UN should not sub-contract peacekeeping: India

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United Nations, Aug 19: The UN should not outsource peacekeeping to regional organisations and disengage itself, India has told the Security Council, reminding that the UN "cannot disengage" with Africa by "sub-contracting peacekeeping".

Acting Permanent Representative Bhagwant S. Bishnoi told the Council Tuesday, "While regional organizations can at times play a useful role in assisting the UN, the primacy of the United Nations itself cannot be denied."

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Referring to Africa, Bishnoi said, "The United Nations cannot disengage with the continent by sub-contracting peaeekeeping to regional arrangements."

He cautioned that regionalisaton of peacekeeping operations brought the danger of the impartiality of the peacekeepers being called into question. For this, he added, there should be full consultations between the security council and the troop-contributing countries.

Bishnoi was speaking at Council session on "Regional Organizations And Contemporary Challenges Of Global Security."

The UN currently has a joint peacekeeping operation with the African Union in the Darfur region of Sudan, while African Union has its own operation in Somalia, Mali and Central African Republic with UN backing and the Economic Community of West African States has one in Guineau Bissau.

Bishnoi said that peaceful resolutions of conflicts through political processes should be the priority and without it there would be no point in regional organisations trying to manage conflicts by using militaries.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged the problem saying, "The United Nations is deploying into fragile and remote environments with little peace to keep."

The UN should enable regional organisations to resolve regional problems and include the concerned nations in finding solutions, Ban said. "At the same time, regional organizations should continue contributing to United Nations peace and security efforts."

On the role of the Council and the need for reforms, Bishnoi pointed out that although two-thirds of its work related to Africa, no African nation was a permanent member. "This shortcoming seriously undermines the legitimacy of the decisions of the Council," he said. "Till such time that this historical injustice is addressed, the decisions of the Council will lack their full force."

Bishnoi also warned against extending to organisations based on language or religion or history the role that the UN Charter envisaged for regional organisations because it was based on geography. "Any overly liberal interpretation of terminology would be violative of the Charter besides also being counter productive," he said.

This would exclude organisations like the Commonwealth, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the group of French-speaking nations called Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.

IANS

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