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Indian Army Commemorates 76th International Day Of UN Peacekeepers.

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New Delhi, 29th of May, 2024 : The Indian Army commemorated the 76th International Day of United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers, today, by paying homage to the fallen comrades by laying a wreath at the National War Memorial, New Delhi. Lieutenant General Rakesh Kapoor, Deputy Chief of the Army Staff (Information Systems & Coordination), officials of United Nations Organisation, Staff from Ministry of Defence and Ministry of External Affairs laid wreaths. This is the day when in 1948 the first UN Peacekeeping Mission, “UN Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO)” began operations in Palestine.

Each year on this day, the UN and countries across the globe pay rich tributes to the professionalism, dedication and courage of men and women who have served/ are serving in UN Peacekeeping Missions. This day also honours the memory of sacrifices of those who have laid down their lives for the cause of peace.

India has a rich legacy of contribution to UN Peacekeepers operations and is one of the largest contributors of troops. India has contributed services of approximately 2,87,000 troops to peacekeeping missions. Indian Army personnel have operated under difficult, challenging terrain and operational conditions and have displayed exemplary courage and valour, to the extent of making the supreme sacrifice to uphold the UN mandates. It is noteworthy that 160 Indian Army soldiers have made the supreme sacrifice to ensure peace across the globe. Presently, Indian Armed Forces are deployed across nine countries in peacekeeping missions, namely UNDOF, UNIFIL, UNTSO, UNFICYP, MONUSCO, UNMISS, UNIFSA, MINUSCA and MINURSO.

India has been at the forefront of capacity development for the UN, host nations and partner nations. India has always strived to support UN initiatives by providing agile and flexible units, peacekeeper training, logistic support, enhancing gender parity and contributing to technological enhancements. India has provided active support for host nation capacity development by providing training, infrastructure development and Civil Military Coordination (CIMIC) activities. In addition, Veterinary Detachments of the Indian Army have displayed noteworthy performance in various UN Missions. Efforts made to bring a significant improvement in the health of livestock in Abyei by Lieutenant Colonel Gurpreet Singh Bali, Commander of the Veterinary Detachment in Sudan were appreciated by the UN Headquarters.

The Indian Army has established a Centre for UN Peacekeeping (CUNPK) in New Delhi to impart niche training in peacekeeping operations. This Centre trains more than 12,000 troops every year. CUNPK undertakes a multitude of activities from contingent training to national and international courses for potential peacekeepers and trainers. It also hosts foreign delegations as part of sharing best practices. The Centre regularly dispatches Mobile Training Teams to Friendly Foreign Countries as part of capacity building in the field of UN peacekeeping training. The Institute has evolved in the last two decades as a Centre of Excellence and repository of experience and best practices.

In order to ensure operational efficiency and sustainability of Indian contingents in UN missions, the Indian Army has deployed state-of-the-art equipment and vehicles. These vehicles and equipment are manufactured in India and have successfully withstood the vagaries of difficult terrain, weather and operational conditions in the mission areas.

The UN has set out mandated targets to increase the participation of women peacekeepers as part of its gender parity drive to better address the concerns of the local women population in the missions. In full support of the UN’s noble initiative and in sync with Nari Shakti initiative, India has deployed Female Engagement Teams (FETs) in Democratic Republic of Congo and Abyei (the second-largest Indian women contingent after Liberia). India has also deployed women military police in Golan Heights and women Staff Officers/ Military Observers in various missions. The contribution towards other missions has also been increased as per roll on plan. Major Radhika Sen has been selected to be awarded with “Military Gender Advocate of the Year 2023” by the UN Headquarters, which is a testament to the positive contribution of the Indian Women in the UN peacekeeping initiatives.

During the UN Peacekeeping Ministerial held at Accra, Ghana on 05-06 December 2023, India has re-affirmed its commitment towards future peacekeeping initiatives by the UN. During the meet, India has pledged an Infantry Battalion Group, various sub-groups, UN Pre-Deployment Training of Trainers Course and UN Military Observers Course for the next two years, to meet the requirements of the UN.

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