever 'Chiefs of Defence' Conference yesterday that brought together army chiefs and senior military officials from more than 110 UN Member States to discuss issues central to UN peacekeeping.
He voiced India's commitment to UN peacekeeping in line with the three cardinal principles of consent of the parties to the operations, impartially and non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.
Gen Suhag also stressed India's concerns regarding consultations?with Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) while deciding on mandates for UN Peacekeeping Operations.
"We also consider it is our right, as troop contributing countries, in terms of Article 44 of the Charter, to 'participate in the decisions of the Security Council concerning the?employment of contingents' of the troop contributing country's armed forces. This provision of the UN Charter has generally been neglected," Singh said.
The Army Chief highlighted that India has so far participated in 49 UN peacekeeping missions, contributing over 180,000 troops and a significant number of police personnel.
India is?presently participating in 12 out of the 16 active missions and 158 Indian peacekeepers have made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty over the past six decades, the highest among all member?states.
India has in the past also voiced concern that the UNSC has repeatedly "violated" and "diluted" the clear provisions of Article 44 of the UN Charter, which explicitly requires the 15-nation Council to invite member states who are contributing troops but are not members of the Council, to participate in the decisions on peacekeeping and troop deployment.
It has stressed that views of the troop contributing countries should be taken into account while formulating peacekeeping mandates, the absence of which has seriously compromised the objectives of peacekeeping.
Noting that the conference has provided an "excellent platform" to interact with defense chiefs from across the globe, Suhag said the discussions would definitely help nations shape the future of UN peacekeeping.
He acknowledged UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's initiative to constitute an independent high-level panel on peacekeeping operations, saying India expects the report of the panel to provide a vision for future peacekeeping.
The 14-member panel, established last year in October, aims to assess the current and future needs of the world body's peacekeeping architecture.