India's reelection to UNSC
By: Diva Tripathi
Over all these years since the formation of the United Nations Organisation in 1945, India has had her immense share of ups and downs. Her history with this international body is quite unique. This 75 year old journey brings with it various names, missions, developments and reforms including the eradication of social evils, resolution of political tensions, establishment of institutions, sustainable development and so on.
India has always played a vital role in putting forward her opinion on various issues taken up by the UN. Due to the intelligent and rational suggestions made by Indian diplomats, India has attained a respectable position at the organisation. Several worthwhile and major contributions like the mediation of the prisoners of the Korean War, the peacekeeping missions in the Middle East, especially Cyprus and Zaire, the decision of taking up reasonable debates at the UN General Assembly at the time of the cold war and not getting swayed by the superpower disputes, etc safeguarded international interests and secured a valuable place for India globally.
Since the very beginning, India has always held strong opinions on different issues such as apartheid, racial discrimination, foreign relations and bilateral talks and so on. India plays a pivotal role in bringing up unconventional yet relevant issues and speaking up for various developing nations. She has successfully managed to preserve her ideologies and cultural heritage and has promoted it on a global platform. Gradually, with time, India managed to improve her stand and stature to a commendable extent and yet, despite her various attempts to expand the UNSC and seek permanent membership, she is being devoid of the above due to various factors predominantly, the Chinese Veto.
According to the founding UN Charter, there are six main organs, namely-
1) The General Assembly
2) The Security Council
3) The International Court Of Justice
4) The Economic and Social Council
5) The Trusteeship Council
6) The Secretariat
Out of these, The Trusteeship Council acts redundant. This is because its mission of supervising countries in attaining their sovereignty has been fulfilled. Although it is still mentioned on paper, it continues to remain inactive.
The Security Council holds utmost importance amongst the existing organs and takes all major decisions. Recently, since India was re-elected as one of the non-permanent UNSC members, new opportunities and avenues seem to have opened for her. This election was won by an overwhelming majority. India won 184 votes out of the 192 ballots cast and is all set to renew her membership for her 8th term. India's seat was guaranteed due to the unanimous endorsement of the Asia-Pacific grouping last year, yet due to the rising tensions with Pakistan and China on issues like the CAA 2019, scrapping of Article 370 and inter-border tensions, winning the General Assembly Elections with such a majority did come as a pleasant surprise.
How does getting re-elected in the UNSC help India?
India has been a part of the G4 along with Brazil, Germany and Japan since 2005 and now, with the re-inclusion of India in the UNSC after 2011, her vision of reaching higher domains in terms of diplomatic power doesn't seem far fetched. The joint statement issued by the G4 leaders was- “A more representative, legitimate and effective Security Council is needed more than ever to address the global conflicts and crises, which had spiraled in recent years.”
The group's primary aim is to attain permanent seats in The UNSC along with the P5. These countries mutually support each other's bid for permanent membership and now, with their continuously growing economic and political influence, the chances of their want being accepted tremendously increase. Moreover, the support for India has been increasing as many countries have claimed that the current UNSC does not represent the geo-political realities of the 21st century. India too, has made a number of claims to justify her demand. Out of the many, the following hold immense significance-
• The world's largest democracy
• The world's second largest population
• The world's third largest purchasing power parity
• The world's fifth largest economy.
This shows that India holds an important position in the current political scenario. It also implies that if she gets a place in the UNSC, she will be given the chance to participate in key decision making as well as initiate and reform laws accordingly.
India's brochure for The UNSC mentioned various issues which are to be brought up in the upcoming term. The following were highlighted:
1) International terrorism
With special focus on addressing the abuse of ICT by terrorists, cutting down the flow of terror finance and disrupting nexus with criminal organisations.
2) Reformation of Multilateral Systems
By wide spreading the concern at the inadequacy of the existing ones to deliver results and promoting greater cooperation between them.
3) Reformation of the Security Council
To ensure that the contemporary realities reflected by it become more effective.
Along with these, the premiere responsibility of maintaining international peace and security is to be honored. India’s vision for the same is guided by dialogue and cooperation, mutual respect and commitment to international law. This was further supported by the speech of the Minister of External Affairs, Mr. S. Jaishankar, who emphasized upon using the 5S' approach which includes-
• Samman (Respect)
• Samvad (Dialogue)
• Sahayog (Cooperation)
• Shanti (Peace)
• Samriddhi (Prosperity)
Following this ideology, India yearns to bring a 'New Orientation for Reformed Multilateral Systems' known as NORMS and also streamline the peacekeeping operations as well as the technology initiatives during its upcoming tenure. Overall, this term will open a new arena for India and allow her to continue the quest to seek permanent membership in the UNSC. It could give India the much needed leverage to expand its status from an emerging superpower and transform it to that of a global dominator.