UN officials agree with India on concerns over peacekeeping mandates

UNs top two peacekeeping officials have underlined the need to have more focussed, prioritised and achievable mandates for various peacekeeping missions, agreeing with Indias continued concerns over lack of clarity in peacekeeping mandates. India has repeatedly raised concerns in the UN over the manner in which UN peacekeeping mandates are framed and adopted. Indias Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Tanmaya Lal had voiced concerns that core issues relating to UN peacekeeping are not being addressed. Outlining the challenges, he had said that there are serious chronic shortcomings of the lack of clarity of mandates, mismatch with resources available to peacekeepers, lack of consultations with troop contributing countries and lack of focus on political solutions to building and sustaining peace. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Jean-Pierre Lacroix agreed with Indias continued concerns over lack of clarity in peacekeeping mandates. We need mandates that more prioritised and that are more focused on the key priorities, especially in this very tough and dangerous environment, He said in situations where political processes are not moving or moving very slowly and we cant be all over the place, there is need to focus on key priorities for mandates, particularly where resources are under pressure. Lacroix said framing focussed mandates is a responsibility for member states particularly from the Security Council as well as of the UNs peacekeeping departments that make recommendations to the Security Council. Once mandates are adopted, particularly if they are refocussed, then it is for us to make sure that the mission will evolve accordingly, Lacroix acknowledged that the task is not easy as there are He said discussions have been ongoing for several years on a two-step mandating process. This is an issue which we have to discuss with the Security Council and with member states to ensure that there is a proper mandating process so that the mandates are clear, focussed and achievable and their progress can actually be measured. On Indias concerns over the mismatch of resources, Lacroix said efforts are being made on improving training, compliance and performance. Our missions are working to identify what are the critical shortfall of equipment including the use of new technologies, how could we be more effective, how could we take advantage of a number of innovations to make sure that we are more effective and better protected, Lacroix said. He added that troop contributing countries have a key role to play in working with the UN collectively to improve the effectiveness of peacekeeping. That is why we have engaged in a very intense dialogue with member states but particularly with troop contributing countries. The two peacekeeping officials also expressed their gratitude to India for its decades-long contribution to UN peacekeeping. I want to express really our gratitude to India and to all troop contributing countries. (India) has been really one of the most outstanding and supportive of peacekeeping in many different ways, Lacroix said. Khare also thanked India not only for its contribution to peacekeeping but also for being the first contributor to the trust fund established by the Secretary General for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. He commended India for not having any allegation of sexual exploitation or abuse against its peacekeepers in a long time. I want to thank also India for being one of the countries which have not had a case of sexual exploitation and abuse for a fairly long period of time, Khare said. He commended all countries who have contributed to the trust fund as well as those who have not recorded any case of sexual exploitation and abuse or any allegation against their peacekeepers for the last five years. India had contributed 100,000 dollars to the trust fund, which now has about two million dollars and money from the fund is being used in Congo and Central African Republic, Khare said. Khare also expressed gratitude to all countries contributing to UN peacekeeping. On outstanding payments to troop and police contributing countries, Khare said the United Nations does not have its own currency and The UN owes India 92 million dollars for troops, formed police units and contingent-owned equipment as at April 30, 2018.