With Africa in focus, India says national governments should be part of peacebuilding

WION New Delhi Aug 12, 2020, 11.17 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

Majority of UN peacebuilding work takes place in Africa where New Delhi has a huge interest

With Africa in focus, India has suggested that national governments should be part of taking calls where the UN peacebuilding commission are active and has urged "donors and international organizations (to) provide flexibility" for program re-design amidst COVID pandemic.

India in its statement at the United Nations Security Council or UNSC said, "national governments should support and engage local peacebuilders to help design and lead COVID-19 sensitization and response efforts to help mitigate further conflict, prevent violence, adapt and sustain peace processes, and rebuild social cohesion."

The New Delhi in its statement on the subject “Pandemics and the Challenges of Sustaining Peace” gave a 10-point suggestion under which UN peacekeeping should adapt as the world faces the COVID pandemic.

Majority of UN peacebuilding work takes place in Africa where New Delhi has a huge interest and the suggestions are largely in that context.  

The suggestion included UN Secretariat carrying out "realistic assessment" of contingents in the mission areas with "troop competencies need to be a critical requirement of selection criteria."

It called on troop contributing countries to adhere to "training plans, including pre-deployment and in-mission training" and "peacebuilding, has to....rest on institutions and not on individuals" with "strengthening of national institutions combined with the strengthening of democratic structures (that) should not be compromised in the face of the crisis brought about by the pandemic."

"Institution building", is an area where India's strength lies and has provided support in areas like judicial systems, elections, etc.

Highlighting how "India has been a positive contributor to international peace and security", the statement said, "We area major Troop Contributing Country to the UN Peacekeeping Operations, including through women peacekeepers."

Other suggestions include ensuring other things such as the participation of women and youth, peacebuilders to counter misinformation and combat “infodemic” of false information,  increased support for psycho-social and trauma healing programs during the crisis.

Amidst the pandemic, India has deployed additional medical personnel and equipment to the military hospitals in Goma, United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo  (MONUSCO) and Juba, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).