UNITED NATIONS: UN General Assembly President Miroslav Lajcak has lauded India's contribution and "commitment" to UN peacekeeping operations during his meeting with Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar in Slovakia.
Lajcak and Akbar met yesterday on the sidelines of GLOBSEC 2018 Bratislava Forum, a gathering that brings together international government officials, academics and civil society, including the private sector in Slovakia's capital Bratislava.
"Kicked off Day 1 at #GLOBSEC2018 with a discussion on migration, sustaining peace and sustainable development, as well as regional issues, with MJ Akbar, Minister of State of #India," Lajcak, President of the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, tweeted.
"I also commended him on India's commitment to @UNPeacekeeping," Lajcak said.
Lajcak's spokesperson Brenden Varma told reporters at the daily briefing yesterday that Lajcak and Akbar discussed issues like migration, sustaining peace, sustainable development, regional issues and India's commitment to United Nations peacekeeping.
He "commended" Akbar on "India's contribution to United Nations peacekeeping operations", he said.
"We have never needed multilateralism more.
Yet, calls for unilateralism and isolation seem to be louder than ever," Lajcak said in his opening remarks to the forum and during his keynote address at a panel on 'Multilateralism in the 'Me-First World'.
Calling for a "multilateral renaissance", he said that the multilateral system nations created can produce solutions "but only if we use it the right way".
He called for a recommitment to dialogue, which he described as "the most basic but most powerful tool in our toolbox".
India is the largest cumulative troop contributor, having provided almost 200,000 troops in nearly 50 of the 71 UN peacekeeping missions over the past six decades, including 13 of the current 16 missions.
India provided the first ever Female Formed Police Unit to UN peace operations in Liberia.
The International Day of UN Peacekeepers is celebrated world over on May 29 to honour the fallen peacekeepers and to pay tribute to those who served or are still serving in UN peacekeeping missions.