If there is any one issue on which Russia and Ukraine are in total agreement, despite being engaged in a fierce war, it is the need to make India a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Both countries have rooted for a greater role for India in world affairs and structural reforms in […]
If there is any one issue on which Russia and Ukraine are in total agreement, despite being engaged in a fierce war, it is the need to make India a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Both countries have rooted for a greater role for India in world affairs and structural reforms in the 77-year-old global body to reflect the present-day geo-political realities. Time is ripe for the much-awaited overhaul, making the Security Council more democratic through the representation of countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Being the largest democracy with growing influence across the regions and one of the fastest growing economies, a responsible nuclear power and a technological hub with a tradition of global engagement, India has a strong case to be a permanent member of the UNSC at a time when the global body needs a deeper transformation to strengthen multilateralism. The UNSC is facing a crisis of confidence as the structure that was envisioned at the end of World War II has now become unsuitable to meet contemporary challenges. Much more work needs to be done to meet its core objectives of reducing inequality, mitigating conflicts and addressing the threat of climate change. The ongoing pandemic has further exposed the failings of the existing global arrangements. The devastating impact of the virus has caused economic slumps, prompting the nations to focus more on protecting self-interests, thereby reducing international cooperation.
Over decades, the UN has, unfortunately, turned into a pliable tool in the hands of a few powerful nations rather than an institution to resolve global conflicts. It began its journey with World War II victors — the US, Russia, the UK, France and China — as permanent members of its Security Council. The Big Five exercised disproportionate clout by virtue of their nuclear arsenals. As a result, the UN has been fast losing its relevance. Countries like India get a temporary seat at the UNSC but have so far not been given a permanent seat despite having all the requisites. The main reason why India has not yet got a permanent seat in the Security Council is because of resistance from China. Former United States President Barack Obama had once supported India”s bid for a seat at UNSC but since then there has been no progress on this. For any other country to get a permanent seat in the UN body, amendments will have to be made to the UN Charter which requires a two-thirds vote of general members and the support of five permanent members. This is a tall order because the permanent members would not want to disturb the balance of power by including India or any other country as a permanent member. It will also open the floodgates and legitimise the bids of other countries like Japan, Germany, Brazil and Ukraine.