India’s presidency and its quest for an expanded UN Security Council

  • IASbaba
  • August 10, 2021
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Spotlight 28 July, 2021: AIR NEWS EXCLUSIVE- Discussion on India’s presidency and its quest for an expanded UN Security Counsil


  • GS-2: India Foreign Policy
  • GS-2: International Organisation, their structure & functioning.

India’s presidency and its quest for an expanded UN Security Council

  • India’s two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the Security Council began on January 1, 2021.
  • India will take over the Presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on August 1 and is set to host signature events in three major areas of maritime security, peacekeeping and counterterrorism during the month.
  • External Affairs Ministry said, India’s vision has been steered by Dialogue and Cooperation, mutual respect and commitment to international law.
  • In its presidency, India will be guided by the principles of Transparency, credibility, accountability and effectiveness. Maritime security, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism will be the focus areas for India during its presidency.
  • The Ministry said, as a founding member of the UN, India is committed to multilateralism, Rule of Law, and Fair and equitable international system.

India and UN Security Council

  • India was offered seat at UNSC way back in 1950 by USA (the US had begun mounting pressure on India for a permanent seat as early as 1950, wanting her to take the place of China.) 
  • The 1955 offer was made by USSR to India for a permanent seat in the UN (at a time when the USSR and China’s alliance had reached a certain height). 
  • China has been stonewalling India’s efforts to become member of the UN’s powerful body for years, pointing to the lack of consensus even though the other four permanent members, the US, the UK, France and Russia have expressed backing for New Delhi’s membership.

India’s Bid for Permanent Seat In UNSC

  • India has basically followed two strategies for the expansion of the Security Council. “The first focuses on a narrow major-power claim, which emphasizes India’s capabilities and contributions to the UNSC as the basis for permanent membership”.
  • The second approach basically focuses on the “problem of representation in the UNSC and makes the case for expanding both permanent and non-permanent categories of membership with a view to ensuring that the world’s foremost organization for international peace and security reflects the dramatically altered distribution of power since 1945.

Issues India need to overcome in Getting a Permanent Seat at UNSC

  • Although it may seem like a simple process, it is made difficult by the objections of certain permanent members of the Security Council. China, in particular, has been blocking India’s push for a permanent seat at the Council. China believes that granting India a permanent seat at the UNSC will lead to Indian interests being of paramount importance in the geopolitics of the subcontinent, a sentiment echoed by its ally, Pakistan.
  • In addition to this, India is also seen as a proliferating nuclear power. Analysts believe that this is the single most factor that is being a roadblock for India’s UNSC dreams.
  • India should make effort to counter terrorism and should ensure it end once and for all and that we have in place a global convention on counter terrorism. All parts of world are suffering from this issue and India is making good efforts already.
  • The recent discussions on the global counter-terrorism strategy which India adopted has strengthened the efforts to combat terrorism, for example in the financing of terrorism and the use of new technology like artificial intelligence, drones etc.

Criticism of UNSC

  • Unlike the General Assembly which truly represents the interests of all the member states, the Security Council represents the interest and domination of only the five permanent members which includes China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
  • Another criticism of the UNSC includes the veto power exercised by the five permanent members. For passing any resolution, the approval of all the five permanent members is necessary and even if one of the members says no the resolution cannot be passed. This right to veto has been misused by the members. 

Can you answer this question now?

Discuss the structure and functioning of UNSC. Also mention the issues India need to overcome in Getting a Permanent Seat at UNSC.

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