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India remains committed to promoting collective peace...
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Madam Vice Chair,


Thank you for giving me the floor. As this is the first time that my delegation is addressing the second part of the resumed 71st session, I would like to congratulate the Chair, Vice Chairs and the Bureau for their excellent leadership and guidance provided to this committee.


I would also like to thank Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, Assistant Secretary-General, Controller, Office of Programme Planning, Budget and Accounts, Department of Management and Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, for introducing the respective reports of the Secretary-General and the ACABQ.


We align ourselves with the statement given by Ecuador on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and wish to state the following in our national capacity.


Madam Vice Chair,


Peacekeeping is the flagship activity of the United Nations in the pursuit of collective peace and security. India takes pride in its longstanding contribution and continued commitment to UN Peacekeeping efforts. 


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. 


The first-ever Female Formed Police Unit provided by India and deployed in Liberia was highly successful and received recognition for providing a role model for encouraging female participation in Police and for pursuing gender balance more widely.


With 168 Indian troops having made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty under the UN Flag, India is deeply conscious of the complexities involved in the response of the international community to conflict situations. 


I take this opportunity to pay tribute to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice as peacekeepers, including the 3 from Cambodia and 1 from Morocco who laid down their lives just a few days ago for ensuring peace and security in Central African Republic.   


Madam Vice Chair,


India welcomes and supports the initiatives undertaken by the Secretariat for greater efficiency and effectiveness of the peacekeeping operations. My delegation is fully conscious that the resources available to the UN must be utilized optimally and most efficiently. 


However, the touchstone for taking such decisions should be the unwavering commitment to the stated mandate of each peacekeeping mission, operational effectiveness with respect to the situation on the ground and the welfare and security of the peacekeepers themselves. The Troop-Contributing Countries (TCCs) and Police-Contributing Countries (PCCs) should be fully consulted at all stages of such decision-making process. 


A one-sided approach to economize may prove to be counter-productive.  We must ensure that the peacekeepers who are deployed in the harm's way must be adequately resourced to carry out their mandated tasks effectively. Any dilution of their resources will inevitably impact their effectiveness. 


Madam Vice Chair,


India firmly believes that the UN is a global role model and must lead by example in all activities under its umbrella, including the peacekeeping operations. 


Timely payment of assessed contribution is essential for the financial health of the peacekeeping operations. We have noted that the unpaid assessment is currently more than 1.6 billion US$. 


It is also important that payment of assessed contributions is not withheld or linked to political motives. 


Another issue of concern to many TCCs and PCCs, including India, is the outstanding payment of dues for their services rendered. As stated by the Under-Secretary General for Management Yukio Takasu in his presentation on Financial Situation of the United Nations on May 3, 2017, the UN owed 777 million US$ to 86 member states, including India, for Troops/Formed Police Units & COE claims as on 31 March 2017. 


Although finance or reimbursements are not at all the basis for India's longstanding commitment to peacekeeping operations, I would like to put this issue in context. 


For the kind of services rendered by the peacekeepers and the risks undertaken by them for ensuring collective peace and security, what UN pays to them is a token amount. Therefore, at a time when the TCCs and PCCs are being asked to make greater sacrifices, pending payments to such a large number of countries does not reflect UN's commitment to peacekeeping operations.  


Madam Vice Chair,


India remains committed to promoting collective peace and security through its active participation in the UN peacekeeping operations. 


We look forward to engaging constructively with all delegations for more effective and efficient UN peacekeeping operations.  


Thank you.

 

 


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