IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 5th Jan

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.” —Proverb

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020-21.

EDITORIAL HUNT #300 :“A Roadmap to UNSC in 2021 | UPSC

A Roadmap to UNSC in 2021 | UPSC

C. Raja Mohan
A Roadmap to UNSC in 2021 | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

Delhi must integrate its UNSC engagement with broader national goals while adapting to changed realities

      CENTRAL THEME:

Delhi faces a different dynamic at UN Security Council since its last stint.

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : International Grouping

      MAINS QUESTION:

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)

      LEARNING: 

  • Significance of UNSC
  • Changing needs and integration
  • Geopolitical Issues and India
  • UNSC and India
  • Way Forward

      INTRODUCTION: 

  • DIPLOMATIC INTERACTION : The UNSC offers room for sustained diplomatic interaction between the major powers, who could minimise tensions and create new opportunities for cooperation.
  • COMMON PLATFORM : Much like the US and USSR that cooperated on issues relating to nuclear proliferation at the height of the Cold War, the US and China could explore potential common ground even amidst their broad-based confrontation.
  • WIDENING INTERESTS : The range of Indian interests has expanded and so has the circle of India’s international partners.

Delhi’s attitudes have also shifted from the reactive to the proactive

  • PRAGMATIC DECISION MAKING FORUM : That, in turn, should make India’s new stint at the UNSC more purposeful and pragmatic.

      BODY: 
A Roadmap to UNSC in 2021 | UPSC

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.

EXAMPLE
During 1991-92, Delhi saw the collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War and the new Russia’s turn to the US and the West.

  • 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.

GEOPOLITICAL ISSUES

  • 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.

For India, it was a moment to resist external imposition of solutions to its manifold problems — especially on the Kashmir question and the nuclear issue 

  • 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.

The UNSC system was designed to function as a concert of five powers. Unanimity among the five permanent members with veto powers was rare during the Cold War decades

  • 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.

China has no interest in letting two other Asian powers — India and Japan — join the UNSC as permanent members 

  • 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.

On the nuclear front, China continues to block India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group 

  • 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.

      IASbhai Windup: 

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.

The continent has three seats in the UNSC (Kenya, Niger and Tunisia) and there is regular consultation between the UNSC and the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU)

  • 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.
SUGGESTED READING : UNSC REFORMS AND INDIA 
       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | A Roadmap to UNSC in 2021 | UPSC

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