About 30,000 troops pledged for UN peacekeeping operations

United Nations, Sep 29 (IANS) US President Barack Obama’s appeal to world leaders has brought in pledges of about 30,000 troops from 50 countries for UN peacekeeping operations, with India promising 850 troops in addition to the 6,716 already serving.

With UN peacekeeping operations expanded both in the number of assignment and in the type of mandates, Obama convened a summit of world leaders at the UN to get more support for the beleaguered programme.

“We’ve seen new challenges — more armed conflicts, more instability driven by terrorism and violent extremism, and more refugees,” he said.

The biggest pledge came from China. President Xi Jinping promised to provide 8,000 rapid deployment forces to troubled spots. Currently China has only 2,882 troops serving with the UN.

Another big pledge was from Colombia, which said it would send 5,000 troops.

“Our common security” demands that the peacekeeping operations be strengthened because “too few nations bear a disproportionate burden of providing troops, which is unsustainable,” Obama said.

Most of the UN troops now come from developing nations, with Bangladesh as the top contributor sending a total of 9,432 personnel and Ethiopia next with 8,309.

The members of the Security Council, who order the operations and set the tasks for the mission, send few personnel to the UN operations. The US sends only 82 personnel; Russia 79; France 909; Britain 289 and China 3,079.

Other developed countries also send few troops placing the burden of providing the current force level of 106,245 on the developing countries. Even with the new pledges, that situation is unlikely to change.

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