Wednesday February 20, 2019
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India reiterates its commitment to UN Peacekeeping, announces more troops

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Photo Credit: sachtimes.com

By NewsGram Staff-Writer

New York: India on Monday reiterated its commitment to UN Peacekeeping and announced its plans to contribute an additional 850 troops to the UN Peacekeeping Missions around the world.

Photo Credit: article.wn.com
Photo Credit: article.wn.com

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address at the Leaders’ Summit on UN Peacekeeping here, also said that India is ready to contribute monetarily to a memorial for slain UN Peacekeepers. Modi said India’s commitment to UN Peacekeeping remains strong and will grow.

“We have announced new intended contributions to the UN Peacekeeping operations.

“These include an additional battalion of up to 850 troops in existing or new operations; additional three police units with higher representation of female peacekeepers; commitment to provide critical enablers; deployment of technical personnel in UN missions; and additional training for peacekeepers at our facilities in India and in the field,” Modi said.

Pushing for long-awaited reforms of the UN Security Council, Modi stressed that the success of UN peacekeeping “ultimately depends not on the weapons that the soldiers carry, but on the moral force that decisions of the UN Security Council command.”

“We must complete the long-pending task of reforms within a fixed time frame of the UN Security Council to preserve the relevance and effectiveness of the UN,” he said.

Elaborating on the Indian contribution to the UN Peacekeeping operations, he said that 180,000 Indian troops have participated in UN peacekeeping missions – more than from any other country.

“India has participated in 48 of the 69 UN peacekeeping missions so far. 161 Indian peacekeepers have made the supreme sacrifice while serving in UN missions,” he said.

Pointing out to the challenges that peacekeepers face, he said the soldiers are called upon not only to maintain peace and security, but also address a range of complex challenges.

“Mandates are ambitious; but, resources are often inadequate. Mandates sometimes make peacekeepers party to conflicts, putting at risk their lives and success of their missions,” he said.

“The problems arise to a large extent because Troop Contributing Countries do not have a role in the decision-making process. They do not have adequate representation in senior management and as Force Commanders,” he said, raising the demand of troop contributing countries for greater say in the UN Peacekeeping mandate.

“Peacekeeping missions should be deployed prudently, with full recognition of their limitations and support of political solutions,” Modi said.

He said India is pleased that the High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations has recognized these issues. “We thank the UN secretary general for his prompt report on the Panel’s recommendations. We look forward to their early consideration,” Modi said.

Earlier, in the speech Modi said India has been providing training to peacekeeping officers from a large number of countries. “Till date, we have trained nearly 800 officers from 82 countries.”

He also thanked US President Barack Obama for hosting the Summit on Peacekeeping, terming it timely because it is the 70th anniversary of the UN and also “because the security environment is changing, the demands on peacekeeping are growing, and the resources are harder to find”.

In the beginning of the speech, he said: “The foundations of the United Nations were laid by the brave soldiers on the battlefields of Second World War. By 1945, they included 2.5 million men of the Indian Army, the largest volunteer force in history. More than 24000 lost their lives and nearly half of that went missing.”

“The legacy of that sacrifice is shared by three countries present here. They remain today among the largest contributors to the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations,” he added.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Low Cure Rate For Childhood Cancer in India: Experts

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner

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Health insurance covers only for hospitalization and doesn’t necessarily cover the medical expenses incurred for the treatment of major illnesses. flickr

Childhood cancer comprises almost 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India, experts said here on Friday, expressing concern over the low cure rate due to lack of available data.

“The disturbing reality is that the cure rate of pediatric cancer is almost 80 per cent in the developed countries. When we see the data from major cancer centres, it actually can match up to the Western standard but this data is not enough,” Haemato-Oncologist Vivek Agarwala said at an awareness programme conducted by Narayana Superspecialty Hospital, Howrah.

According to the Indian Council for Medical Research, cancer in children constitutes approximately 3-5 per cent of the total cancer cases in India.

Agarwala said a large portion of the incidence of childhood cancer in society is still not addressed.

Cancer survivor. Flickr

Also, a large section who don’t have access to premier institutes are often diagnosed late due to financial crunch and that is why the overall treatment rate in India is low.

“Probably, the government and society at large are not considering it a big problem as it is just around 5 per cent. We are always campaigning for breast and cervical cancers,” Agarwala said.

“We must remember this 5 per cent of cancer is majorly curable if given proper treatment,” he said.

Leukaemia and retinoblastoma (a form of cancer where children have a white eye) are the two common forms of cancer in children.

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Talking about awareness and symptoms that parents need to watch out for, he said: “Symptoms are different for different cancers, but children who have cancer have poor growth, poor weight gain and decreased appetite. One must get their children evaluated on seeing these symptoms”.

On International Childhood Cancer Day, the hospital organised a ‘Sit and Draw competition’ with pediatric patients and rewarded the winner. (IANS)