India Co-Chairs Launch of UN Initiative to Support Accountability for Crimes Against Peacekeepers

16 December, 2022 | Pranay Lad

UN World

The Group of Friends on Accountability for Crimes against UN Peacekeepers was launched on Thursday with co-chairmanship from EAM S Jaishankar.

S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister (EAM), co-chaired the opening of the Group of Friends on Accountability for Crimes Against UN Peacekeepers on Thursday, which would attempt to promote accountability through policy measures and technological use.

“co-chaired the gathering of friends to discuss accountability for crimes committed against UN peacekeepers. The Group of Friends was established today to advance accountability through technological advancements and policy-making, “Tweeted Jaishankar. Jaishankar stated during his speech that UN peacekeeping is now more difficult than ever.

“Today’s peacekeepers are required to carry out tough missions in dangerous war zones rather than maintaining the peace. Operations have been negatively hampered by the presence of armed organisations, terrorists, and international organised crime,” he said.

He said this during the Trusteeship Council’s “Launch of Group of Friends to Advocate Accountability for Crimes Against Peacekeepers.” Along with India, co-chairing the event were Bangladesh, Egypt, France, Morocco, and Nepal, all of which made contributions.

Jaishankar stated that India piloted Security Council Resolution 2589 during our Presidency in August of last year as the Security Council’s largest military and police contributor.

He said, “The Resolution asks for promoting responsibility for the murder of, and for any acts of violence against, United Nations troops engaged in peacekeeping operations.

According to the Minister of External Affairs, this Group stands for the political commitment of Member States, particularly those that provide troops and police, to promote the execution of UNSCR 2589’s obligations.

“Maintaining responsibility for crimes committed against UN forces requires cooperation from many parties. In certain instances, the host States may not have the political will or the required resources to guarantee that those responsible for atrocities against peacekeepers are held accountable “he added.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, head of peace operations, said on Thursday that strengthening the safety and security of UN “blue helmets” depends on holding those responsible for crimes against them accountable. Lacroix also unveiled a new Group of Friends to help in the endeavour.

According to him, since 1948, malevolent acts have claimed the lives of 1,056 UN peacekeeping mission members and injured 3,080 more.

He said, “their sacrifice will not be forgotten” as he acknowledged colleagues from numerous nations that sent troops and police and whose citizens died or were injured while serving the UN.

However, the difficulty in prosecuting perpetrators has resulted in a low conviction rate and contributed to a cycle of impunity that gives offenders more freedom.

Lacroix pledged the full support of the UN, including by keeping track of developments and acting as a secretariat, noting that the Group of Friends will play a significant role in fostering accountability, facilitating capacity-building, and facilitating technical assistance to host State authorities.

He emphasised some “notable progress” since 2019 despite the fact that few offenders have been brought to justice. Lacroix enthusiastically praised the Group of Friends’ official launch, calling lobbying “essential.”