Since the year 1945, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has been reformed only once, in the year 1963, to expand the number of non-permanent non-veto empowered members from six to 10. This does not reflect even the most basic realities of a world in which the population has grown from 2.3 billion, when the UN was established, to over 7 billion now, and the number of UN member countries has almost quadrupled from 51 to 193 and growing every year.
Since the year 1955, India has claimed permanent representation in the UNSC. In the later years, two of the defeated former global powers, Japan and Germany, have also staked a similar claim, due to their rapid rise in industrialisation and all round growth in GDP and contribution to rapid industrialisation, as has emerging power Brazil from the LATAM region. Numerous other countries also remain claimants to the additional UNSC seats, including two (unnamed so far) from the African Union and an Arab / Islamic country by raising the P nations from 5 to probably 9.
It is unacceptable that India, with a population of 1.3 billion, and almost US$2.9 Trillion economy, the third largest country in terms of purchasing power parity, a major nuclear weapons power with the third largest standing army in the world, and a major contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping missions, is not a member of the UNSC, that too when economically and morally exhausted nations like France and UK remain on the council, especially UK after Brexit, to whom not even Northern Ireland and Scotland or Whales do listen.
India’s forex reserves are at all time high at US$ 611.895 Billion as of 9th July 2021, data released by RBI on 16th July 2021, stands 4th in the world after China, Japan and Switzerland.👍👍👍. India’s GST collection is ₹1.08 lakh crores in June, 2021 despite of the lockdown everywhere in the country and is over ₹ one Trillion since October 2020.
Many spoilers without credible claims of their own are committed to derailing the chances of neighbours and rivals. But it is the opposition from the Uniting for Consensus (that includes Italy, Mexico and Pakistan – called the “Coffee Club” by UN diplomats) as well as the reluctance of existing members that has confounded the reform.
India’s Modi 2.0 government has taken up the issue not only in the General Assembly, but also at summit-level interactions with the US and China. After Modi’s White House meetings in September, 2014, President Barack Obama expressed his appreciation for India’s role in the peacekeeping operations for the last 60 years and reiterated his backing for a reformed UNSC with India as a permanent member.
In the past, France, UK, and Russia have also supported India’s claims to permanent membership. But the verbal support has so far not translated into any action.
Meanwhile, even as the reform remains in abeyance, global geopolitics have changed. Today, there are six major conglomerations of problems: the turmoil in West Asia, encapsulated by the brutal Islamic State, which is quickly redrawing the map of the region; the rise of an increasingly expansionist, imperialistic and assertive China; the deadly China virus, developed in the Wuhan Labs, the pot boiler called the Afghanistan and rise of Taliban, the political instability in Venezuela, which has created refugee problems in neighbouring Colombia and the renewed standoff between the West and Russia over the cybersecurity and ransomware attacks.
It is worth noting that although matters of war and peace are the core function of the UNSC, it has not been consulted on any of these issues. The most blatant instance was Obama’s address to the UN General Assembly on September 24, where he defended airstrikes on Syria and Iraq. The US did not deem it necessary, once again, to seek the approval of the UNSC. Sadly, then UN mild mannered Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was pressured to support the US’s unilateral actions, though he expressed the vain hope that the UNSC will lead the effort against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
In the east, China has completely rejected international arbitration on territorial disputes with its maritime neighbours, despite the Philippines taking the issue to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea and after winning the case has been bullied by the Communist China of Xi.
And amid steadily deteriorating Russia – West ties, US – led NATO has not taken the issue to the UNSC, though it has accused Moscow of breaching international law and compromising Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by annexing Crimea. With these disagreements as well as the opposing perspectives on Syria, the equation between the Western world and Russia has deteriorated to a point reminiscent of the hostilities between the two during the Cold War.
The new standoff over Ukraine has completely paralysed the UNSC. However, such disregard was already evident when the US invaded Iraq in 2003 without the United Nation Security Council’s authorisation, distorted the sense of UNSC Resolution 1973 on Libya in the year 2011 by justifying the invasion of that country, and recently ordered airstrikes on Syria.
These repeated unilateral actions raise questions about the UNSC’s relevance. It then becomes necessary to ask if India should persist in its efforts to be part of an organisation that lacks weight and sway.
In fact, whether India should seek membership is a matter of debate within the country. Former colonial powers are not going to allow a change, nor will China allow other Asian countries, particularly Japan, to enter. But there is also the view that though India may not gain much from becoming a part of an archaic organisation, the world needs an expanded UNSC that includes countries like India to influence the very ethos of the council. India supplied medicines to the whole world and engaged many nations with the Vaccine Diplomacy and helped many nations to get vaccinated to make new friends, world over.
At a time when faster growing economies, more youthful populations, and the concentration of natural resources are mainly in the developing world, as are problems like the dispersion of capacity to build weapons of mass destruction, a reform of global political management systems to respond to crises and violence such as the chaos in West Asia is even more imperative.
If the UNSC includes India and Brazil, and also represents Africa and West Asia, it will infuse the council with a deeper understanding and enable a wiser response to the world’s cascading political crises, unlike the hasty and excessive militarism of the West. Equations are changing China’s BRI is fast becoming a means to enslave African nations, China is seen more as a nation which swallows and enslave economies and nations are becoming vary of her intentions. Alternatives of BRI are also discussed in the world powers and funds are getting allotted and QUAD and QUAD plus is being worked out to muzzle the China in the Strait of Malacca.
Day in and day out stories emerge that it encourages local communist and left leaning journalist to palter news coverage, which promote China as a saviour of humanity and tries to reach the ground level by doling out free books and media onslaught.
Chinese are the new missionaries of the world, who had the bible, here it is Chinese propaganda and they convert the minds with free education and development economies with hidden lines in fine prints to say – I agree, like online agreements.
A new world order is needed and UN reforms are must. Luckily our beloved nation is member of UNSC as one of the P10 nations and is the chairperson of UNSC in this month.
World needs reforms, as G 7 will be added with more nations to become G 10 and India will be one of them. Both Russia and China have been removed from the current G 7 nations.
The world still has hope.