INDIA’S ROLE IN UN
India was one of the founding member of the United Nations by 1945, which is happened two years before India’s Independence. India actively participated in UN activities since then. India took a major role in drafting the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. India was the first chair of the Decolonization Committee. As a leader of Non Aligned Movement where Jawaharlal Nehru was co-founder, India raised the issues of the third world in the UN.
INDIA DESERVES A PERMANENT SEAT IN UNSC
India have a bid for permanent membership in UNSC and campaigns for the reformation of UN system globally. India is one among the top troop contributors to United Nations Peacekeeping. In terms of Economy and Military, India has shown a steady growth in the past decades. Currently having one sixth of world’s population (1.28 billion) and being the World’s largest democracy, India deserves a permanent seat in UNSC.
CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME
It is a complex situation. India is growing economically but lags being when it comes to per capita indicators. Owing to its military strength, it is contributing in huge numbers to peacekeeping but cannot match up to the financing levels of P-5 or Japan in relation to peacekeeping operations.
A reform in UN Security Council would necessitate the need for an amendment in the UN Charter which is possible only when a resolution is adopted by two-third member nations in the UN General Assembly. It has to be further ratified by the constitutional process of two-third member nations including P-5. Effectively, even if India secures the support of two-thirds of UN members, who are present and voting, it would still need the five permanent members to not use the veto and thereby, prevent the adoption of the reform process.
Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan comprise the group of G4 nations, mutually supporting one another’s bids for permanent seats.This sort of reform has traditionally been opposed by the Uniting for Consensus group, which is composed primarily of nations who are regional rivals and economic competitors of the G4. The group is led by Italy and Spain (opposing Germany), Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina (opposing Brazil), Pakistan (opposing India), and South Korea (opposing Japan).
Other than U.K. and France, three other permanent members of the Security Council are still against Council reform that would entail a change in their present status.
The possibility of changes in the positions of the US and Russia are unlikely since they are in a state of relative decline. Since it is their current status in the Council that provides them pre-eminence on issues related to international peace and security, they are not expected to support any move that reduces their say in global politics.
It is unrealistic to think that China would not give up its present privileged status in the UN, even as it seeks greater influence and presence in global politics as a rising power.
• The P5 are unlikely to approve the promotion of any country to permanent status due to the fact that such a change would eventually dilute their power.
• A careful reading of the report of the deliberations of the UNGA on November 7, 2016 would suggest that nothing has changed at the ground level; only the rhetoric of member Countries has been amplified.
• Among other permanent members, China is India’s biggest challenge in Security Council.
If we were to view our claim for permanent berth in the UNSC from a critic’s prism, we could say that in all earnestness, India itself has not abided by the UN Resolution on Kashmir, its human rights records are dismal and country is plagued with social evils like, rampant corruption, crime against women and children, labour exploitation, internal and external security problems like terrorism and Naxalism, communal disharmony etc.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CASE OF UNSC REFORMATION
After more than 20 years of stalling, moves to reform the council to reflect a more global balance of power gained momentum in 2015 when a negotiating text was adopted by the General Assembly, overcoming strong opposition from a small group of countries including Pakistan and Italy. The adoption of the text was a breakthrough as meaningful negotiations could not be held without such a document.
Most UN members support increasing the total number of council members from 15 to the mid-20s and for making its working more transparent and involving non-member countries in its activities.
WHAT INDIA CAN DO?
The current scenario shows that a permanent seat in UNSC with veto power is a Himalayan task for India to achieve. We may get this done one day. But, we should also realise that there are many other alternatives like BRICS, G20, etc. in front of us. India have a great role to play in these groupings. India Should come in front to work for peace when there are tensions like we did in the initial years of NAM. (India couldn’t react to the recent issues like Syrian crisis.) India should give attention to its own security threats and this will help India to emerge as a global role model or a security provider. The oppositions and challenges which India faced in other groupings like Nuclear Suppliers Group shows that India still lacks a global consensus. UNSC is one of the toughest task for Indian diplomats.