India highlights mismatch in UN peacekeeping



New York: The UN Security Council has reaffirmed its primary responsibility for peacekeeping under the UN Charter with India highlighting the "severe mismatch" between the resources and the mandates of peacekeeping operations.

India, which holds this month's rotating presidency of the 15-member Council, noted that total expenditure for UN peacekeeping in the last two decades was under USD 50 billion, reportedly less than the annual outlay for the International Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

Yet ISAF has roughly the same number of personnel as the UN is fielding in 15 operations around the world for a total outlay this year of less than USD 8 billion.

In a presidential statement read by India's permanent representative Hardeep Singh Puri, the Council also stressed the role of the United Nations peacekeepers in supporting efforts to promote political processes and peaceful settlements of disputes.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for greater flexibility and funding to meet the ever more complex needs of missions that currently field some 100,000 blue helmets in hot spots around the world.

"We may be entering a new phase, with diverse and multifaceted situations where peacekeeping may play a role," he said, noting that the number of uniformed personnel in UN peacekeeping operations has doubled in the past 10 years, reaching a high point of more than 101,000 last year.

"Peacekeeping will need to evolve to meet specific demands in a variety of environments and to flexibly and nimbly bring together multiple capabilities in a coherent and effective manner."

"Peacekeeping is one of the most visible, difficult and critical roles played by the United Nations. It is also a role which only the UN can play in a truly global sense," he stressed.

IANS