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RSTV: THE BIG PICTURE- UNSC AND PERMANENT SEAT FOR INDIA


RSTV: THE BIG PICTURE- UNSC AND PERMANENT SEAT FOR INDIA


Introduction:

            Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said that India, which represents one sixth of the global population, has a rightful claim to the permanent membership of the United Nation’s Security Council. One of the key historic reasons for India’s quest for a permanent seat at the UNSC was to ensure protection of national interest in crucial diplomatic moments when the organ takes up issues such as Kashmir. Delivering a joint G4 statement on behalf of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, India’s Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin in 2016 stated that the grouping was eager for a forward discussion on UNSC permanent membership and reforms. Diplomats have blamed China for having quietly carried out a campaign to stop India’s efforts at the UNSC. Veteran diplomats have said that the latest UNSC meeting on Kashmir which was convened following an initiative from China showed that India will have to show more stamina to stop China from using the organ against India’s interest. The issue of expanding the UNSC and the Text Based Negotiation is expected to come up in the next UN General Assembly session in September.

 

The 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.

 G-4:

  • The G-4 nations comprise Brazil, Germany, India and Japan.
  • These 4 countries support each other’s bid for permanent seats on the United Nations security council.

The Coffee Club or Uniting for Consensus:

  • Group of countries opposed to the G4. They favoured the expansion of the non-permanent category of seats with members to be elected on a regional basis.
  • Italy, Spain, Argentina, Canada, Mexico, South Korea and Pakistan

 

Need for reforms in UNSC:

  • Regional representation
    • Supporters of UNSC reform claim that there is a huge European bias in P-5 due to the presence of the United Kingdom and France including Russia.
    • While regions like Latin America, Caribbean group, Arabs and Africa do not have a single permanent member. Similarly, there is a western bias in UNSC. As China is the only Asian country among the five permanent members of UNSC.
    • Thus a large chunk of the population and many different regions of the world remain unrepresented in the permanent membership of UNSC.
    • It seems highly unfair that the whole continent of Africa does not have a single member in P-5 despite the fact that most of the affairs of the body concern this part of the globe only.
    • So regions like Africa and Latin America and others will have to be accommodated in the reformed UNSC.
  • Changing geopolitics:
    • The victors of World War II shaped the United Nations Charter in their national interests, dividing the permanent seats, and associated veto power, among themselves.
    • It has been 72 years since the foundation of UNSC.
    • During this period, the geopolitical realities have changed drastically, but the Council has changed very little.
  • Question of Veto:
    • All five permanent members of UNSC enjoy a veto power .
    • Veto is a kind of negative vote by a permanent member that prevents the adoption of a proposal, even if it has received the required overall votes by the members.
    • Sadly, veto power is grossly misused by the permanent members in their own national interest.
    • Out of 24 vetoes over the last 20 years, 15 have been used by the United States to protect Israel.
    • This also badly affects the conduct of the business of UNSC as many important proposals involving substantive issues get blocked due to use of veto by any of the five permanent members.
  • G-4 and India s quest for a permanent seat:
    • In recent decades, India has been very vocal in demanding for a permanent seat in UNSC. It is also part of G-4, a group of 4 nations (India, Brazil, Germany and Japan) to lobby for permanent positions on the UNSC or at least to make the council more representative.
    • Many member-states have been pledging support for our aspiration for permanent membership. Several P-5 countries have also announced their support. At present, China is the only P-5 member opposing India s bid.
    • G-4 wants to expand the permanent seats in the UNSC to 10 to include 6 new members G-4 nations apart from one seat to Africa and one seat to Arabs
  • Transparency and Working Methods:
    • While the expansion of the Security Council has been hotly debated across the world, debate on the working methods of the Council, an equally important aspect of reform to many member states, has attracted less attention.
    • It is true that UNSC has been functioning in the most non-transparent and non-consultative way.
    • The undemocratic nature of UNSC within the supposedly democratic UN has compromised the overall credibility of the United Nations.

 

Reasons:

  • India was among the founding members of United Nations.
  • India has been a leader and largest constant contributor of troops to United Nations Peacekeeping missions.
  • India always has been upholding UN principles.
  • It is a major big economic emergent power.
  • India’s picture in the UN as well as in the world has increased whether it is the election of ICJ.
  • 177 countries including Islamic countries celebrated International Yoga Day.
  • India enjoys the backing of major powers including four permanent members other than China and those of African Union, Latin America, Middle Eastern countries and other LDCs from different parts of the globe.
  • India has been a responsible power and it has contributed significantly in global peace efforts.
  • India rescued not only Indians but also many persons from other countries including Pakistan and USA from war ravaged Yemen and South Sudan under its operation Rahat and Sankat Mochan respectively.

 

Current Scenario:

  • China opposes Japan’s entry.
  • Italy and Spain opposes Germany’s entry.
  • Argentina and Mexico opposes Brazil’s bid.
  • African countries have not come up with their candidates.
  • India has emerged as the strongest candidate.
  • UNSC is balance of power reflectivity of 1945 and not today.
  • Out of the 122 members who have given their comments on negotiations, 113 support the reforms.
  • All the permanent members have their angularities when it comes to expanding the UNSC with Franch supporting openly.
  • India follows an independent foreign policy which is very often not seen as those in power sitting in sync with them.

 

India should continue to make its efforts and we should grow at 10+ growth rate to achieve our target which will inturn help our bid. The credibility of UNSC has suffered a severe blow as it has been ineffective and inefficient in tackling the conflicts in different parts of the world such as Syria, Ukraine etc. In most of these situations UNSC has remained mere a mute spectator. Therefore the demand for reforms in the council has become a necessity to restore its credibility and effectiveness in maintaining international peace and security.

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