Lieutenant General Sarath Chand, Vice Chief of Army Staff delivered the Key Note Address on the International UN Peacekeeper's Day which is celebrated world over on 29 May to honour the fallen peacekeepers and to pay tribute to those who served or are still serving in UN peacekeeping missions. The theme for the 2017 International Day of UN Peacekeepers is “Investing in Peace Around the World”.
Mr Yuri Afanasiev, United Nations Resident Coordinator in India read out the UN Secretary General's message. He mentioned that, last year 117 peacekeepers laid their life in peacekeeping missions which includes two from India. The two fallen peacekeepers from India were Rifleman Brijesh Thapa who served with the United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and Sepoy Ravi Kumar who was deployed with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) this year. A two minutes silence was observed to pay homage to the fallen peacekeepers.
India is the largest cumulative troop contributor, having provided almost 200,000 troops in nearly 50 of the 71 peacekeeping missions mandated over the past six decades, including 13 of the current 16 missions. Speaking on the occasion the Vice Chief applauded the Indian UN Peacekeeping Contingents for their dedication, conduct and competence. He also spoke on the changing dynamics in peacekeeping in the present UN missions and the way forward to overcome the challenges.
The event saw participation by diplomatic community, officers from ministries, veteran peacekeepers, UN Country Teams, students from prominent universities and Indian Army contingents earmarked for UN deployment which was supported by UN Information Centre in India (UNIC).
To mark the occasion, Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS) and Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping (CUNPK) along with United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office organised a joint seminar on “21stCentury Roadmap for Conflict Resolution by the United Nations”. The seminar focused on the nature and character of emerging conflicts of the 21st century and measures in preventing & dealing with such conflicts under universal norms of justice & fair play and its impact on various aspects of conflict resolution such as preventive diplomacy, peace-making, peacekeeping and peace building.
Col Aman Anand