Secretary-General's UN Military Advisor Reviews Peacekeeping Missions

The Secretary-General appointed Major-General Randhir Kumar Mehta of India (right) as the Military Adviser in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in 2005. With a distinguished career in the Indian army holding numerous national command and staff positions and serving as a Sector Commander with the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) from May 2000 to February 2001, the General has also been a member of India’s delegation in various peace talks. He is a graduate of the National Defence Services Staff College, the Higher Command Course of the National Defence College ,and holds Masters of Sciences and Philosophy degrees. Major-General Mehta has been honored by the President of India with the “Yudh Seva Medal” for gallantry in operations in Sierra Leone and the “Vishisht Seva Medal” for Distinguished Services of a High Order.

Certain factors are critical for the success of any UN peacekeeping operation.
• The international community must diagnose the problem correctly before prescribing peacekeeping as the treatment;
• There must be a peace to keep; and all key parties to the conflict must consent to stop fighting, and to accept the UN role in helping them resolve their dispute and to the deployment of a UN peacekeeping mission.
• Members of the Security Council must agree on a clear and achievable mandate.
• Deployment must proceed quickly.

United Nations peace operations entail four principal activities:
• Conflict prevention - addresses the structural sources of conflict
• Peacemaking- conflict in progress
• Peacekeeping - maintains an existing peace
• Peacebuilding - rebuilds government and democratic infrastructure for a solid foundation for peace.

Currently there are apoximatedly 70,000 “blue helmets” 34 percent from Asia, 28 from Africa, the rest from South America and Middle East.

There are 18 mission’s world wide:
Cote d’Ivoire,
India / Pakistan Border,
Golan Heights,