UNSC permanent membership – UPSC GS2

Why India should be added?
  • After 2008 financial meltdown, India had been a member of G 20 to help the world tide over a difficult situation
  • IAEA and NSG considers India as ‘a state with advanced nuclear technology’ and sanctified India as a responsible member of the nuclear community
  • IS in – parts of West Asia, Yemen, areas around Caspian sea, pockets in Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan – India has long history of Islamic scholarship, which can be used to counter IS by ‘soft powerinstead of bullets and bombs.
  • Refugee crisis – India can showcase its inherent strengths, derived from ancient civilizational traditions. During Bangladesh refugee crisis India had shown both capability and remarkable resilience and India’s experience would  prove useful for countries in Europe.
  • Apart from the relevance of size, ancient wisdom, culture and current economic strength, India’s role as a vital 21st century problem solver cannot but add weight to its claims to membership of the Security Council.
  • India has 1/6th of world’s population, largest democracy,7th largest economy and one of the largest contributor to peace-keeping troops, leader of developing countries.
Other Countries response:
  • China opposes permanent membership for India and Japan.
  • The Uniting for Consensus (UFC) group — Pakistan, South Korea, Italy and Argentina also oppose the G4 (Brazil, Germany, Japan and India) becoming permanent members.
  • The U.S. has for some years supported India’s permanent membership to the Council.
Why Permanent membership is important?
Permanent membership is critical for India for following reasons:
  1. To improve India’s global stature
  2. To help India reach at comparable level with its rival China
  3. To secure its neighbourhood from future combined interventions, if any
  4. To bring equality of treatment and be the natural leader of developing countries in security council.
How effective has been United Nations Security Council in addressing some of pressing security challenges faced by raising extremism across the world? In the light of its mandate, critically comment. (200 Words)
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is the most powerful body in the United Nations, with primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. It has five powerful countries (US, UK, France, Russia, and China) as permanent members along with 10 non-permanent members. Despite UN has been largely successful in ending various conflicts, it is unable to address many challenges faced by raising extremism across the world.
  1. UNSC failed to enforce its resolution on Iraq, for cooperation and transparency regarding various weapons. That led to the US invasion on Iraq in the name of weapons of Mass Destruction.
  2. In 2003, Sudan erupted into conflict as various extremist groups criticized and attacked the government for oppressing the non-Arab. After three years, UN could dispatch its soldiers in a limited manner. By 2010, an estimated 300,000 Sudanese civilian were killed.
  3. In 2012, China and Russia used their veto power and the UNSC could not intervene in Syria. Since the Syrian civil war began, an estimated 60,000 civilians have been killed.
  4. UNSC is also unable to bring any resolution condemning Israel‘s action against Palestine, following US’s veto power.
  5. UNSC do not have any concrete plan to deal with tensions in East Jerusalem as well as the activities of radicalized and extremist groups in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine etc.
  6. Unilateral action by Saudi Arabia, USA and France in recent past has undermined UNSC relevance.
  7. Russia’s intervention in Crimea and Georgia could not be stopped by UNSC as negotiations failed due to hard stands of opposing sides.
  8. Nagorno Karabas Conflict
Although UNSC can be credited for its peace-keeping missions in Haiti, Congo, etc. The big issues of world peace – terrorism, extremism, nuclear proliferation can‘t be
entrusted upon a body which is more often paralytic than effective.
Discuss the roadblocks India is facing in its quest for permanent membership of the UN Security Council. Do you think permanent membership is a necessity for India? Critically comment. (200 Words)
UN security council consists of two types of members: Permanent and temporary. The five permanent members: US, UK, Russia, China and France enjoy veto power. This provision has been widely criticized by different nations. Also there is voice for increasing African, South American and Asian representation in UNSC.
India has been a temporary member many times. It wants to secure permanent membership in UNSC for its growing importance in world affairs. But the Indian journey to UNSC Permanent membership seems very difficult. Following are the major roadblocks:
  1. P5 Resistance: Permanent members never get to a consensus to allow expansion of council and offer permanent seat to another country. China being India’s rival will always veto down any such agreement for India. Thus this remains the biggest roadblock.
  2. India’s economic contribution: Compared to P5 Countries India’s contribution to Security council budget is very minimal, which again discredits its claim to join council as a permanent group.
  3. International diplomacy: India is seen as a soft country, especially on matters related to middle east and gulf countries. It maintains neutrality and puts its own interest before taking a hard stance. This is misinterpreted by P5 countries as India’s inability to offer and sanction extreme measures. Especially US is not comfortable with this behaviour.
  4. India’s closeness with Japan will also be a major reason for China’s objection.
  5. The structure of UNSC is very complex. For India to be a permanent members, it needs the nod off 2/3rd of the general members with the support of P5 which requires an amendment to the UN charter act
  6. With superpowers like Germany and Japan already in queue, India’s admission is a farfetched dream.

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