Time has come for making India a permanent UNSC member, says Rajnath

New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday urged the international community to make UNSC more reflective of demographic realities of the world and make India a permanent member, adding that time has come for making the UN bodies more democratic and representative of the current realities of our age.

He said this while addressing a special commemorative seminar organised by the Indian Army to celebrate 75 years of UN Peacekeeping here on Tuesday.

The Defence Minister also said the conflicts have a ripple effect as was being felt in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“When there is a conflict, it is harmful to the directly involved actors. Moreover, it has negative externalities for those involved indirectly. There is a plethora of negative externalities that have emanated out of the recent Russia-Ukraine conflict. It has led to food crisis in various African and Asian countries and has fuelled an energy crisis in the world,” the Defence Minister said.

The Defence Minister said that the conflict at a particular place or region creates ripple effects which adversely impact the whole world. So, the rest of the world becomes a stakeholder in resolving the conflict and to restore peace. This is because peace has positive externality. When conflicting parties restore peace, they benefit in terms of human lives saved, higher economic growth achieved, etc. The rest of the world also benefits as peace fosters stability and encourages economic growth.

Singh added that the positive externality of peace and negative externality of war drives the UN, along with the responsible nations, to act towards resolving any conflict. This action is manifested in terms of deployment of UN peacekeeping missions in conflict zones, he said.

Rajnath Singh has called for innovative approaches and enhanced cooperation among responsible nations to ensure the safety and effectiveness of United Nations (UN) peacekeepers who are deployed in violence-hit regions to maintain stability, prevent conflicts and facilitate restoration of peace.

Singh highlighted the fast-evolving challenges being faced by the peacekeepers today and stressed on the need to invest more in training, technology and resources for their safety and productivity. He also advocated for meaningful participation of women in peacekeeping operations, emphasising that their unique contribution during missions in conflict-affected areas must be recognised.

He reiterated the necessity to make the UN decision making bodies, including the Security Council (UNSC), more reflective of demographic realities of the world. “When India, the most populous nation, does not find a seat as a permanent member of the UNSC, it tends to undermine the moral legitimacy of the UN. Therefore, the time has come for making the UN bodies more democratic and representative of the current realities of our age,” he said.

Rajnath Singh commended the role of UN peacekeeping operations and explained the enthusiastic global support for such missions through the economic concept of ‘externalities’.

India has a rich legacy of contribution to UN Peacekeeping operations and is one of the largest contributors of troops. It has contributed approximately 2.75 lakh troops to peacekeeping missions so far, with around 5,900 troops currently deployed in 12 UN missions. Since its first commitment in Korea in 1950, Indian troops have supervised complex, unmanageable peace operations, earning universal admiration for their professional excellence, the Defence Minister added.

He expressed gratitude to all the Indians who have served or are currently serving as UN peacekeepers. He extended his condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in the line of duty and offered them government’s support. He called for honouring the sacrifices of the peacekeepers by building a more just, peaceful and inclusive world.

“Let us renew our commitment to promoting dialogue, understanding and cooperation among and within the nations. Together, we can build a future where every individual can live in peace, harmony and with dignity,” he added.

In his opening remarks, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande highlighted India’s contribution to the cause of UN Peacekeeping. He stated that India has close to 5,900 peacekeepers serving around the world on various peacekeeping operations, including female engagement teams in UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in Congo (MONUSCO) and UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), besides women staff officers and military observers.

The Chief of the Army Staff also underlined the vitality of the UN Peacekeeping amidst the new and complex security challenges which continue to emerge and the readiness of the Indian Army to fulfil the country’s responsibility and commitment to the UN, in close partnership with fellow states.


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