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Calling for a reform of the UN Security Council, India has cautioned against its peacekeeping mandates as “not representative of current realities”. Intelligence Bureau Director Tapan Kumar Deka said: “We call for caution on any activity that is rooted in authorisation from a Security Council that is not representative of current realities.”

In his address at the UN Chiefs of Police Summit (UNCOPS) here recently, he said that because it is responsible for maintaining international peace and security, “it is important that the Security Council is a reformed body with an expansion of membership in both the permanent and non-permanent categories”.

He pointed out the imbalance in the regional imbalance in its membership “given that more than half of the Security Council’s work is focused on Africa”.

India, he said, has been consistently calling for greater representation of Africa in line with the African Union’s two signature documents, the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration, that demand increasing the continent’s membership of the Council in the elected category and giving it at least two permanent seats.

He said that the nature of armed conflicts where peacekeepers operate changed with the involvement of “non-State Armed Groups” – diplomatic speak that includes terrorists.

Their involvement has “increasingly exposed peacekeeping operations to regional and global dynamics that undermine their efforts to implement their mandate”, he said.

Deka criticised the current peacekeeping system where the mandates from the Council are not clear, the resources given to peacekeeping operations are inadequate, and there are no definitive exit strategies for ending missions, endangering the safety of peacekeepers.

“There are divergences in interpretation of mandates between various stakeholders, which results in inadequacy of mandate delivery as well as a threat to the safety of our peacekeepers,” he said.

Deka added that it is “extremely important that there is continuous and effective coordination between the UN leadership, host nation as well as Troop/Police Contributing countries” from the drafting of the Council mandates till ending missions with an exit strategy.

The peacekeeping operations should also be given adequate resources, he said.

There were 151 Indian police in UN peacekeeping operations, while 5,384 troops were deployed, according to UN statistics.

Historically, India has been the biggest contributor of personnel to UN peacekeeping operations.

Deka, who was given a year’s extension in the top Intelligence Bureau position last month, criticised “the fallacy of solutions being imposed from outside” and said: “India has always stressed that there can be no substitute for national efforts in creating an environment where civilians are secure.”

“The eroding support of host nations to the presence of peacekeepers is a reflection of the failure to address the root causes of conflict,” he added.