Itis undeniable that the world has significantly availed from peacekeepingoperations, whether it was from reliefmissions in times of natural cataclysms, to providing support to innocentcivilians in war- ravaged states.
However, we certainly can’t deny that these operationshave unfortunately, given rise to a steady pool of criminal acts, committed bythe very beacons of hope. Vanu Gopala menon, the Representative of Singapore in2004 stated that “People in war-torn lands see blue helmets and expect theirlives to improve”. When any form of abuse, be it sexual, physical or emotionalis allowed, it is a total betrayal of trust. It pains the delegates of Singaporeto see a small minority sully the reputation of the dedicated majority.
Since 1989, Singapore hasactively contributed to international peacekeeping operations. Almost 450officers have taken part in 11 peacekeeping operations in countries such asCambodia, Iraq, Jordan, Namibia, Nepal, South Africa and Timor-Leste. We have alwaysbeen involved in various missions, underUN auspices, maintaining law and order, training of local police to enhancetheir operational readiness and building community confidence by engaging thepeople. Singapore believes that Strict laws and robust institutions can reducewrongdoing, but they cannot prevent it altogether. Hence, Singapore makes it a point to respondswiftly and decisively to corrupt behaviour.
Singapore does not take intoconsideration the title of the wrongdoer. In the words of Thomas Fuller: “Beyou ever so high, the law is above you”. In fact, where a wrongdoer is in thepublic service, enforcement is likely to be even harsher. There is no use to havingbeautiful laws, embodying the noblest ideals, only to do something else inpractice.
Elegant constitutions can be easily had, and are not hard to find.What matters is how the laws apply in practice.