Updated February 29th, 2024 at 12:43 IST

Security experts back India's UN funding cut, urges withdrawal from peacekeeping until UN reforms

Amidst India's decision to reduce contributions to the UN and international bodies, homeland security experts advocate for reconsidering participation with UN.

Reported by: Yuvraj Tyagi
United Nations | Image:United Nations
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New Delhi: Amidst India's decision to cut its contributions to the United Nations and other international bodies, experts of the nation’s homeland security are calling for a withdrawal from peacekeeping missions globally. The development comes when New Delhi is pushing for permanent membership in the UN Security Council. 

Captain (Retd) SB Tyagi, Chief Councilor at ICISSM, known for his work on India’s industrial, cyber and homeland security, recently spoke with Republic and expressed his support for reducing the funding provided to the United Nations by New Delhi. According to Captain Tyagi, India should reanalyze its participation in UN-mandated peacekeeping missions, while emphasizing that India's resources should not be squandered on endeavors where its stature is not duly recognized. 

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India’s financial outlook and debate over strategy 

Notably, India announced a substantial 35.16 percent reduction in funding for international bodies, including the UN, in its interim budget for 2024-25, presented to the parliament by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The move is part of India's broader fiscal strategy aimed at rationalizing expenditures and prioritizing areas aligned with national interests.

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New Delhi’s decision to curtail its contributions to multilateral entities has ignited a debate within policy circles and among international observers. While proponents argue that India's reduced funding reflects a prudent fiscal approach and a stance against inequities within the UN system, critics question the strategic implications of withdrawing from peacekeeping missions at a time when India is actively seeking a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. 

India seeks UN reforms to deal with geopolitical realities 

India, a member of the Group of Four (G4) nations alongside Brazil, Germany, and Japan, has been advocating for comprehensive UN reforms, including expanding the Security Council to reflect contemporary geopolitical realities. The juxtaposition of India's efforts to reform the UN with its decision to scale back funding for international bodies has raised concerns about the coherence of India's diplomatic strategy. 

India's stature as the world's fifth-largest economy, with a GDP of US$4.1 trillion, underscores its growing influence on the global stage. Despite its economic prowess and significant contributions to UN peacekeeping operations, India's bid for permanent membership in the UNSC has encountered obstacles, primarily due to the reluctance of existing P5 members to cede power.

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India's role as a major contributor to UN peacekeeping efforts cannot be overstated. Over the past seven decades, India has deployed more than 200,000 military and police personnel to various peacekeeping missions worldwide, exemplifying its commitment to global peace and security. As of November 30, 2023, India ranks as the third-highest troop contributor to UN peacekeeping efforts, behind only Nepal and Bangladesh.  

India's nuanced approach to its engagement with the United Nations reflects the complexities of its foreign policy objectives. While the decision to reduce funding for international bodies underscores India's concerns about inequities within the UN system, the debate over its continued participation in peacekeeping missions underscores the challenges inherent in balancing national interests with global responsibilities. As India continues to assert its aspirations for a more inclusive and equitable international order, its contributions to UN peacekeeping remain a cornerstone of its commitment to global stability and security. 

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Published February 29th, 2024 at 12:43 IST