Relevance of UN Reforms and India's Bid for Permanent SC Seat

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Relevance of UN Reforms

  • The United Nations is the central pillar of global governance. It is critical that its organs constantly ensure its principal importance, relevance and legitimacy in the international community.

  • The General Assembly today requires serious revitalization so that it actually plays its role as the chief deliberative and policy making body of the United Nations. It must also reclaim its place in taking the most important of administrative decisions in the United Nations. This is critical so that all 192 member-states have a full sense of participation in the United Nations and believe that their voice has impact.

  • The structure of the Security Council continues to reflect post Second World War and not contemporary realities. This detracts severely from its legitimacy. It also does not allow it to harness the benefits from the shifts in the global power balance in the last sixty-five years.

  • Security Council reform has been on the UN’s agenda for nearly two decades. Much of this time was spent in an endless open ended working group. However, the text based inter-governmental negotiations, that started last year, have now brought us to a turning point where we can move things forward with real negotiations on Council reform.

  • An overwhelming majority of UN member-states have repeatedly expressed themselves in favour of expansion of the Security Council in both its permanent and non-permanent categories and an improvement in its working methods. It is imperative that all the countries of Asia and Europe solidly support an expansion in both categories and collectively push for real reform of the Security Council.

  • The time for this reform has not only come, it is imperative that we brook no delay as that will only be at the expense of the United Nations, which is not in the interest of any of us, individually or collectively.

India’S Bid for Permanent SC Seat

G-4

  • G-4 is a group of four countries bidding for a permanent membership of the UNSC. The countries are: India, Japan, Brazil and Germany.

  • The support each other’s bid for the permanent seat

  • Countries that strongly oppose an expansion of UNSC have formed the United for Consensus movement (aka Coffee club) that comprises of over 40 countries.

    • The leaders of this movement are Italy, Pakistan, Argentina, Mexico and South Korea

Recent Developments

  • India elected as a non-permanent member of SC for 2011-12.

  • Through this India has the opportunity to strengthen its role as a global player in political issues

  • India will have to take position on important issues affecting the world

  • India’s problems in Kashmir ill serves its aspirations to join the league of permanent members.

  • With regard to the SC reforms, all P-5, except China have voiced an unequivocal support for inclusion of India in the reformed SC

  • As for India being a nuclear weapon state, it is increasingly being accepted in the statements by the leaders of the countries. In the 2010 visit of Sarkozy, Obama and Medvedev the joint statement referred to ‘states with nuclear weapons. Only China didn’t include this in the joint statement.

  • Till now as the NP member in 2011, India has

    • Become the chair of the counter terrorism committee

    • Chair of working group 1566 which deals with threats to international peace and stability by terrorist acts

G-20

  • In 2010, G-20 ministers decided to provide a larger share of quota to developing countries through reforms in the IMF.

  • India poised to become the eighth largest holder of quotas after the IMF reforms.

List of UNSC Non-Permanent Members (2011)

East Europe

Bosnia-Herzegovina

West Europe

  • Germany

  • Portugal

Asia

  • India

  • Lebanon

Africa

  • Gabon

  • South Africa

  • Nigeria

Latin America

  • Columbia

  • Brazil

Africa in UN

Ezulwini Consensus of AU calls for African countries being represented in the UNSC.

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