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Focus: GS-II International Relations


India will be back in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2021 at a critical time in the history of the UN.

All about the contest

  • The basic contest for the non-permanent seats takes place in the respective regional groups and their sub-groups.
  • Voting in the General Assembly is to fulfil the requirement of countries having to secure a two-thirds majority of the member states.
  • If there is regional endorsement, all countries, except those with any grievance against the candidates, vote for them and they sail through easily.
  • But regional endorsement is becoming difficult as countries inscribe their names years in advance and those squatting countries have to be persuaded to vacate the place through various means.
  • Last time, it was Kazakhstan which vacated the place for India; this time, it was Afghanistan.

What voting against a country might mean?

  • When it comes to Voting in the General Assembly, usually no one gets all votes cast, as the ballot is secret and adversaries may vote against the candidates.
  • Out of the 192 votes cast, India got 184 and no one will ever know the eight countries that did not vote for India.
  • But it is a matter of concern that there are so many countries with grievances against India.

Permanent membership

  • India’s election as a non-permanent member has understandably ignited the hope that its quest for permanent membership of the Council may succeed.
  • A majority of the UN members are against the privileges of the permanent members, particularly the veto.
  • The debate of increasing the number of Permanent Members of the UNSC has thrown up many ideas, but till today, none of the proposals has the possibility of securing two-thirds majority of the General Assembly and the votes of the five permanent members.

Significance of India’s Current Position as a non-permanent member

  • 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.
  • Permanent members can prevent adoption of resolutions by themselves, but they need at least nine votes to get a resolution passed.
  • India will also have a rare peep 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, characterised by arm-twisting and threats of veto.
  • The pressure of work of the 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.

Click Here to read more about the UNSC and India’s Membership

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024