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UN Security Council

Topics Covered:

  1. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

 

UN Security Council

 

What to study?

For Prelims: About UNSC- composition, objectives and functions.

For Mains: Role and significance of UNSC, need for UNSC reforms, why India should be given permanent membership?

 

Context: Vice President calls for renewed efforts for India to gain permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

 

About UNSC:

What is it?

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.

Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions; it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.

Members: The Security Council consists of fifteen members. Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States—serve as the body’s five permanent members. These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General.

The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.

 

Proposed reforms:

Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) encompasses five key issues:categories of membership, the question of the veto held by the five permanent members, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods, and the Security Council-General Assembly relationship. There is also a proposal to admit more permanent members.

 

India’s demands:

India has been calling for the reform of the UN Security Council along with Brazil, Germany and Japan for long, emphasising that it rightly deserves a place at the UN high table as a permanent member.

 

Why India should be given a permanent seat in the council?

  • India was among the founding members of United Nations.
  • It is the second largest and a one of the largest constant contributor of troops to United Nations Peacekeeping missions.
  • Today, India has over 8,500 peacekeepers in the field, more than twice as many as the UN’s five big powers combined.
  • India, since long time, has been demanding expansion of UNSC and its inclusion as permanent member in it. It has been a member of UNSC for 7 terms and a member of G-77 and G-4, so permanent membership is a logical extension.