Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has expressed Nepal's unflinching faith in the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

According to him, Nepal has been a steadfast partner and a consistent contributor to UN peacekeeping since 1958, which was only three years after our joining the UN.

Speaking at a conference on 'Nepal's Contributions to UN Peacekeeping' in Kathmandu today, he said, "Nepal's decision to join UN peacekeeping was to support the noble cause of maintaining international peace, security and stability.

Over six decades, our peacekeepers have acquired immense international exposure and experience of working in a complex security environment. The longstanding involvement of our personnel has helped them treasure the skills, expertise and confidence required in a professional army."

Through participation in UN peacekeeping, Nepal has earned international repute as a country committed to upholding the principles as stipulated in the UN Charter.

"The norms of world peace has been one of the fundamental bases of Nepal's foreign policy. We wish to prosper in peace and spread the same message to the global community through our blue helmets.

After all, peace, harmony and compassion are innate attributes that we inherited from Buddha, the apostle of peace and the enlightened son of Nepal," Gyawali opined.

According to the foreign minister, Nepal is an active member of the Special Committee on UN peace operations, popularly known as the C34 Committee at the UN.

Nepal focuses particularly on improving safety and security of UN peacekeepers, enhancing partnership among different stakeholders, protecting civilians, peace-building and sustaining peace in conflict-affected countries, and enhancing the participation of women and youths in peacekeeping and peace-building activities.

"Nepal also participates in the triennial Contingent-Owned Equipment working group which determines the rates of reimbursements to the troop and police-contributing countries. It chaired the COE working group in 2017. Similarly, Nepal is active in the Fourth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly which deliberated on all aspects of peacekeeping and special political missions. Nepal has served twice as the Chair of the Fourth Committee till now," Gyawali said.

"We contribute to the UN through the deployment of troops, police units, and individual police and military officers, at the request of the UN headquarters. Nepal has also contributed through the provision of niche capabilities such as engineers, military police, and special force contingents. Additionally, Nepali civilian experts have participated in peace missions in their personal capacity," he added.

According to the written statement delivered by Gwayali in the conference, Nepal has thus far participated in 61 peacekeeping and special political missions with a total contribution of more than 151,000 peacekeepers. As of March 2021, a total of 5,681 Nepali peacekeepers have been serving in 12 peacekeeping and special political missions in 11 countries.

Currently, Nepal is the fourth major Troops and Police Contributing Country. However, this achievement has its own cost.

Eighty-two fellow compatriots have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty with hundreds of others left wounded.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 21, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.