By Chandeep Arora:
United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of United Nations responsible for maintaining international peace and security. Currently running with 5 permanent members, China, United Kingdom, Russia, United States and France, it also consists of 10 non-permanent (non-veto) members elected for a term of 2 years. This time India, after a span of 19 years grabbed the non-permanent slot with 187 countries voting in favor out of the 191 votes. Previously, India also served the UNSC in the year 1991-1992.
India is considering this selection as a precursor to becoming the permanent member of the UNSC. No doubt the election of India has proved its strong foothold in the world body; still it has a long way to go. The need of the hour is to maintain peace and security in its neighborhood. The Kashmir issue has troubled India for a long time and needs to be looked upon “seriously”. The fraught ties with Pakistan are a roadblock in its way to success and so is the security situation in Afghanistan. The Big 5 (permanent members) has a significant role to play. They need to revisit their concepts on bringing on basic reforms in the UNSC. Moreover, with our country’s entry into the Security Council it has several responsibilities and will have to live up to the expectations.
Despite of the obstacles in its way, India has support for the bid to become the permanent member. Though initially opposed by the China due to geo-political reasons, recent history has turned the official support for India’s candidature from negative to neutral to positive, in correlation with stronger economic ties. The U.S is also positive in the hold up and is eager to work with India and support the nation. The hold from other permanent members too gives the country a good position in the bid.
India has the world’s second largest population and is the world’s largest liberal democracy. It is also the world’s eleventh largest economy and fourth largest in terms of purchasing power parity. Currently, India maintains the world’s third largest active armed force. India is the third largest contributor of troops to United Nations Peacekeeping missions. Taking into account its huge population and growing economic and political clout, India is a strong contender to clinch a permanent seat.
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