UNSC Permanent Seat and India

  1. Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu recently expressed that India has a rightful claim to the permanent membership of the United Nation’s Security Council (UNSC). This in response to the latest UNSC meeting on Kashmir initiated by China .In 2016 Delivering a joint G4 statement,(G4 was created in the mid-2000s to voice a collective campaign of India, Germany, Japan and Brazil.) India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, stated that the grouping was eager for a forward discussion on UNSC permanent membership and reforms.
  2. Other Permanent members of the UNSC have never expressedely been against a Permanent seat for India.France views that it is a strategic need that India be a part of the permanent circle of UNSC.Russia also never refused support to India.USA generally holds the view that bigger countries with bigger population need to be present in the permanent council.US never said that they wouldn’t support India.However, when it comes to the actual processingnone of the P5 want to expand the UNSC.
  3. Apart from bilateral dialogues, and committee recommendations, there is no actual movement in the direction of UNSC reforms, even though the parent organization, UN, had reformed in the past few years.The process must go through a systematic way which is time consuming.There are problems within different groups of candidates.
    • Group of 77 (a coalition of 134 developing countries within UN) prefers text based negotiationsbut other countries do not agree. However, out of the 122 countries who gave their comment on text negotiations, 113 supported reforms in the UN and the UNSC.Uniting for Consensus (Coffee Club) members counter the claims raised by the G4 countries.
  4. Claims of Other Countries:The Claim of Japan to a permanent seat is opposed by ChinaGermany faces .Opposition from the UK, France, and other European powers such as Spain and Italy.Brazils claim faces Opposition from Argentina and Mexico (a country with a GDP comparable to that of Brazil).One of the biggest stumbling block in terms of UNSC expansion, is the claim of Africa, since there are internal divisions over who should be the candidate.South Africa is economically powerful but Nigeria tops in terms of population. Egypt also wants to be a candidate.
  5. UNGA adopted a resolution in 2015 to  use a text as the basis for discussions on UNSC reforms.The issue of expanding the UNSC and the Text Based Negotiation is expected to come up in the next UN General Assembly session in September. Those countries with a direct stake will take up the issue of UNSC reforms forward.But, the issue is not generating as much enthusiasm as it used to be.
  6. By winning the unanimous endorsement of the 55-nation Asia-Pacific Group at the United Nations Security Council, India has cleared an important hurdle in its quest for a non-permanent seat for 2021-22. The decision of the grouping this week was taken as India was the sole candidate for the post. In the next step, all 193 members of the UN General Assembly will vote for five non-permanent seats in June 2020, when India will need to show the support of at least 129 countries to go through to the UNSC. It will then occupy the seat at the UNSC for a two-year period, as it has previously on seven occasions since 1950-51.It is significant that despite the poor state of bilateral relations with Pakistan, and the many challenges India has faced from China at the UN, both the countries graciously agreed to the nomination.
  7. India was also in favour of remaining without a veto power for an initial period of, say ten years, if her claim for permanent membership is accepted.An idea of a combined European seat emerged in the mid-2000s.But, after the initiation of Brexit, UK is not keen to surrender the seat, which is one of their few remaining sources of international prestige.France will not agree to merge a seat with Germany either.

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