What If India Becomes a Permanent Member of The UNSC?

Hello defence lovers! The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the most powerful global organisations in the world. In this article, we are going to discuss what will be the impact on India and the world if India becomes a permanent member of the UNSC.

What is United Nations?

The United Nations (UN) is an international organization founded in 1945 with the goal of promoting peace, security, and cooperation among countries. It is made up of 193 member states and is headquartered in New York City.

The UN has several principal organs, including the General Assembly, the Security Council, the International Court of Justice, the Secretariat, and the Economic and Social Council. Its work covers a wide range of issues, including disarmament, human rights, climate change, and humanitarian assistance.

The UN also coordinates a number of specialized agencies and programs, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) etc. Now let us discuss United Nations Security Council in detail.

What is UNSC?

UNSC stands for United Nations Security Council. It is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations, responsible for maintaining international peace and security.

The UNSC is composed of 15 members, including five permanent members (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms. The permanent members have the power to veto any substantive resolution, which means that they can prevent the adoption of a resolution even if it has the support of the majority of the Council.

The UNSC has a broad range of powers, including the authorization of military action, the imposition of economic sanctions, and the establishment of peacekeeping missions. It also has the authority to refer situations to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for investigation and prosecution.

The UNSC is often criticized for its effectiveness and the slow pace of decision-making, particularly when it comes to addressing urgent and complex crises. However, it remains a crucial forum for international cooperation and a key mechanism for addressing threats to global peace and security.

The Non-Permanent Members of the UNSC

10 out of 15 members of the UNSC are non-permanent members who are elected by the UN General Assembly for a term of two years, and they participate fully in the work of the UNSC, including in the decision-making process. As of 2023, the current non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council

  • Albania (2023)
  • Brazil (2023)
  • Ecuador (2024)
  • Gabon (2023)
  • Ghana (2023)
  • Japan (2024)
  • Malta (2024)
  • Mozambique (2024)
  • Switzerland (2024)
  • United Arab Emirates (2023)

India, till now has been elected for eight terms for a two-year non-permanent member seat, the last being 2021-22.

The Veto Power

The veto power is a special privilege granted to the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC): China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This power allows each permanent member to block any substantive resolution or decision made by the UNSC, even if it has the support of the majority of the Council.

The veto power is exercised by a permanent member when they cast a “negative” vote on a resolution. This means that if any one of the five permanent members votes against a resolution, it cannot be passed, regardless of how many votes it receives from the ten non-permanent members. This power gives the permanent members significant influence over the decision-making process of the UNSC and can lead to situations where important resolutions are blocked due to disagreements between the permanent members.

The veto power was granted to the permanent members as part of the UN Charter, which was adopted in 1945. It was given to the major allied countries to establish their hegemony over the world war in post second world war era. The Axis powers (Germany, Japan and Italy) were suppressed using UNSC’s Veto. However, the veto power undermines the principles of democracy and transparency.

The veto power can be used to block resolutions that are in the interest of the international community as a whole and can allow a single country to hold the entire Council hostage. The veto power needs to be reformed or abolished in order to ensure that the UNSC can effectively address global challenges and promote peace and security in a fair and transparent manner.

Since 1990, the United States has cast a veto on Council resolutions 16 times, concerning Israeli-Palestinian relations. Russia has done so 17 times, including eight times over Syria. China has used the veto to save Pakistani terrorists countless times.

India as Permanent Member of UNSC

The G4 group comprising India, Brazil, Japan and Germany has been advocating for a permanent seat in the Security Council. These countries support each other’s bid for a permanent seat in the council.

India is the world’s second-most-populated country where 18 per cent of the world’s population lives. Moreover, India is the world’s largest democracy. It is the greatest hypocrisy of the UNSC which aims to establish democratic governments across the globe and keep India out of the security council.

India is militarily way more powerful than United Kindom and France combined. Today, India has almost twice the number of peacekeepers deployed on the ground as much as by Permanent 5 countries. In the 21st century, India has emerged as the power centre of the Indo-pacific region. The Security Council is irrelevant without India’s representation in it.

Apart from India, Brazil has been advocating for a permanent seat on the UNSC for many years, arguing that it is a major economic and political power in the region and deserves a seat at the table. Germany is the largest economy in the European Union and a major contributor to UN peacekeeping missions. It has been lobbying for a permanent seat on the UNSC. Japan is the world’s third-largest economy. It has been advocating for a permanent seat on the UNSC for many years.

Impact of India’s Permanent Seat

As a permanent member of the UNSC, India would have a much greater say in global affairs and would be able to play a more active role in shaping international policies which will increase India’s global influence. It would also give India greater legitimacy in global decision-making and would provide a platform for India to advance its interests and concerns on the global stage.

India’s permanent seat in UNSC will counter China’s influence over the United Nations. It would serve as an equalizer to China and its hegemony in Asia and the Indo-Pacific region. It will also help in addressing the ever-increasing strategic and security concern in our immediate neighbourhood and beyond. Most importantly, it will give India the power to veto any possible intervention by China at the behest of its ally Pakistan.

India would be able to initiate action against Pakistan to curb its terror-sponsoring activities. India would be able to lobby to designate Pakistan as a “state sponsor of terrorism” and impose heavy sanctions. Only India’s representation in UNSC can make the subcontinent terror-free.

Why a Reformed UNSC Is The Need Of The Hour?

The current Security Council needs heavy reforms. As of now it significantly lacks democracy. Apart from Europe and North America, other continents have little to no representation at all. Asia is under-represented and Africa along with South America has no representation. The temporary membership does not provide any real power. The actual power is concentrated in the hands of WW-II era allied powers. The current Security Council is losing its relevance in the modern world as it has failed to prevent any major conflict, be it the Syrian Civil War or the latest invasion of Ukraine. As long as the veto power exists, the control of the UNSC will remain in the hands of permanent five members.

“Security Council must either reform or risk becoming increasingly irrelevant”

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan

Sheershoo Deb

I am a defense aspirant preparing to be an officer in the prestigious Indian armed forces. Earning the prestigious blue uniform is my dream.

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