IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 5th Jan
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.” —Proverb
EDITORIAL HUNT #300 :“A Roadmap to UNSC in 2021 | UPSC”
C. Raja Mohan
A Roadmap to UNSC in 2021 | UPSC
Delhi must integrate its UNSC engagement with broader national goals while adapting to changed realities
Delhi faces a different dynamic at UN Security Council since its last stint.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : International Grouping
Why is UNSC seat an important platform for diplomatic discussions. Are the current geopolitical arrangements conducive for a permanent seat for India? Comment -(GS 2)
- Significance of UNSC
- Changing needs and integration
- Geopolitical Issues and India
- UNSC and India
- Way Forward
- WIDENING INTERESTS : The range of Indian interests has expanded and so has the circle of India’s international partners.
- PRAGMATIC DECISION MAKING FORUM : That, in turn, should make India’s new stint at the UNSC more purposeful and pragmatic.
CHANGING NEEDS AND INTEGRATION
- MUCH NEEDED INTEGRATIONS : Purposefulness is about tightly integrating its UNSC engagement with India’s broader national goals.
- ADAPTATION AND RESILIENCE : Pragmatism demands adapting to the changed conditions at the UNSC and avoiding overly ambitious goals.
- COPING UP WITH INTERNAL ISSUES : Delhi had to fix its broken economy, put out political bushfires across the country and rejig its foreign policy to cope with the post-Soviet world.
- The West could not resist the temptations for geopolitical overreach at the UN.
- Liberals across the Atlantic sought to transform the “inter-national” forum into a “supra-national” institution that would actively reshape the domestic structures of different societies.
- Fast forward to 2011-12. A revived Russia and a rising China began to demur against the sweeping Western agenda at the UN.
- India’s own relative position improved in the first decade of the 21st century, thanks to rapid economic growth.
- Delhi was certainly less defensive than in the 1990s, but struggled to turn its new strengths into practical outcomes.
- A decade later, Differences between the US, China and Russia have become intractable.
- China has risen to be a great power and is making expansive claims and trying to redeem them.
- Meanwhile, Washington and Moscow have drifted apart and Russia has moved closer to China.
UNSC OBJECTIVES AND INDIA
- EFFICACY AND POWER DISTRIBUTION : One is about making the UNSC “effective”.The UNSC is becoming less effective today thanks to the deep divisions among the major powers.
- MORE REPRESENTATION : To make the UNSC more “representative” has been one of India’s demands since the end of the Cold War.Pessimists would urge Delhi to curb its enthusiasm.
- NO CHOICE BUT TO DEAL : Delhi, which was eager to build a multipolar world with Beijing, now finds itself in a unipolar Asia that is centred around China.
- BOUNDARY DISPUTE : India now joins the UNSC amid a continuing military standoff between the two armies in the high Himalayas following the Chinese aggression in the Ladakh region.
- CHINA ON ARTICLE 370 : China has repeatedly tried to get the UNSC to focus on India’s constitutional changes in Kashmir.
- CHINESE ON TERRORISM : On the question of cross-border terrorism, Beijing protects Pakistan from the international pressures that India has sought to mobilise at various fora.
- DEEPEN COLLABORATIONS : India could also use the UNSC tenure to deepen collaboration with its European partners like France and Germany in the security arena, and find common ground with “Global Britain”.
- SUSTAINED RELATION WITH RUSSIA : Delhi must also sustain an intensive dialogue with Moscow on all international issues, notwithstanding Russia’s worsening problems with the West and closer ties to China.
- REVITALISING GLOBAL SOUTH AGENDA : Delhi needs to revitalise its engagement with its traditional partners in the “global south” by articulating their peace and security concerns in the UNSC.
- CLIMATE CHANGE : Two sub-groups of the global south should be of special interest.The numerous small island states around the world face existential challenges from global warming and rising sea levels.
- SOVEREIGNTY AND SURVIVABILITY : They also struggle to exercise control over their large maritime estates. Supporting the sovereignty of the island states is a crucial political task for India.
AFRICA AS A PRIORITY
- MAJOR DELIBERATIONS : Nearly half of UNSC meetings, 60 per cent of its documents, and 70 per cent of its resolutions are about peace and security in Africa.
- INTENSIFYING ENGAGEMENTS : The UNSC tenure is a good moment for Delhi to intensify India’s engagement on peace and security issues in Africa at bilateral, regional and global levels.