Why was the UN Peacekeeping corps set up?
- The most important reason behind its formation was to ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’, going by the UN body’s preamble.
- Nearly three years after its formation, UN deployed its first peacekeeping mission in 1948 to Palestine to ensure the cessation of hostilities that arose after the winning powers encouraged Jewish people to settle in the territory.
- A year later, the second peacekeeping operation started on January 24, 1949, to supervise the ceasefire between India and Pakistan.
What is the present status of their operations?
- There are over 1 lakh military, police and civilian peacekeeping staff deployed in 14 missions. Since the UN’s inception, there have been over 70 such operations.
- Fifty-seven of these missions came after 1988, coinciding with the fall of the eastern bloc that resulted in a unipolar world with the US and its allies the power centre.
- More than 120 countries have contributed towards providing peacekeeping troops.
Which countries send the largest number of troops?
- Majority of peacekeepers, including police, military experts, staff officers and troops, are from the developing world. As of April 30, 2018, Ethiopia, followed by Bangladesh and India were the largest contributors.
- Over 27% of the peacekeepers were from the Indian subcontinent, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
How expensive is peacekeeping? Who finances it?
- For fiscal 2017-18 (July to June), the approved budget for UN peacekeeping is $6.8 billion.
- Since UN doesn’t have any military force, troops are provided by member states on a voluntary basis. Peacekeeping soldiers are paid by their own government according to their own national rank and salary scale.
- UN on the other hand compensates the countries at a standard rate of US $1,332 per soldier per month. In 2017, US was the largest contributor, financing about one-third of peacekeeping operations.