South Asian contribution in UN peace support missions: Global challenges, regional settings and national responses
Panel organised by: Niloy Ranjan Biswas (University of Dhaka)
Peace support operation (both peacekeeping and peace enforcement) is a major flagship venture of the United Nations. International order and the understanding of [in]security have experienced transformations since the UN deployed the first peacekeepers in 1948. New conflicts have emerged along with new actors and challenges in international security. South Asia as a region is the largest contributor of personnel in the United Nations peacekeeping operations. Nearly 34% of the total troops deployed in the UN missions are contributed by four South Asian nations—Bangladesh, India Nepal, and Pakistan. However, there has been little or no coordination among them on this issue. Also, there is a lack of substantial academic discussion in examining global challenges and their regional implications for the South Asian states to peacekeeping missions. The dominant narrative postulates that structural causes inherent in the historical development of political relations among the countries in the region influence their approach to peacekeeping missions. The major goal of this panel is to discuss—what are the global inconsistencies inherent in UN-led peace support activities and how is this addressed in the regional settings and national responses of South Asia?
The papers of this panel will address how the UN peace support operations have changed significantly in the contemporary period. With the changing nature of conflicts and post-conflict mission environments, a rigid mandate of a mission fails to capture the changing nature of the context and jeopardizes the lives of the peacekeepers. The papers also discuss how South Asian contributors, in practice, have contributed in transforming its peacekeeping mandates to peace enforcement mandates to adjust to the changing nature of the conflicts and peace support endeavors. The panel invites papers that will illustrate on how various challenges, with specific emphasis on technological development, growing trends of regionalism and UN’s role in countering violent extremism (CVE) are inevitable realities, and it may pose threats for contributors in the UN peace support endeavors.
The panel aims to invite the concerned experts on Bangladesh, India Nepal, and Pakistan via an open call for paper proposals. The country-specific papers will critically highlight respective states’ contribution to UN peace support activities. The panel will also provide space for the exchange of views between international and regional experts on the subject-matter. The presenters will be asked to contain strong policy components that explore options for a wider discussion in the conference.