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India launches new database to record crimes against UN peacekeepers

Indian Ambassador to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj (Photo: @ruchirakamboj)

Indian Ambassador to the UN, Ruchira Kamboj, announced the launch of a new database designed to record crimes against peacekeepers during a high-level meeting of the India-led Group of Friends (GOF).

India launched the GOF in December, 2022 during its presidency of the UN Security Council with Bangladesh, Egypt, France, Morocco, and Nepal as its co-chairs to promote “accountability for crimes against the Blue Helmets.

“Delighted to announce the launch of a new database designed to record crimes against Peacekeepers & monitor progress in holding perpetrators accountable,” Ambassador Kamboj said in a post on X on Thursday.

“India is at the forefront of advocating for accountability, leading the Group of Friends dedicated to this cause,” she added.

The database, sponsored by India, is poised to facilitate comprehensive analysis and drive effective strategies for promoting accountability, the Permanent Mission of India to the UN said in a statement.

It is “designed to serve as an online repository, empowering the Secretariat, Missions, and member states to monitor and address cases of malicious acts against Peacekeepers,” the statement added.

The development comes after External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar made the announcement for the database in December, 2022 after 32 UN peacekeepers, which included two Indians, lost their lives in deliberate attacks in the same year.

The Minister then said that in the current scenario, the UN Peacekeeping has become more challenging than ever before.

Sanwalaram Vishnoi and Shishupal Singh, who served with the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), were killed when violent protesters targeted the mission’s base in North Kivu in July 2022.

Comprising 40 member states, the GOF convened for its second meeting this week to discuss strategies to strengthen legal frameworks against perpetrators of malicious acts targeting Peacekeepers, focusing on supporting measures for ensuring accountability.

During the meeting, Ambassador Kamboj highlighted the group’s progress over the past year, emphasising the “insights gained into challenges surrounding accountability, particularly in strengthening the rule of law within Mission areas”.

She expressed confidence in leveraging these insights to enact impactful measures advancing accountability for crimes against Peacekeepers.