The United Nations has sought India's help to resolve training issues to raise standards of peacekeepers and also asked it to contribute helicopters for its mission in Darfur region of Sudan, UN Under-Secretary General Alain Le Roy has said.
"During my visit to India since October 13, the UN team under me have visited the Agra-based Para Brigade, the NSG training centre at Manesar and the Police Academy in Hyderabad and the training standards there are a benchmark. We have asked India to take up leadership and training of the UN peacekeepers," Le Roy, a French diplomat in charge of UN peacekeeping since June last year, told reporters.
"We are going to explore intensely the training opportunities, most likely for other Troop Contributing Countries (TCC) to benefit from India's experience and capabilities," he said.
Le Roy said India, the UN's third largest contributor of peacekeepers with 8,767 troops and police personnel, had already contributed air assets to the peacekeeping operations in Congo, which were very effectively used by the UN mission. "India has not yet committed the helicopters we requested for Sudan.
They are, however, considering it," he said. Apart from the helicopters, the UN also wanted India to help with more police officers to its mission to train the policemen from troubled countries and regions that were returning to peace to increase their capabilities to maintain the rule of law on their own, he added.
Le Roy, to a pointed query, said the UN had neither sought more troops from India at present nor had Pakistan indicated it wanted to withdraw troops considering their internal security challenges.
"But we have asked India to be alert to the UN's future needs for peacekeepers," he added.