Topic: General Studies 2,3:
- Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
- Government policies and interventions for security
In an uncertain world, a seat at the global high table
Context: India will be back in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2021
By 2021, it is hoped that
- COVID-19 will have subsided
- U.S. President will have been elected,
- The contours of a new world order may have emerged
About this year’s election to non-permanent seat
- In the order of the number of votes received by each one, the countries elected were Mexico, India, Norway, Ireland and Kenya.
- Since there was no endorsement in the African Group, Kenya had to go for a second round against Djibouti.
- Kenya was the favourite of the West and Djibouti was supported by China and the Islamic states.
- In the Western European and Others Group, Canada lost to Ireland in a contentious contest.
What impact did COVID-19 have election process?
- Ambassadors were allowed to enter the General Assembly Hall one by one to cast their ballots instead of the simultaneous voting
- The campaign was also unconventional — it took place through Zoom conversations and the sharing of brochures and pamphlets, rather than through personal meetings
How will India gain by getting elected to UNSC as non-permanent member?
- Enhances hope for Permanent Seat: out of the 192 votes cast, India got 184 which has understandably ignited the hope that its quest for permanent membership of the Council may succeed
- Access to High Diplomacy: India will also have access into the consultations chamber of the UNSC, which is closed to non-members of the Council. It is there that hard negotiations take place without any public record.
- Push for India’s interest: Counter-terrorism will be one of the highest priorities for India at the UNSC.
- Higher Profile: India will have a higher profile at the UN for the next two years as the non-permanent members have a collective veto over every resolution in the Council.
- Active Diplomacy: Permanent members can prevent adoption of resolutions by themselves, but they need at least nine votes to get a resolution passed, where India can play active lobbying role which might serve its interests
Challenges for India
- India’s performance in the Council may earn it respect, but it will not lead to its elevation to permanent membership as there is strong opposition to any expansion from permanent members
- The pressure of work of Indian mission will also increase because India will get involved in many issues in which it may not have any direct interest.
- Since India does not have a veto, it shall have to proceed cautiously not to offend anyone particularly the veto members so that they don’t retaliate when India’s interests come up
Connecting the dots:
- Why League of Nations failed?
- History of UN and criticism of its working