Teeth a must for peacekeeping Operations: India to UNSC

India has asked the UN Security Council to make mandatory provisions for prosecuting and neutralising armed groups that threaten to harm UN peacekeeping operations.

Geneva: India has asked the UN Security Council to make mandatory provisions for prosecuting and neutralising armed groups that threaten to harm UN peacekeeping operations.

The second largest contributor to the UN peace missions in 2014, India also expressed concern over the UNSC's mandate formulation without consulting the troops contributing nations as well as over changes midway during the operations.

The UN Charter authorises the Security Council to mandate peacekeeping operations.

"We would like to urge the UN and specially the UNSC to ensure a mandatory inclusion in all UN peacekeeping operation (UNPKO) mandates of legally binding provisions for prosecuting, penalising and neutralizing any non-governmental armed groups and armed militias causing, or threatening to cause, harm to UNPKOs," said Abhishek Singh, First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations.

"The dangers of using the UN peacekeepers to tackle what are essentially internal political conflicts need not be overemphasized," he said at a UN General Assembly session yesterday.

Singh added that under Article 44 of the UN charter, the UNSC should invite member states not represented in the Council to participate in its decisions concerning employment of contingents of that member's armed forces in peacekeeping operations.

He expressed concern that "in actual practice" the UNSC does not hold consultations with contributing nations on peacekeeping operations.

"It is not only the formulation of the mandates but also the change of the mandates mid-stream which is a source of concern for us."

We have witnessed the proclivity of the SC to mix the traditional original mandate given to the UNPKOs subsequently with a new interventionist mandate for a small portion of the troops in the same peacekeeping operation, he said in his statement on 'Comprehensive Review of the Whole Question of Peacekeeping Operations in all their Aspects' at the Assembly's Fourth Committee.