New Delhi, Jan 30: India has reaffirmed commitment to UN peace-keeping operations worldwide and emphasised the importance of safety and security of UN peace-keepers.
This was conveyed to the high-level delegation of senior UN officials during their three-day visit to India. The nine-member delegation, led by Ms Jane Holl Lute, Assistant Secretary General/Officer-in-Charge of the Department of Field Support (DFS) at the United Nations, was here from January 27-29 for an exchange of views on a wide range of issues related to UN peace-keeping and to brief the Indian authorities on the functioning of the recently established DFS.
The delegation included Hollywood actor Mr George Clooney, who was designated by the UN Secretary General earlier this month as a 'UN Messenger of Peace', with special focus on UN peace-keeping.
Besides discussions with Additional Secretary (International Organisations) in Ministry of External Affairs, the delegation called on Defence Secretary and interacted with Vice Chief of Army Staff and other senior officials dealing with India's ''long-standing, consistent and significant contribution to UN peacekeeping missions,'' an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said here today.
India has currently over 9300 personnel in 11 out of the 17 ongoing UN peace-keeping operations in various trouble-spots around the world.
Before arriving in India, the delegation had interacted with Indian troops in UN peace-keeping mission in Congo.
The presentations and field visits organised during their visit to India gave them an opportunity for further familiarisation with the highest professional standards and best practices of Indian peace-keepers, the spokesman said.
''While reiterating India's steadfast commitment to assist the UN in the maintenance of international peace and security, the Indian side emphasised that the safety and security of UN peace-keepers was of paramount importance,'' the spokesman added.
ASG Jane Lute, Mr George Clooney and other members of the delegation also witnessed the Beating Retreat Ceremony at Vijay Chowk before their departure.