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In the chain of motivational lectures at IIT Kanpur for the First Year Students, our guest speaker was, Lt Gen Asit Mistry, PARAM VISHISHT SEVA MEDAL (PVSM), ATI VISHISHT SEVA MEDAL (AVSM), SENA MEDAL (SM), VISHISHT SEVA MEDAL (VSM) Commandant National Defence Academy , Pune. He has been a United Nations Military Observer in Liberiain 1996-97 and the Deputy Force Commander in South Sudan from December 2011 to March 2014 in extremely hostile and challenging environment.
Col Ashok Mor, the Officer In charge NCC at IIT Kanpur welcomed the guest speaker. Our student Siddartha Govil, introduced the guest speaker Lt Gen Asit Mistry, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM Commandant National Defence Academy.
Lt Gen Asit Mistry gave a very informative talk on his experience in United Nation Missions in Liberia, South Sudan and functioning of UN on a larger scale.
Lt Gen Asit Mistry in his address emphasized on Primary Role of Security Council, Preventive Diplomacy and Mediation by the UN from time to time. He emphasized on the Legal Frame Work of UN under Chapter VI, VII and International Human Rights Law. He educated the students and made them aware about the Funding of UN Peace Keeping operations. The five permanent members provide half the budget for the UN Peacekeeping and the ten next big contributors are the first world countries.
He said the spectrum of peace and security activities are broadly in the range of conflict prevention by way of structural or diplomatic means etc. Peace keeping and peace making are the ways for negotiated agreements for a fragile peace for the betterment of all. Peace building and Peace enforcement takes shape in the next phase of any development in the area.
He educated about the history of negotiations in the past and UN Peacekeeping forces in 1956 and after. Post cold war saw a surge, 20 new missions were launched and seven-fold increase in the strength of peacekeepers. The expanding nature of mandate of UN Missions was also changing, eg. The United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM) etc. The UN started structural reforms in early 90’s. The BRAHIMI REPORT 2000, BIFURCATION OF Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) & Department of Field Support (DFS) in 2007 were some of the reforms.
The Challenges in UN Mission are like changing nature of conflicts. Today the battlefield is not restricted to conventional battle grounds on the contrary there are no front or rear of the battlefield. The conflicts are between the people and minds and all forms of conflict are being utilized besides mare physical conflict. The impact of great power reality seen in spite of no direct conflict and best example is Syria. In these conflicts there are high civilian casualties and the number of casualties in UN Peace missions of Peacekeepers has also increased.
There are tangible and intangible benefits of UN Missions. The IIT’s can contribute towards sustainable developments, enhancing the resources in various forms like technology etc can bring down the conflicts and people will have more peaceful life and coexistence of the various nationalities in a global atmosphere.