United Nations, Aug 10 (PTI) UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appointed a veteran Argentinean naval officer as Head of Mission and Chief Military Observer for the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).
Rear Admiral Guillermo Pablo Ríos of Argentina succeeds Major General José Eladio Alcaín of Uruguay, who will shortly complete his assignment, a statement issued here on Wednesday said.
The Secretary-General expressed his gratitude to Major General Alcaín for his contribution to United Nations peacekeeping efforts.
The statement added that Rear Admiral Ríos has had a distinguished career in the Argentinean Navy since 1988, when he graduated from the Navy Academy as Middleshipman.
Most recently, he served as the General Director of Education, Training and Doctrine of the Joint Staff (2022).
Prior to this, he was Marines Infantry Commander (Corps Commander) (2020-2021); Marines Infantry Fleet Commander (Brigade Commander) (2019); Education Department Chief, Navy Warfare School (2018); and Defence, Military, Naval and Air Attaché in Russia (2016-2018).
He was a Training Officer in a United States Marine Corps Regiment under a United States and Argentine Marines Exchange Programme (2002-2003).
Rear Admiral Guillermo Ríos has served in two peacekeeping operations, including the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in 1993 and 1994 and the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) in 2007.
He has also served as a Humanitarian Demining Supervisor with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Angola (1997-1998).
Rear Admiral Ríos speaks fluent English and basic Portuguese and Russian.
He holds Postgraduate degrees from the Naval University Institute and E-Salud University in Argentina.
As of November 2021, UNMOGIP has a total of 111 personal deployed, including 68 civilians and 43 Experts on Mission.
Guterres, while visiting UNMOGIP headquarters in Islamabad in February 2020, had said that the first group of United Nations military observers arrived in the mission area in January 1949 to supervise the ceasefire between India and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir.
This made UNMOGIP the second oldest UN peacekeeping operation, he had said.
“While UNMOGIP may be a small peacekeeping operation, it continues to have an important mandated role and provides a visible presence of the United Nations and the international community on both sides of the Line of Control,” Guterres had said.
UNMOGIP was established in January 1949. Following the India-Pakistan war in 1971 and a subsequent ceasefire agreement of 17 December of that year, the tasks of UNMOGIP have been to observe, to the extent possible, developments pertaining to the strict observance of the ceasefire of 17 December 1971 and to report thereon to the Secretary-General.
India has maintained that UNMOGIP has outlived its utility and is irrelevant after the Simla Agreement and the consequent establishment of the Line of Control (LoC).
“Given the disagreement between the two parties over UNMOGIP’s mandate and functions, the Secretary-General’s position has been that UNMOGIP could be terminated only by a decision of the Security Council,” according to the UNMOGIP website.
“In the absence of such an agreement, UNMOGIP has been maintained with the same arrangements as established following December 1971 ceasefire. The tasks of UNMOGIP have been to observe, to the extent possible, developments pertaining to the strict observance of the ceasefire of 17 December 1971 and to report thereon to the Secretary-General. The last report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on UNMOGIP was published in 1972, it added. PTI YAS VM VM
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