India Assumes Presidency Of UN Security Council For December


    In News

    • Recently, India assumed the monthly presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

    Key Points

    • About: 
      • This is the second time of monthly presidency in India’s two-year tenure as an elected member of the Council in 2021-22.
      • India had earlier assumed UNSC presidency in August 2021.
    • December Presidency: Two signature events at the ministerial level 
      • Reformed Multilateralism:
        • India will hold a “high-level open debate” on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security: New Orientation for Reformed Multilateralism” at the Security Council. 
        • New Orientation for Reformed Multilateralism (NORMS) envisages reforms in the current multilateral architecture, with the UN at its centre, to make it more representative and fit for purpose.
        • This open debate is intended to encourage UN member-states to take this conversation forward by deliberating on the elements of a new orientation for multilateralism, and on how best to move forward in this regard in a time-bound manner.
      • Counter-Terrorism:
        • The theme of this event is “Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts: Global Approach to Counter Terrorism — Challenges and Way Forward 
        • The threat of terrorism is grave, universal and transnational in character, this briefing intends to underscore the necessity of collective and coordinated efforts to combat the menace of terrorism. 
        • In recent times there has been a resurgence of terrorist activities and that the existing and emerging threats call for a renewed collective approach to terrorism
        • The briefing will provide an opportunity for (UNSC) members to build on the recent deliberations of the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee meeting.
      • Overall, during its eighth term as an elected member of the UNSC, India has endeavored to voice the key concerns of the Global South.

    United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

    • About: 
      • It is one of the UN’s six main organs and is aimed at maintaining international peace and security.
      • It held its first session on 17th January 1946 in Westminster, London.
      • Headquarters: New York City.
    • Membership:
      • The Council is composed of 15 Members:
        • Permanent members with veto power : 
          • China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
        • Ten non-permanent members: 
          • Albania, Brazil, Gabon, Ghana, India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, United Arab Emirates.
          • More than 50 United Nations Member States have never been Members of the Security Council.
    • Functions and Powers:
      • To maintain international peace and security in accordance with the principles and purposes of the United Nations;
      • To investigate any dispute or situation which might lead to international friction;
      • To recommend methods of adjusting such disputes or the terms of settlement;
      • To formulate plans for the establishment of a system to regulate armaments;
      • To determine the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression and to recommend what action should be taken;
      • To call on Members to apply economic sanctions and other measures not involving the use of force to prevent or stop aggression;
      • To take military action against an aggressor;
    • About UNSC elections: 
      • Each year the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members (out of 10 in total) for a two-year term.
      • The 10 non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis as follows:
        • Five for African and Asian States.
        • One for the Eastern European States.
        • Two for the Latin American and Caribbean States;
        • Two for Western European and other States
      • To be elected to the Council, candidate countries need a two-thirds majority of ballots of the Member States that are present and voting in the Assembly.
      • The UNSC elections were traditionally held in the General Assembly hall with each of the 193 member states casting its vote in a secret ballot. 
    • Membership of UNSC: 
      • Since its inception, the UNSC has been enlarged only once.
      • Even after that, P-5 has remained fixed, which is problematic as the membership of the UN has grown almost four times since its formation.
    • Veto Power: 
      • It has been the exclusive domain of P-5 members, which has been questioned by a lot of members.
      • Many countries have put question marks on the existence of veto, which is contrary to democratic principles.
    • Methods of Working: 
      • For example, before a document is adopted, each document must be translated into six languages, which mostly leads to discussions on the accuracy of these languages. This process has many times delayed the adoption of texts in the UN.
    • Criticisms of UNSC
      • It has been criticised for losing relevance, credibility and narrow leadership.
      • Due to the differences among the P-5 and other countries, the UN is losing coherence and focusing on issues of priority to all member states.
      • The council’s lack of multilateralism has also been criticised in the wake of the Syrian war crisis and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
      • No veto rights leave the non-permanent members toothless as they cannot assert their will on any matter of international concern and can merely persuade or dissuade other member states.
      • India has also constantly pointed to the lack of movement on reforms in the UNSC.
    • Need for UN Reforms:
      • Equitable World Order: There is a need for a more equitable world in order to uphold the principles of democracy at the global level.
      • Inclusivity: Developing countries like the African countries, need to be made stakeholders in the multilateral institutions and involved in the decision-making process.
      • Mitigation of New Threats: With rising protectionism, increased incidents of terrorism and the threat of climate change, the multilateral system must become more resilient and responsive.

    Challenges for India at UNSC

    • Chinese Challenge: 
      • India is entering the UNSC at a time when China is asserting itself at the global stage much more vigorously than ever. It heads at least six UN organisations — and has challenged the global rules.
      • China’s aggressive behaviour in the Indo-Pacific, as well as the India-China border, has been visible in all of 2020, and India will have to think on its feet to counter China.
      • China has aggressively tried to raise the issue of Kashmir at the UNSC.
    • Unstable West Asia and US-Russia relations: 
      • With relations between the US and Russia deteriorating, India has the challenge to balance both.
      • Even India has to opt balanced approach in the case of Israel and Palestinian and West Asia approach.

    Way Ahead

    • Asian Conflicts: Four major Asian conflicts are raging and diplomatic analysts say India should focus on resolving the conflicts in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Yemen and find a lasting solution to the troubles in Syria.
    • Focus on demands of those who elected us: India is an elected non-permanent member of the Security Council and had received support from the Asia-Pacific countries during the election. It is therefore hoped that the immediate issues of unfolding conflicts in the nearby areas will find greater attention during August.
    • Promote International Peace: There is a need to generate more focused attention and serve as a call for action in situations where global responses have been insufficient, and poorly coordinated.
    • Uphold rules-based multilateral system: Maintain a rules-based, multilateral system to face today’s many ongoing crises.

    Source: IE