India’s effort for permanent seat

India’s effort for permanent seat
Highlights

US ambassador to the United Nations (Nikki Haley) said that America was open to UN reforms to expand the permanent membership of the security council but the key for India to get there would be to “not touch” the issue of veto power that current members are neither willing to share nor give up.

US ambassador to the United Nations (Nikki Haley) said that America was open to UN reforms to expand the permanent membership of the security council but the key for India to get there would be to “not touch” the issue of veto power that current members are neither willing to share nor give up.

However, the Indian “government sources” stated that there was no change in India’s stand that it should have “the same obligations, responsibilities and prerogatives as the existing permanent members of the Security Council.”

Background
A permanent seat in the UN Security Council is well deserved by India.
The UN needs to be restructured to present the geopolitical realities of the 21st century· India rightly deserves a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, due to being the largest democracy in the world, home to 1/6th of mankind of the world, 4th largest economy.
One of the largest peace-keeping contributor to the UN and given its credentials in world peace and interests of the developing countries.
A formula to expand the Security Council is being prepared. India has started efforts in this direction by adopting various policies to secure its permanent candidature.
India has also campaign this cause at various meetings, summits conferences and forums to win support from nations of the world and has succeeded in this attempt to a greater extent.
India discusses this point and gets support from friend countries in bilateral talks and relations.
India has formed a group with Japan, Germany and Brazil, collectively known as G-4 who want permanent seats for themselves. G-4 has put forward a draft resolution calling for an expansion of UN Security Council.
Apart from this, India has received a lot of support from a majority of countries, mostly developing, who have pledged individual support to India’s candidature.
All these efforts of India have yield better fruits in form of affirmative support to India’s candidature.
All these efforts of India have yield better fruits in form of affirmative support of the UN Security Council.
However, few countries like Pakistan, Argentina, South Korea and Italy have also formed a coffee club to oppose G-4 resolution.
India believes that the United Nations (UN), especially the UN Security Council (UNSC), must reflect contemporary global realities.
For this purpose the reform of the UN including the expansion of the UNSC in both permanent and non-permanent categories is essential.
To this end, the Government of India has been actively working along with other like-minded countries for building support among the UN membership for a meaningful restructuring and expansion of the UNSC.

What is UNSC
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action.
Its powers are exercised through United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
The Security Council held its first session on 17 January 1946 at Church House, London.
Since its first meeting, the Council, which exists in continuous session, has traveled widely, holding meetings in many cities, such as Paris and Addis Ababa, as well as at its current permanent home in the United Nations building in New York City.
There are 15 members of the Security Council, consisting of 5 veto-wielding permanent members (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States) and 10 elected non-permanent members with two-year terms.
This basic structure is set out in Chapter V of the UN Charter. Security Council members must always be present at UN headquarters in New York so that the Security Council can meet at any time.
This requirement of the United Nations Charter was adopted to address a weakness of the League of Nations since that organization was often unable to respond quickly to a crisis.

Why is UNSC reform necessary?
The current permanent members of the Security Council are the five nations that were made permanent members in the charter when the United Nations was founded.
These countries were the victors in the World War II and China were their allies. UNSC reform is the need of the hour because,
UNSC still reflects the geopolitical architecture of the Second World War.
It was expanded only once in 1963 to add 4 non-permanent members.
Since then the membership of the United Nations has increased from 113 to 193 without any change in the composition of the UNSC.
No permanent member from Africa, despite 75% of work of the UNSC focused on Africa.Unable to respond effectively to situations of international conflict.
India and a large number of countries believe that the current UN and its powerful Security Council does not reflect the ground realities of the 21st century.

Challenge of UN and why this institution to be reformed
The institution, formed to meet the challenges of the post-War world, has struggled to cope with the dynamics of the post-Soviet Union world order.
In the past quarter century, the global order has seen massive changes, from American unilateralism to the rise of multilateral institutions such as BRICS.
The developing nations, including India, now play a larger role in both the international economy and politics.
But these changes are not reflected in the UN, where all critical decisions are still being taken by the veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council.
Besides, the geopolitical rivalry among the permanent members has prevented the UNSC from coming up with effective mechanisms to deal with global crises.
Syria is a case in point. Even as a humanitarian tragedy is unfolding in Syria, there is no consensus in the Security Council on how to tackle it. Even UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon admitted recently that the UNSC had failed Syria.
If the UN still shies away from reforming the Security Council, the possibility of the institution being sidelined by emerging powers cannot be ruled out.
The resolution adopted in the General Assembly offers a chance to break the logjam.

Exclusive Nuclear Club
There has been criticism that the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, who are all nuclear powers, have created an exclusive nuclear club that only addresses the strategic interests and political motives of the permanent members; for example, protecting the oil-rich Kuwaitis in 1991 but poorly protecting resource-poor Rwandans in 1994. Critics have suggested that the number of permanent members should be expanded to include non-nuclear powers, or abolishing the concept of permanency altogether.

The veto power of the five permanent nations
Another criticism of the Security Council involves the veto power of the five permanent nations; a veto from any of the permanent members may cripple any possible UN armed or diplomatic response to a crisis.
John J Mearsheimer claimed that "since 1982, the US has vetoed 32 Security Council resolutions critical of Israel, more than the total number of vetoes cast by all the other Security Council members."
The practice of the permanent members meeting privately and then presenting their resolutions to the full council as a fait accompli has also drawn fire.
On the other hand, a 2005 report by the American Institute for Peace on UN reform states that contrary to the equality of rights for all nations enshrined in the UN Charter, Israel continues to be denied rights enjoyed by all other member-states, and a level of systematic hostility against it is routinely expressed, organized, and funded within the United Nations system.+ Since 1961, Israel has been barred from the Asia regional group and therefore could not even theoretically be a member of the Security Council. In 2000, it was offered limited membership in the Western European and Others Group (WEOG).
Its effectiveness and relevance
Other critics and even proponents of the Security Council question its effectiveness and relevance because in most high-profile cases, there are essentially no consequences for violating a Security Council resolution.
During the Darfur crisis, Janjaweed militias, allowed by elements of the Sudanese government, committed violence against an indigenous population, killing thousands of civilians.
In the Srebrenica massacre, Serbian troops committed genocide against Bosniaks, although Srebrenica had been declared a UN "safe area" and was even protected by 400 armed Dutch peacekeepers.

Undemocratic
Other critics call the UN undemocratic, representing the interests of the governments of the nations who form it and not necessarily the individuals within those nations. The UN Charter gives all three powers of the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches to the Security Council.
Five permanent members as largest arms dealing countries in the world
Another concern is that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council are five of the top ten largest arms dealing countries in the world.
The Amount of Time Devoted to the Israeli-Arab Conflict in the UNSC has been described as excessive by some pro-Israel political organizations and academics, like United Nations Watch, the Anti-Defamation League, Alan Dershowitz, Martin Kramer, and Mitchell Bard.
INDIA to get UN Security Council Seat
Thanking the member states of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that elected India as a non-permanent member of the organization, Union External Affairs Minister said diplomats working around the clock had ensured that India won well over the two-thirds required to record a win or endorsements from at least 128 members out of the total strength of 192.
It was the first time that India's close allies such as Brazil and South Africa, besides the five permanent members, will be represented on the UNSC.
India had no competitor from Asia group after the withdrawal of Kazakhstan.
The last time India was part of the UNSC was in 1991-92. It suffered a shock defeat in 1996 when it lost to Japan despite banking on solidarity among developed countries. India will take over as a UNSC non-permanent member from Japan on January 1, 2011, for the seventh time.
However, on the issue of a permanent seat in an expanded UNSC, the five permanent members were not as enthusiastic as developing nations and felt they were delaying the process. On the other hand, the Group of Four (G-4) — India, Brazil and Germany and Japan (with South Africa kept in the loop) — have been trying to hasten the process of reforms.
Despite “overwhelming” consensus among member countries, he pointed out that the expansion of the UNSC would be an uphill task unless the five permanent members were “willing to play ball with us.” “The UN charter was written in 1945. We are now at the end of the first decade of the 21st century and do not see UN reforms coming yet. But India is also aware of the severe limitations that are imposed by the other circumstances, where entrenched powers are not as enthusiastic as many developing countries,” he added

Reform process
In New York, India has urged the U.S. to take the lead in the reform process and work with Russia and China to address their “insecurities” regarding UNSC reform. In a meeting with the other G-4 members, he wanted them to continue working towards achieving early reform
What are India’s credentials to become

UNSC permanent member?
India has been an extensive contributor to the activities of the UN particularly the maintenance of international peace and security. By any objective criteria such as population, territorial size, GDP, economic potential, civilizational legacy, cultural diversity, political system and past and on-going contributions to the activities of the UN, India is suited for permanent membership of an expanded UNSC.
India’s performance as a non-permanent member of the Security Council during 2011- 2012 has also significantly strengthened India’s claim to permanent membership.
Based on these credentials, the Government of India has strongly put across to the international community India’s case for permanent membership of the Security Council.

What are the efforts made by India for its quest for being represented in the permanent category?
For a long time, India has been calling for reform of the UN Security Council.
India along with Brazil, Japan and Germany (together known as the G-4) has proposed expansion of the membership of the UNSC in both the permanent and non-permanent categories.
Separately, India is spearheading a group of around 42 developing countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America– called the L.69 Group – which has demanded urgent action on the UNSC reform front.
India is also pursuing the matter through bilateral channels with our interlocutors.
Last month, foreign ministers of G4 countries met in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly to push their case for reform of the UNSC.
A large number of countries have supported India’s initiatives for reform of the UNSC as well as endorsed its candidature for permanent membership. India has also received support from several other multilateral groupings including BRICS and IBSA.

What is the US stand?
US told all members of the UN that it is in support of Security Council reform, as long as its veto power is not taken away.
However, the new candidates were only demanding the same veto power for themselves, and the U.S. and other permanent members were firm in rejecting such demands.US ambassador to the UN, latest comment was even more specific about the veto.
Statement said that the key to India becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council is “not to touch the veto”,

What is stand of other four permanent members on UNSC reforms?
Among the permanent members, the opinion of France was closest to India’s in the sense that it supported the addition of five new permanent members, including India, without any objection to veto being extended to them.
The U.K supported the G-4 without the power of veto. Russia, an old supporter of India, was non-committal China indicated that the time had not come for any serious negotiations on the subject.

What is the expected impact of India’s permanent membership?
New included members will get to say in the matters of war and peace.India can represent or lead other countries to stop western forces from promoting their vested interests. Will help India to put forward its interest in a better way. India will have leverage in geopolitics, military, economic and political groupings and negotiations as permanent member of UNSC.

The wayforward
As the world’s largest democracy, the second most populous and, perhaps, the most diverse nation, the third largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity and consistently the fourth largest troop and police contributor to UN peacekeeping missions, India clearly would meet almost any criteria to be a member of UNSC.
• The P-5 is not at all enthusiastic about opening their club to others. But the present configuration of the Security Council should help in projecting the argument that the permanent membership needs to reflect the changed realities of the world.
• The Council currently includes ten non-permanent members and five permanent members (P5) who hold veto power, consisting of the post-World War II powers of the United Kingdom, United States, China, USSR (now Russian Federation) and China.
• In order to enhance regional representation, there is consensus that the council must be enlarged to improve the current makeup, giving more weight to regions such as Africa, the Asia-Pacific and Latin America/Caribbean states, especially when most agenda issues center on these regions.
• While an enlarged Council should address any democratic deficit and improve multilateralism, a modest increase has been preferred by P5 members to ensure it remains effective and does not descend into a talk shop unable to act quickly.

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