The UN owes India USD 62 million – the most it has to pay to any country – for contribution towards peacekeeping operations including troops and equipment, the top official of the world body said.
As on March 31, 2016, the United Nations owed troop contributing countries a total of USD 827 million, including USD 261 million in troop costs and USD 480 million for equipment for active missions, Under-Secretary-General for Management Yukio Takasu told reporters recently,
Of this total the UN owed the largest amount of USD 62 million to India, followed by Bangladesh at USD 59 million, Pakistan at USD 49 million and Ethiopia at USD 47 million.
He said money owed to troop contributing nations is always a source of concern because it is very unfair for them that they provide all the valuable troops, personnel and equipment and they are not reimbursed timely because of financial problems.
At about 7,695 troops, India is currently the second largest contributor among all UN troop contributors. Traditionally, India has been among the largest contributor of troops to UN peacekeeping operations, with nearly 1,80,000 troops having served in over 44 of the 69 peacekeeping operations so far.
The country has repeatedly called for the Security Council to consult troop contributing countries before drawing up peacekeeping mandates given that troops now have to function in increasingly difficult and hostile conflict situations across the world’s hot-spots.
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Among the countries that owe the UN money is the US, which has to pay 1.3 billion dollars for peacekeeping and 917 million dollars towards regular budget. Takasu said the world organisation’s financial situation is sound and positive, nothing, however, that there is some worry regarding the areas of regular budget and reserves.
The financial situation of the United Nations is generally sound, he said.
Peacekeeping has proven to be one of the most effective tools available to the UN to assist host countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace. It has unique strengths, including legitimacy, burden sharing, and an ability to deploy and sustain troops and police from around the globe, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to advance multidimensional mandates.
UN Peacekeepers provide security and the political and peace building support to help countries make the difficult, early transition from conflict to peace.