USI - UN CELL
The USI has played a stellar role in the furtherance of India’s UN Peace Keeping (UNPK) endeavours. The Centre for UNPK (CUNPK) was established and nurtured at the USI, with support from MEA and Armed Forces, to become a regional node for excellence in the UNPK capacity building and practicing UN diplomacy. Today CUNPK has grown to become a full-fledged unit of the Indian Army and focuses on training and tactical issues related to UNPK
The USI now focusing on the operational, strategic and policy issues related to UNPK. The USI has taken the lead in providing the platform for organising discourses and research in the field of UN peace operations to put across an Indian perspective on a few most crucial attributes of the current challenges that face reform of the UN peace operations. USI UN Cell under Maj Gen PK Goswami (Retd), Deputy Director, is providing necessary impetus to highlight India’s contribution to UNPK at operational, strategic and policy level and other UNPK related issues in various forum.
USI is a founding member of the Challenges Forum and collaborates with Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Effectiveness of Peacekeeping Network (EPON), and Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on various projects. In the past, USI conducted a series of international courses in collaboration with United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and in the recent past, on Protection of Women in the Conflict Zones in collaboration with UN Women. Contact with UN Women, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) has been re-established and we are the process of collaborations in near future.
The USI is endowed with a highly experienced UN related resource faculty comprising our former permanent representatives to the UN, Heads and Deputy Heads of UNPK Missions, Force Commanders and Deputy Force Commanders, and those who have tenanted staff and advisory appointments at the UN HQ at the policy-making level, besides a vast reservoir of UN Military Observers (UNMO) from military, para-military, and police forces. Our rich resource faculty makes USI’s contribution to the field of peacekeeping creditable. During the year two USI publication on UN Peacekeeping were published; Maj Gen (Dr) AK Bardalai (Retd), Distinguish Fellow, wrote a book on “Keeping The Peace: Un Peace Operations and Their Effectiveness: An Assessment”, and was published as USI publication in Oct 2022. Another book by Maj Gen PK Goswami, Deputy Director USI, on “The India and UN Peacekeeping: Though the Prism of Time” was also launched during the year.
The USI and ICWA have entered a partnership to promote India’s domain expertise in UNPK with focus on operational, strategic, policy and doctorial issues. Under the USI-ICWA partnership in 2021 series of webinars were conducted and since than seven webinars has been conducted on the UN themes. Similarly during 2022, the USI conducted two UN themed webinars on Women, Peace & Security and Challenges of Mission Leadership in UN Peace Operations; and third one will be conducted by end of year. These events were given due coverage by The Kootneeti (https://thekootneeti.in/). Another important project in progress is joint USI – ICWA book titled “India and UN Peacekeeping”, likely to be completed early next year.
Number of UN professionals and practitioners participated in these events, to include few:
(a) Lt Gen Satish Nambiar (Retd), former Director USI and Head of Mission UNPROFOR.
(b) Amb Vijay Thakur Singh, DG, ICWA.
(c) Amb Ambassador Lakshmi Puri, former ASG and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women.
(d) Lt Gen Chander Prakash (Retd), former DDE, USI and Force Cdr MONUSCO.
(e) Lt Gen JS Lidder, (Retd), former Force Commander and then Deputy SRSG UNMIS.
(f) Jack Christofides, Deputy HoM and Director of Political and Civil Affairs of UNIFIL.
(g) Lt Gen S Tinaikar (Retd), former Force Commander UNMISS.
(h) Maj Gen (Dr) AK Bardalai (Retd), Former Dy Head of Mission & Dy Force Cdr UNIFIL.
(j) Col (Dr) KK Sharma (Retd), former military observer in UNTAC,
On conclusion of each webinar, talks and presentations were compiled, edited, and printed as a Monograph to share the rich experience of speaker with larger audience and cross fertilisation of ideas. This initiative assumes added importance at a juncture when India is a member of the UN Security Council.
60. Besides this USI participated in number of UN events conducted by others, details are at Appendix A. The USI was represented in number of UN related activities by Maj Gen PK Goswami (Retd), like UN Day by CLAWS and Beijing International Forum by PAC, MND, China. The details of UN related activities are included in Appendix A.
USI - Challenges Forum Collaboration
Challenges Forum has emerged as an international platform for a constructive dialogue on UNPKO, and to bridge the divide between policy and operational levels; and to create shared understandings among UN and regional organisations, member states, troop and police contributing countries; and host countries. The USI is a founding partner of the Challenges Forum and has been partnering with them on various UNPK related issues. This year USI partnered and conducted Challenges Annual Forum 2022, 6 – 7 Oct 2022; with “Future of Peace Operations” as main theme and Place for Preventive Deployment in Diplomacy, Protecting the Protectors and Protection of Civilians as sub themes. This event attracted high level participation from UN and other international organisations:
(a) Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, United Nations.
(b) Elisabeth Spehar, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs,
(c) Ahmed Abdel Latif, Director General, Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding
(d) Per Olsson Fridh, Chair, Challenges Forum Partner Meeting & Director of the Folke Bernadotte Academy; former Minister for
International Development Cooperation in Sweden.
(e) Dr. Lotte Vermeij, Senior Expert on UN Peace Operations and Sexual Violence in Conflict, NORCAP.
(f) Richard Gowan, UN Director, Crisis Group.
(g) Bintou Keita, SRSG and HOM MONUSCO.
(h) Francesca Mold, Chief of Strategic Communications, UN DPO.
(J) Flaminia Minelli, Chief Policy, Evaluation and Training Division, UN DPO.
(k) Kano Takehiro, Director General, International Peace Cooperation Headquarters, Cabinet Office, Japan.
(l) Lt Gen Satish Nambiar (Retd), former Director USI and HoM UNPROFOR.
(b) Amb Vijay Thakur Singh, DG, ICWA.
(m) Lt Gen JS Lidder, (Retd), former Force Commander and then Deputy SRSG UNMIS.
(n) Lt Gen Chander Prakash (Retd), former Force Commander, MONUSCO.
(p) Lt Gen M Fernandez, Director General, Directorate of Staff Duties, Indian Army
This complete event was coordinated by a team consisting of Maj Gen PK Goswami, Deputy Director USI, Maj Gen (Dr) AK Bardalai and Col (Dr) KK Sharma. After conduct of event they were also involved with compilation of Challenges Annual Forum Report.
Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI)
USI has been associated with NUPI in various projects, events and discussions. Dr Cedric De Coning, Research Professor, NUPI has been very supportive of our lead in UN related themes. Last year he proposed name of USI to EPON for thematic study on protection in UN peace operations. Even he was instrumental in inviting USI team to UN HQ to present that study during EPON Week in May 2022.
Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network (EPON)
The USI is a founding member of EPON and has been associated with their UN related activities and studies in past. During 2021, USI participated in thematic study on Protection in UN Peace Operations, represented by Col (Dr) K K Sharma (Retd), visiting Fellow USI. During 2022, EPON invited USI team consisting of Maj Gen PK Goswami, Maj Gen (Dr) AK Bardalai and Col (Dr) KK Sharma; to participate in EPON Week at UN HQ, NY 10-12 May 2022, at their cost. Following presentations were given by USI Team:
(a) ‘Capabilities and Readiness of TCCs/PCCs’ by Maj Gen PK Goswami, VSM (Retd), Deputy Director, USI.
(b) ‘Effectiveness of POC mandate in UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA)’ by Col (Dr) KK Sharma, Visiting Fellow, USI.
(c) ‘The Role of Observer Missions in The Future Of Peace Operations’ by Maj Gen (Dr) AK Bardalai, Distinguished Fellow, USI.