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  • 01 August, 2022

  • 15 Min Read



Recently, two BSF personnel who were part of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), were among five people killed during a protest in an eastern town near the border with Uganda.

Background of UN peacekeeping force

  • The U.N. formed its Peacekeeping efforts in the year 1948, to deploy military observers to West Asia.
  • The Peacekeeping mission’s role was to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbour.
  • It aims to assist host countries to transition from situations of conflict to peace.

Aim: to provide security as well as political and peacebuilding support to conflict-ridden countries.

Coverage: There is approximately 81,820 personnel serving on 13 peace operations led by UNDPO on four continents currently. This also represents a nine-fold increase since 1999.

The three basic principles that guide U.N.’s Peacekeeping missions are:

  • Consent of the parties
  • Impartiality
  • Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate

County and strength: A total of 119 countries have contributed military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping. Currently, 72,930 of those serving are troops and military observers, and about 8,890 are police personnel.

The function of UN peacekeeper personnel:

  • Protecting civilians and other U.N. personnel
  • Monitoring disputed borders
  • Observing the peace processes in post-conflict areas
  • Providing security mainly in the conflict zones
  • Providing security during elections
  • Assisting in-country military personnel with training and support
  • Assisting ex-combatants in implementing the peace agreement


  • Peacekeeping continued to face the performance issue.
  • Peacekeepers often go where no one else is prepared to go and they put their life at risk every day.
  • Difficulty in coping with changing nature of armed conflicts.
  • Operations to be carried out in different terrains.

India’s contribution to UN peacekeeping

History of India’s contribution:

  • India’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping began with its participation in the UN operation in Korea in the year 1950s, where India’s mediatory role in resolving the stalemate over prisoners of war in Korea led to the signing of the armistice that ended the Korean War.
  • The UN entrusted the Indian armed forces with subsequent peace missions in the Middle East, Cyprus, and the Congo.
  • India also served as Chair of the three international commissions for supervision and control of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos established by the 1954 Geneva Accords on Indochina.


India has a long history of service in UN Peacekeeping, having contributed more personnel than any other country.

  • More than 2, 53,000 Indians have served in 49 of the 71 UN Peacekeeping missions established around the world since 1948.
  • Fifth highest contributor: currently there are around 5,500 troops and police from India who have been deployed to UN Peacekeeping missions, the fifth highest amongst troop-contributing countries.
  • Force Commanders: India has also provided and continues to provide, eminent Force Commanders for UN Missions.
  • India also had the honour of providing two Military Advisers.

Role of women in Indian Peacekeeping

  • In 2007, India became the first country to deploy an all-women contingent to a UN Peacekeeping Mission.
  • The Formed Police Unit in Liberia provided 24-hour guard duty and conducted night patrols in the capital Monrovia, and helped to build the capacity of the Liberian police.

Medical care as part of India’s Missions

  • In addition to their security role the members of the Indian Formed Police Unit also organized medical camps for Liberians, many of whom have limited access to health care services.
  • Medical care is among the many services Indian Peacekeepers provide to the communities in which they serve on behalf of the Organisation.
  • Indian veterinarians serving with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) stepped up to help cattle herders who were losing much of their stock to malnutrition and disease in the war-torn nation.
  • The Hospital by India in Goma, operational since January 2005 has 90 Indian nationals including 18 specialists.

UN Medals of Honour

  • The Indian contingent in the Upper Nile region has all received UN Medals of Honour.

Trust Fund on sexual exploitation

  • India was the first country to contribute to the Trust Fund on sexual exploitation and abuse which was set up in 2016.

There is a need to provide resources and required training in emerging technologies and new ways of warfare to decrease the causalities of the peacekeeping forces.

Data and facts

A total of 175 Indian peacekeepers have so far died while serving with the United Nations.

India has lost more peacekeepers than any other UN Member State.

India has been the largest troop contributor to UN missions since its inception.

Blue Helmets:

Blue Helmets are the military personnel of the U.N. that work alongside the U.N. Police and civilian colleagues to promote stability, security, and peace processes.

The personnel gets the name from the iconic blue helmets or berets they wear.

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Source: The Indian Express

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