General Assembly Security Council


Mr. President,
Thank you for bringing much needed focus on an issue which touches on the ethos and character of way that we do business here at the United Nations. As new and diverse forms of threats, some clear and present, others only dimly perceived, test our collective resolve and question the validity of existing mechanisms, it is time to assess if we can together work on what is in our collective interest.  
2. In Africa, we have a unique effort where the whole continent is committed to working together on the entire spectrum of issues including on peace and security through the African Union. Regional and sub-regional organizations probably enjoy the advantages of language and situational awareness and can respond more quickly as they have a better understanding of the complexities involved. The leading role of Africa to address African problems through African solutions is, therefore, a work in progress and needs to be supported. However, issues of capacity and resource constraints do exist. On the other hand, the maintenance of international peace and security is one of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. It also entails a collective responsibility on the Member States to extend mutual support for strengthening capacities and capabilities to address threats to international peace and security.
Mr. President,
3. I will focus on highlighting three issues:
(i). First, it is well known that despite large peacekeeping deployments in Africa, their record of success has been a mixed one, somewhat reflecting the complexities of geo-politics, political will and the capacities and resources, supporting the peacekeeping efforts. There is a need to analyze various missions and draw important lessons from them. India has participated in most peacekeeping operations on the African continent and stands ready to contribute towards any future peacekeeping operations within our limited capabilities and capacities. As part of our efforts at sharing experience in strengthening the capacities of African peacekeepers, we have focused on human resources development and capacity building. India has not only worked bilaterally but also in tripartite partnerships in building defence capabilities of several African states.  A United Nations Peacekeeping Course for African Partners (UNPCAP), based on the concept of training the trainers, as part of trilateral cooperation with the US, is currently ongoing in New Delhi, with the participation of officials from 18 African nations, who are deployed in various African peacekeeping training institutions. India also is committed to promoting gender equality and sensitivity. The 125 all women police contingent from India in Liberia was the first such deployment in a UN peacekeeping mission. The presence of a female police unit has inspired several women to come forward to join the police force and participate in maintaining law and order. We need to make such role models as essential ingredients of every UN peace keeping operation with police deployments. 
(ii) Second, the importance of comprehensive sustainable development, inclusive economic growth and political processes for preventing conflict as well as undertaking effective peacebuilding efforts is broadly recognized. The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Agenda 2063 by the AU is an acceptance of fact that the key factors to achieve sustaining peace are cross-cutting and inter-linked in nature. This requires a long-term commitment and sustained investment, including vastly expanded funding. The identical resolutions by the General Assembly and the Security Council on the Review of the Peace Building Architecture last year define the concept of sustaining peace, besides calling for strengthening the work of Peace Building Commission. Alas there is no agreement on increasing the funding for the Peace Building Commission to even a 1% level of that for peacekeeping operations annually. As a member of the Peace Building Commission since its inception, India has so far contributed US $ 5.5 million to the Peacebuilding Fund. More substantively, as part of the traditional south-south solidarity for development cooperation, at the Third India-Africa Forum Summit, India within the limits of its capacities and capabilities extended concessional credit worth US $ 10 billion, and doubled scholarships for African students to 50,000 over a 5-year period. India's partnership with Africa is based on a model of cooperation which is responsive to the needs of African countries. It is demand-driven, free of conditions and provided in a non-prescriptive manner. Mr President, we firmly believe that commitment to support peace building is an imperative for sustainable peace in Africa.
(iii) Third, the ever expanding terror networks have endangered the peace and security of African region in unprecedented ways. From Boko Haram to Al Shabaab, these terrorist networks have proved time and again ever more connected to terrorist networks from all around the world. These terror networks pose a threat to the broader international community in many ways. Our response to these terrorist threats remains less than satisfactory. The price of this indifference is immeasurable. It is  time for a strong, effective and coherent response that reflects the international community's collective commitment to defeat the scourge of terrorism.
Mr. President,
4. The complex nature of modern conflicts makes it necessary to respond to the changing needs of our times.  In the African Union, the UN has a willing partner. The question that the Council needs to answer is whether it is ready to do what is required to make a difference where it matters most.  I hope today's discussions lead to specific steps in that direction.
Thank you, Mr. President.