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High-Level Meeting of Group of Friends for Promoting Accountability for Crimes Against Peacekeepers

The India-led Group of Friends for promoting accountability for crimes against Peacekeepers, consisting of 39 member states, conducted its first meeting on 24 April 2023. The meeting was attended by Under Secretaries General of the Departments of Peace Operations and Operational Support, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, MONUSCO in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Special Representative of the Secretary-General, MINUSCA in the Central African Republic and Officer in Charge of MINUSMA in Mali, three of the most challenging peacekeeping missions today.

2. The meeting discussed good practices to promote accountability, impediments in bringing perpetrators of crimes against peacekeepers to justice, responsibilities and constraints of host states in ensuring accountability and ways and means to address impunity for such crimes. The Group was also briefed on an upcoming database on crimes against peacekeepers, which has been funded by India.

3. India is the largest cumulative contributor of peacekeepers to the United Nations, having deployed more than 2,60,000 peacekeepers over the last seven decades. With more than 6000 peacekeepers deployed in nine out of twelve peacekeeping missions, India is a strong proponent of accountability for crimes against peacekeepers. We have, in the past, piloted Security Council Resolution 2589, the first ever Resolution dealing specifically with accountability for such crimes, and had followed it up in December 2022, as President of the United Nations Security Council, by launching this Group with other like-minded countries, with a view to harmonise efforts of all stakeholders in the endeavor to promote accountability.

4. Commenting on the occasion, the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, brought out the co-relation between peacekeeping fatalities and the promotion of accountability for crimes against peacekeepers and expressed her confidence that the Group had the diversity and strength to help address the complexities in promoting accountability. “The meeting will facilitate an understanding of the perspectives of the UN Secretariat, Peacekeeping Missions and host States on the promotion of accountability, leading to a plan of work which will guide the endeavors of the Group for the coming year.”

5. The Group of Friends will meet on a regular basis to take the plan forward, thereby ensuring greater safety and security for peacekeepers.