India to train ASEAN women in United Nations Peacekeeping operations
May 30, 2023

Why in news?

  • On May 29, the Indian Army commemorated the 75th International Day of UN Peacekeepers.
  • On this day, India also announced that it will organize two initiatives later this year for women personnel from South East Asia as part of defence cooperation with ASEAN.
    • This announcement follows Indian Defence Minister’s suggestion last year to focus on "women in United Nations Peacekeeping (UNPK) operations" as an important initiative.

What’s in today’s article?

  • United Nations Peacekeeping (UNPK) operations
  • News Summary

UN Peacekeeping

  • The UN Charter gives the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.
  • In fulfilling this responsibility, the Council can establish a UN peace operation.

Peacekeeping mandates

  • UN peace operations are deployed on the basis of mandates from the United Nations Security Council.
  • These mandates differ from situation to situation, depending on the nature of the conflict and the specific challenges it presents.
  • Depending on their mandate, peace operations may be required to:
    • Deploy to prevent the outbreak of conflict or the spill-over of conflict across borders;
    • Stabilize conflict situations after a ceasefire;
    • Assist in implementing comprehensive peace agreements;
    • Lead states or territories through a transition to stable government, based on democratic principles, good governance and economic development.


  • There are three basic principles that continue to set UN peacekeeping operations apart as a tool for maintaining international peace and security. These are:
    • Consent of the parties
      • In the absence of such consent, a peacekeeping operation risks becoming a party to the conflict; and being drawn towards enforcement action.
    • Impartiality
      • Peacekeepers should be impartial in their dealings with the parties to the conflict, but not neutral in the execution of their mandate.
    • Non-use of force except in self-defence and defence of the mandate


  • Since 1948, the UN has helped end conflicts and foster reconciliation by conducting successful peacekeeping operations in dozens of countries, including Cambodia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mozambique, Namibia and Tajikistan.
  • UN peacekeeping has also made a real difference in other places with recently completed or on-going operations such as Sierra Leone, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Timor-Leste, Liberia, Haiti and Kosovo.
  • In other instances, however, UN peacekeeping have been challenged and found wanting, for instance in Somalia, Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.
  • Overall, UN Peacekeeping Forces have an impressive record of peacekeeping achievements, including winning the Nobel Peace Prize (1988).

India’s contribution in peacekeeping missions

  • Current status
    • India is one of the largest troop contributing nation to UNPK.
    • Currently, India has around 5,900 troops deployed in 12 U.N. Missions.
    • India’s contribution to the peacekeeping budget stands at 0.16%.
  • Contribution so far
    • India has been actively participating in peacekeeping right from 1950 when it supplied medical personnel and troops to the UN Repatriation Commission in Korea.
    • India has contributed approximately 2,75,000 troops to peacekeeping missions so far and 159 Indian Army soldiers have lost their lives across the globe.
  • Joint training of U.N. peacekeepers from African countries
    • In 2016, India and the U.S. had begun an annual training programme for joint training of U.N. peacekeepers from African countries.
  • Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping (CUNPK)
    • Indian Army has established a CUNPK in New Delhi to impart training in peacekeeping operations and the Centre trains more than 12,000 troops every year.
  • Women deployment
    • India has deployed Female Engagement Teams in United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei.
      • This is the second largest women contingent after Liberia.
    • India has also deployed Women Military Police in United Nations Disengagement Observer Force and women staff officers and military observers in various missions.
  • Other contributions
    • In August 2021, India, in collaboration with the UN launched UNITE AWARE platform.
      • It is a technology platform to ensure the safety and security of peacekeepers.
    • India has also proposed a 10-point plan, including making those targeting UN peacekeepers more accountable.
    • It also suggested to build a memorial wall to honour peacekeepers.

News Summary

  • To further expand the India-ASEAN ties,the Raksha Mantri had announced initiatives for Women in UN Peace Keeping Operations.
    • These proposals were made at the inaugural India-ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting held in November 2022 at Siem Reap, Cambodia, to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of India-ASEAN relations.
  • As part of this announcement, India is set to conduct two initiatives for women personnel from South East Asia later this year.

Initiatives under the India-ASEAN Initiative for women in UNPK operations

  • Courses for women peacekeepers of ASEAN member-states
    • One of the initiatives includes conducting of tailor-made courses for women peacekeepers of ASEAN member-states at the Centre for United Nations Peacekeeping (CUNPK) in India this September.
      • The Indian Army has established CUNPK (in 2000) in New Delhi to impart niche training in peacekeeping operations.
    • In all 20 peacekeepers, two from each country, would be trained.
  • Table Top Exercise for women officers from ASEAN
    • The other initiative is a ‘Table Top Exercise’ for women officers from ASEAN incorporating facets of UNPK challenges to be conducted in December.