UN High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations

UN High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations

A Report on Panel Discussion with “UN High Level Independent Panel
Constituted by the UN Secretary General for Review of Peace Operations held
at the USI on 05 Feb 2015

 

Introduction

An interaction with “UN High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations” headed by HE Mr Jose Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Laureate, comprising Ms Ameerah Haq, Under-Secretary-General, Department of Field Support and Lieutenant General Abhijit Guha, was held at the USI from 1500-1700 h on 05 Feb 2015. The discussion, moderated by Lieutenant General Chander Prakash, SM, VSM (Retd) revolved around three main issues; ‘Evolving Conflict Trends and Implications for Peace Operations’, ‘Lessons Learnt by India as a Troop Contributing Country’ and ‘Sustaining UN Peace Operations’.

       A large number of serving and retired military officers including General Deepak Kapoor, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, former COAS, Lieutenant General RK Mehta, PVSM, AVSM ,YSM,VSM (Retd), former Military Advisor (MILAD), Lieutenant Generals Vijay Jetley, PVSM, UYSM (Retd) and Lieutenant General Rajender Singh, PVSM, SM, VSM (Retd), former Force Commanders,  and Major General MP Bhagat, PVSM (Retd) former Force Commander and Deputy MILAD,  diplomats and research scholars participated in the discussion.

Initial Remarks by the Director USI

Lieutenant General PK Singh, PVSM, AVSM (Retd), Director USI, while welcoming the UN Panelists, in his welcome remarks firstly, introduced the Panel and mentioned that Lieutenant General Chander Prakash had interacted with the Panel during the Asia Regional Consultation held at Dhaka (20-21 Jan 2015) and that he would moderate the discussion. He briefly recapitulated the multi-dimensional UN Peacekeeping Operations across the world and observed that the Panel has a plateful of issues to review in the face of present day ground realities, based on conflicting national interests and perceptions. He then invited HE Mr Ramos-Horta to address the audience.

Remarks by HE Mr Jose Ramos-Horta, Chairman, UN High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations

Mr Ramos-Horta said that he had never seen so many military officers at one place who had the experience of serving at the UN HQ or on UN Missions in various capacities. He said that India, with 5000 years of civilisational background, held an advantage over other countries in finding solutions to world problems and, he looked forward to the ‘Road Map’ that would emerge from the interaction. Mr Ramos-Horta highlighted that the UN Secretary General had directed the Panel to find ‘bold and creative’ solutions to address the concerns of member countries – particularly measures to save lives and help in building conditions for robust peacekeeping operations. He also talked about the issues which go into preparation of various missions and conduct of ‘blue berets’, accountability of troops including civilians; and the issues being raised by civil society.

Discussion

Lieutenant General Chander Prakash opened the discussion by highlighting that Mandates of UN Peacekeeping were defined only by the UN Security Council and efficacy of ongoing Missions was constantly reviewed at their meetings. Many issues were raised and responded to by the participants based on their personal experiences in various capacities at the UN Headquarters and as Force Commanders of Mandates/Missions across the world.

The UN Panelists Views

Ms Ameerah Haq and Lieutenant General Abhijit Guha (Retd) gave out their views on issues such as asymmetric threats, aligning the requirement of troops to mandates, time taken to deploy, training etc.

Concluding Remarks of HE Mr Jose Ramos-Horta

Mr Horta thanked the participants for an outstanding discussion and expressed his gratitude for the free and frank suggestions. Thereafter, he shared his ‘random reflections’ on his past experience and new emerging political challenges. UN cannot do everything and should not be dragged into conflicts prematurely. Leadership in all affected countries need to play an effective role in helping the UN Mandates to fulfill their missions effectively.

Vote of Thanks

Lieutenant General PK Singh thanked HE Mr Ramos-Horta, the two UN panelists and participants for sharing their experiences and views which he said would help the UN Panel to address the concerns of all the member countries.

 

USI Director’s Initial Remarks

 

UN Independent Panel on Peace Operations

 

Eminent Participants


Report compiled by Lt Col BS Varma (Retd), Assistant Director at USI.

 

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