India key to U.N. peacekeeping

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PM says in Mann Ki Baat that India, as a messenger of peace, vouches for peace

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded India’s contributions to the UN peace keeping efforts as reflecting its ethos as a “messenger of peace” and said that his celebration of the festival of Deepavali with the troops stationed in Gurez was an “unforgettable” experience.

He said this during his monthly radio broadcast Mann Ki Baat on Sunday.

“We are believers of vasudev kutumbakam, which means the whole world is one. And because of this belief, India has been an active participant in the UN’s key initiatives,” Prime Minister Modi said.

“India, as a messenger of peace, has always vouched for peace, unity and harmony in the world. It is our belief that everyone should live in peace and harmony and move towards a better and peaceful tomorrow,” he added.

He said as of August 2017, India has participated in about 50 out of 71 UN peacekeeping operations undertaken in countries like Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Congo, Cyprus, Liberia, Lebanon and Sudan.

7,000-strong force

“India is the third highest contributor to UN peacekeeping missions, with around 7,000 of its security personnel deployed on various missions across the world,” he said.

He added that the UN Declaration of Human Rights had initially the wording ‘all men are born free and equal’ but it was changed to ‘all human beings are born free and equal’ after efforts by Indian representative Hansa Mehta.

Prime Minister Modi also made a mention of his recent visit to Gurez near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu Kashmir to spend Deepavali with the jawans, describing the experience as “unforgettable”. “Our armed forces personnel work in extremely difficult conditions on the border and their struggle, dedication and sacrifices must be lauded,” he said.

Run for unity

He urged the people to participate in the “run for unity” event to be organised on October 31, to mark the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhai Patel. He also made a reference of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, whose death anniversary falls on the same day.

He also spoke about the upcoming Guru Nanak Jayanti which falls on November 4 and hailed the first Sikh Guru.

Source: The Hindu

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