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Intervention by Secretary (ER) at the Inauguration of UNPCAP-I (July 25, 2016)

July 26, 2016

Thank You, Lt General Rai
Excellencies,
Distinguished guest.


India and Africa are ‘neighbours across oceans’. Characters like Mallik Amber in our medieval history, testify to the rich historical links that have always existed between Africa and India. Historians tell us that Africa has been a source of senior Ministers, brave generals to most of our medieval rulers particularly in the northern kingdoms. Through the ages it has also been sending us the most intrepid mariners, and traders.

The close complementarities we find today between our economies, and the model of development that we both aspire towards I hope points us in the direction of many more centuries of such a close partnership.

The lesson we derive from all this history is that when Africa looked east towards India, and India looked west to Africa, they both prospered.

I would like to thank officials of CUNPK New Delhi, and the Global Peace Operations Initiative program of the United States, for putting together this tripartite training collaboration between India, the leading UN Troop Contributing Countries of Africa, and the United States.

Training of military officers from countries in Africa at our military academies and training facilities, has always been a key feature of India’s defence cooperation activities in Africa. Despite all the challenges they continue to face, countries in Africa are firmly committed to taking charge of their security. India has been working with all its partners in Africa whenever possible, wherever possible to help make this happen. We are proud that many of the young soldiers we trained rose to prominent positions in their armies including the highest position of Army Chief. This tripartite training collaboration takes forward this long tradition of training in our defence cooperation activities with Africa. And I am happy that we have the United States as a new partner in this collaboration.

Under the UN Charter all member states have a responsibility to contribute to the UN’s capacity to protect and preserve international peace and security. I can think of no better way to fulfil this responsibility, than to train men and women in uniform who will go on to become UN Peacekeepers.

Thank You

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