International Relations Security Issues

India’s ASEAN Women in UN Peacekeeping Initiative

India, as one of the leading troop contributors to United Nations Peacekeeping (UNPK) operations, is taking strides to empower and support women peacekeepers from Southeast Asia.

Women in UNPK Operations: An India-ASEAN Initiative

  • Defence Minister proposed this initiative last year to strengthen India- ASEAN defence collaboration.
  • The Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping (CUNPK) in India will host tailor-made seminars for women peacekeepers from ASEAN member states.
  • Twenty peacekeepers will be trained in various facets of peacekeeping, two from each country.
  • In December, a “Table Top Exercise” focusing on UNPK problems will be held, specifically for ASEAN women officers.

India’s Capacity Building and Training

  • The Indian Army has built the Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping (CUNPK) in New Delhi, where nearly 12,000 men are trained each year for peacekeeping missions.
  • The CUNPK invites international delegations, offers best practises, and sends mobile training teams to Friendly international Countries to strengthen UNPK competence.
  • In different UN missions, India has sent Female Engagement Teams, Women Military Police, as well as female staff officers and military observers.
  • In the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei, India has the second-largest female contingent.

What exactly is UN Peacekeeping?

  • UN Peacekeeping assists countries in navigating the arduous transition from conflict to peace.
  • UN peacekeepers (also known as Blue Berets or Blue Helmets due to their light blue berets or helmets) might be military, police officers, or civilians.

UN Peacekeeping is guided by three basic principles:

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

UNPKF is now operational.

  • Since 1948, the United Nations has sent 71 Field Missions.
  • Currently, about 81,820 personnel are serving on 13 peace operations directed by UNDPO across four continents.
  • This is a ninefold rise since 1999.
  • 119 countries have provided military and police troops to UN peacekeeping operations.
  • Currently, 72,930 troops and military observers are serving, with around 8,890 police officers.

Why is UN peacekeeping required?

  • Conflict resolution: UN peacekeeping deployments serve an important role in supporting host countries in making the transition from conflict to peace.
  • Burden sharing: The United Nations uses a global coalition of military and police to share the duty of ensuring global peace and stability.
  • Democratisation: Peacekeepers give security and political support to aid in the early transition to peace and the development of democratic institutions in post-conflict countries.

India’s Contribution to UN Peacekeeping

  • Largest troop contributor: India has a long history of sending troops to UN peacekeeping missions, with over 253,000 Indians serving in 49 of 71 missions.
  • Current deployments: Around 5,500 Indian troops and police are now engaged in UN peacekeeping missions, making India the fifth-largest troop contributor.
  • Women in Indian Peacekeeping: India was a pioneer in deploying female peacekeepers, beginning with an all-female contingent to Liberia in 2007.
  • Indian troops also give medical treatment, veterinary assistance, and engineering services to communities in need.

Issues with UN Peacekeeping

[A] Issues for India

  • Interference in Kashmir: India has expressed dissatisfaction with the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) functioning in Kashmir, deeming it obsolete following the Shimla Agreement.
  • UNMOGIP continues to witness fighting and ceasefire violations along the Line of Control, which India considers unnecessary.

[B] Global Challenges

  • Diverse security challenges: UN peacekeeping missions must adapt to changing security dynamics.
  • Mandates for peacekeeping missions should be aligned with available resources.
  • Increased participation of troop-contributing countries: Countries sending troops and police should play an important role in mission planning.
  • Investment in peacebuilding: Post-conflict peacebuilding necessitates enough financial and human resources.

Way Forward

  • UN Security Council reform: The UN Security Council should be reformed to reflect the changing global scene.
  • Collaboration with several partners: Increase effectiveness by involving players other than the UN Security Council in counterterrorism activities.
  • Peacekeeping modernization: Strengthen UN Peacekeeping Forces through modernization and inclusion.
  • Human-centered decision-making: Encourage accountability and transparency in UN Security Council decision-making procedures.


  • India’s dedication to promote women’s involvement in UNPK operations demonstrates its commitment to world peace and security.
  • These programmes attempt to improve women’s capabilities and representation in peacekeeping, recognising their important contributions to global peace and security.
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