United Nations: Observing that the nature of UN peacekeeping missions is constantly changing, India has hoped the countries providing troops will be consulted by the world body in drawing up technical parameters of this mandate.

With around 8,000 Indian UN peacekeepers deployed in nine missions across the globe including Congo, South Sudan, Liberia, UNDOF, Haiti, Lebanon, Abeyi, and Cyprus, and Cote de’ Ivoire, India is one of the top troop contributing countries to the UN.

"The nature of the peacekeeping mandate is constantly changing in keeping with the situation on the ground. It is my hope that the troop contributing countries like India will be enabled to find a mechanism by the UNSC in drawing up the technical parameters of this mandate in consultation with the troops," Indian Ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji said.

Mukerji was addressing an event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the International Day, organized at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN.

Speaking on the occasion, Mukerji paid special tribute to the five Indian peacekeepers from the 6 MAHAR who lost their lives in an armed ambush on April 9 this year in South Sudan, while escorting a UN convoy of staff and civilians. "This is an occasion for us all to remember and pay tribute to those who laid down their lives in UN peacekeeping operations elsewhere in the world," he said.

The contribution of Indian peacekeepers to helping civilian populations, especially women and children, and the role of the first ever Indian-all Female Formed Police Unit in the Mission in Liberia, were highlighted in an exhibition.

India so far has taken part in 43 Peacekeeping missions with a total contribution exceeding 1,60,000 troops and a significant number of police personnel having been deployed. India has so far, provided one Military Advisor (Lt Gen R K Mehta), one Police Adviser (Kiran Bedi), one Deputy Military Adviser (Lt Gen Abhijit Guha), 14 Force Commanders and numerous Police Commissioners in various UN Missions.

Indian Army has also contributed lady officers as military observers and staff officers apart from those forming part of medical units being deployed in UN Missions. The first all women contingent in peacekeeping mission, a Formed Police Unit from India, was deployed in 2007 to the UN Operation in Liberia. So far as many as 154 Indian soldiers have lost their lives in UN peacekeeping missions.

(Agencies)

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