For 70 years, the United Nations’ peacekeeping operations have stood as a beacon of multilateralism and international solidarity, the embodiment of the highest ideals of the UN. From Sierra Leone to Cambodia, Timor Leste, Namibia, El Salvador and elsewhere, UN peacekeeping has helped countries move from war to peace, proving to be one of the international community’s most effective investments in peace, security, and prosperity.
India’s participation in this remarkable enterprise is perhaps without parallel. India has been and remains one of the largest contributors of troops to UN peacekeeping missions, with more than 2,00,000 personnel deployed in operations since 1950, the most of any country. This is an incredible demonstration of India’s deep commitment not only to maintaining peace and harmony across the world but also of its belief in the UN Charter.
This proud history of UN peacekeeping dates back to its inception in the 1950s, when the Indian Army made its first commitment to a UN assignment, contributing troops as well as medical corps during the Korean War from 1950 to 1954. Since that first mission, India has participated in more than 50 missions and 168 Indian peacekeepers have made the supreme sacrifice while serving. Indian peacekeepers have been deployed in some of the UN’s most dangerous and challenging missions – in South Sudan, Congo, Mali, Central African Republic and ten other UN mission across the globe.
India has also provided and continues to provide eminent force commanders for UN peacekeeping operations. And as the demand for UN peacekeepers has risen steadily, India has responded to the call for service, reaffirming the strength of its relationship with the UN. As of June 2018, India is the third largest troop contributor in the world, with over 6,000 personnel stationed around the world, helping save lives, protect people and setting the stage for a lasting peace.
Here’s a look at how India’s combined efforts over the past 70 years have become the backbone of UN peacekeeping: