From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : UN Peacekeeping
Mains level : Importance of the UN Peacekeeping
- India has told the UN Security Council that peacekeeping currently is in a “no-man’s land” and called for next generation of reforms in peacekeeping based on incentivisation, innovation and institutionalization.
- Peacekeeping by the United Nations is a unique and dynamic instrument developed by the organization as a way to help countries torn by conflict to create the conditions for lasting peace.
- It is distinguished from peacebuilding, peacemaking, and peace enforcement although the UN does acknowledge that all activities are “mutually reinforcing” and that overlap between them is frequent in practice.
- Peacekeepers monitor and observe peace processes in post-conflict areas and assist ex-combatants in implementing the peace agreements they may have signed.
- UN peacekeepers often referred to as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets because of their light blue berets or helmets can include soldiers, police officers, and civilian personnel.
Need for reforms
- UN peacekeeping is a unique innovation of multilateralism to respond to threats to international peace and security.
- However, at the current stage, peacekeeping is in a “no-man’s land, between trying to keep the peace in fragile environments and trying to enforce the maintenance of peace, where there is none to keep.
- Responses to new security environments require a willingness to adapt abilities to meet emerging realities.
Need of hour: Institutionalization
- The institutionalization of an approach where all key actors, especially Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs), are associated in a consistent and predictable manner in the decision-making matrix has been now discussed for decades.
- However, in practice, there is not effective improvement of the cooperation between TCCs, the Security Council and the Secretariat.
- It necessary to move from pursuit of activism of individual member states to collective action by this Council to institutionalize this effort.
- India also called for further incentivising women peacekeepers.
- As of July 31, women peacekeepers constituted 6 per cent. There are 5,243 female peacekeepers, out of a total of 86,687 peacekeepers.
- In 26 years, member countries have increased the share of women by 5 per cent. At this rate, it may not be possible to meet even minimum targets.
- There need to be special incentives for women peacekeepers and priority deployment of all women- unit pledges. Otherwise, the targets will remain just targets.
- Innovation in capacity building of peacekeepers needs to be a priority, if nations are to move away from a culture of caveats that bedevils peacekeeping into a segmented activity.
- Innovative options such as co-deployment of peacekeepers from different countries engenders a genuine spirit of partnership for peace and needs to be promoted.
- Further, there is need for expansion of online initiatives to develop capacities of future commanders and managers so that they lead by example and raise awareness of UN standards.