Deploying UN peacekeeping operations with a "robust mandate" but without the required diplomatic preparation on ground is a recipe for failure, a top Ministry of External Affairs official has said. Ruchi Ghanashyam, Secretary (West) with the Ministry of External Affairs, said this could undermine the credibility of UN peacekeeping activities over the long term. She also stressed on a synergy between the Security Council and the countries contributing the troops to the UN mission (TPCC). She said a major challenge in the present-day peacekeeping mission is training and success of any operation, which hinges on the quality of personnel who serve under the UN flag. Addressing an inaugural event of 2nd United Nations Peacekeeping Course for African Partners (UNPCAP-II), Ghanasyham also emphasised on sharing India's experience in the peacekeeping operations, as the country has been sending its troops for the UN peacekeeping missions for over 50 years now. The 2nd United Nations Peacekeeping Course for African Partners (UNPCAP-II) is a trilateral cooperation programme between India, the US and the African countries. She pointed out the need to pay more attention to the manner in which the UN Security Council mandates are drawn up. Ghanashyam said India believes that there is a greater need for consultations between the Security Council and the countries contributing the troops to the UN mission. "Mandates have to be more precise and cognisant of harsh ground realities.
Overly ambitious or robust mandates without the required diplomatic preparation on the ground, or the necessary resources being made available to the mission, is a recipe for mission failure," Ghanashyam said. According to the UN Peacekeeping website, there are currently 15 missions, most of them concentrated in Africa and West Asia. Senior military officials from India, Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, the African Union and the United States are participating in a two-week course organised by the Indian Army's Centre for UN Peacekeeping (CUNPK), starting today. The African military personnel will in turn train troops in their respective countries. A Tossim, a Major with Togolese Army and a trainer for his country's troops embarking on an UN peacekeeping mission, said the experience will greatly benefit the forces in Togo. S Kalulu, who has served in the UN peacekeeping missions in Liberia and Sudan, said India has expertise in peacekeeping missions and the course is expected to add to their knowledge in this arena.
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