Chief of Air Staff inaugurates UN-mandated 'Aman Sena'

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Hyderabad, May 21 (UNI) Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal F H Major today said support of a broad spectrum of the international community was essential for the success of United Nation's peacekeeping operations.

Inaugurating 'Aman Sena', an elaborate multi-national table top exercise on Integrated United Nations Peace Support Operations conceptualised by Integrated Defence Staff, he opined that peacekeeping efforts did not necessarily depend on preponderance of the force at the UN's command and that support of a broad spectrum of the international community was imperative for their success.

India had consistently supported the UN's peacekeeping activities, he said, recalling that over a period, India had provided over 90,000 troops to 43 UN peacekeeping missions.

The country's participation in peacekeeping was not based on strategic interest, but flowed from its commitment to the UN and establishment of world peace.

The nine-day exercise, pioneering effort of the College of Defence Management here, was to expose over 90 officers of the defence forces from 19 countries to various dimensions of peace support operations.

Integrated Defence Staff Deputy Chief Air Marshal D Kukreja, in his keynote address, noted that globalisation and associated phenomena such as transnational crime and environmental degradation had put many weak social, economic and political structures under unbearable strain.

However, with globalisation, the troubles of distant countries were almost instantly transferred to one's homeland -- be it in the form of loss of trade, disruption of oil supplies or threats to diaspora, he observed, adding that armed forces would continue to play a vital role in peace support operations, particularly during the initial peacekeeping phase.

Many of the participating countries had lost valuable human resources in the cause of peace. Finding solutions to the challenges of these operations was the aim of 'Aman Sena', which played an important role in sharing experiences and developing a common outlook as well as establishing invaluable professional links.

CDM Commandant A Saikia said the conventional peacekeeping operation had changed into a multi-dimensional one, entrusting with the peace keeping force the responsibility of provision of not only humanitarian assitance, but also facilitation of revival of the political process, monitoring of elections and assisting in the formation of transitational governments.

UNI SM VA GD SP RN1544

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