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UN medal for Indian peacekeepers in South Sudan

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

UN medal for Indian peacekeepers in South Sudan

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: About UN Peacekeeping- need, significance, challenges and operations in place.

Context: Indian peacekeepers have received the United Nations Medal for their dedication and sacrifice serving so far away from home to protect civilians and build durable peace in South Sudan.

Contributions of India Peacekeepers:

  • The soldiers were particularly praised for their efforts to support peace talks between Government and Opposition forces in the Upper Nile region and establishing the first-ever UNMISS base on the west bank of the Nile at Kodok.
  • Outside of their duties, the peacekeepers have also supported local communities by building veterinary hospitals at Kodok and Malakal, training cattle-keepers to better care for their livestock and provided life-saving medical assistance to people in need.

Background:

India has been the largest troop contributor to UN missions since inception. So far India has taken part in 49 Peacekeeping missions with a total contribution exceeding 2,45,000 troops and a significant number of police personnel have been deployed.

For Prelims and Mains:

What is peacekeeping? It’s significance?

United Nations Peacekeeping was created in 1948. Its first mission involved the establishment of the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), which served to observe and maintain ceasefire during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Significance and the need for peacekeeping:

  • United Nations Peacekeeping helps countries torn by conflict create conditions for lasting peace.
  • Peacekeeping has proven to be one of the most effective tools available to the UN to assist host countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace.
  • Peacekeeping has unique strengths, including legitimacy, burden sharing, and an ability to deploy and sustain troops and police from around the globe, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to advance multidimensional mandates.

UN Peacekeeping is guided by three basic principles:

  1. Consent of the parties.
  2. Impartiality
  3. Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate.

Global partnership:

UN peacekeeping is a unique global partnership. It brings together the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Secretariat, troop and police contributors and the host governments in a combined effort to maintain international peace and security. Its strength lies in the legitimacy of the UN Charter and in the wide range of contributing countries that participate and provide precious resources.

About United Nations Mission in South Sudan:

On 9 July 2011 South Sudan became the newest country in the world. The birth of the Republic of South Sudan is the culmination of a six-year peace process which began with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005.

  • However, the Security Council determined that the situation faced by South Sudan continued to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region and established the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) to consolidate peace and security and to help establish conditions for development.
  • Following the crisis which broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, the Security Council reinforced UNMISS and reprioritized its mandate towards the protection of civilians, human rights monitoring, and support for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and for the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.

Sources: the Hindu.