IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 3rd July 2020
“Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.” –Anonymous
EDITORIAL HUNT 102 :“UNSC Reforms and India“
T.P. Sreenivasan has served at the ambassadorial level at India’s missions to the UN in New York, Nairobi and Vienna.
He was also the head of the UN Division in the Ministry of External Affairs
In an uncertain world, a seat at the global high table
Counter-terrorism will be one of India’s highest priorities as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:United Nations : UNSC
India’s election as a non-permanent member for UNSC has reassured a hope again . This year UNSC saw a paradigm shift in casting votes . Comment -(GS 3)
- Voting methodology
- India’s Efforts in UN
- Need for UNSC permanent seat
- HOPES ALIVE : It is hoped that by then COVID-19 will have subsided, a U.S. President will have been elected, and the contours of a new world order may have emerged.
- DEBATE ON THE EXPANSION : Many countries which have never served on the Council have begun to claim their turn.
- NEW MEMBERS DOMAIN : Compared to the retiring members, the newly elected members are more politically significant.
ALL ABOUT THE CONTEST
- REGIONAL COMPETITION : The basic contest for the non-permanent seats takes place in the respective regional groups and their sub-groups.
- MANDATE : Voting in the General Assembly is to fulfil the requirement of countries having to secure a two-thirds majority of the member states.
- REGIONAL ENDORSEMENT : If there is regional endorsement, all countries, except those with any grievance against the candidates, vote for them and they sail through easily.
- PERSUASION TO VACATE : Those squatting countries have to be persuaded to vacate the place through various means.
- SECURING THE BEST : The two-thirds majority is assured, but the competition is to secure all the votes cast.
- SECRET BALLOT : But no one gets that as the ballot is secret and adversaries may vote against the candidates.
- VOTING SCENARIO : Ambassadors were allowed to enter the General Assembly Hall one by one to cast their ballots instead of the simultaneous voting that usually takes place.
- UNCONVENTIONAL CAMPAIGN : The campaign was also unconventional — it took place through Zoom conversations and the sharing of brochures and pamphlets rather than through meetings at bars and restaurants serving haute cuisine around the UN.
- INDIA’s ASSURED SUCCESS : Though India’s success was assured, the new Permanent Representative of India, T.S. Tirumurti, who has a formidable reputation for multilateral skills, produced an impressive multimedia presentation with memories of India’s sterling role in the annals of the UN.
ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
- DEFINING TERRORISM : The UN did not succeed in either defining terrorism or in adopting the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
- PRIORITIES : Counter-terrorism will be one of the highest priorities for India at the UNSC.
- QUEST FOR PERMANENT SEAT : India’s election as a non-permanent member has understandably ignited the hope that its quest for permanent membership of the Council may succeed.
- REGULATING CHARTER : Till today, none of the proposals has the possibility of securing two-thirds majority of the General Assembly and the votes of the five permanent members.
- LESS HOPES : It is fairly certain that no expansion of the permanent members will take place under the existing provisions of the Charter.
We may blame the permanent members for being adamant about protecting their privileged positions.
INDIA AND UNSC
- RESPECTABLE POSITION : India’s performance in the Council may earn it respect, but it will not lead to its elevation to permanent membership as the opposition to any expansion is not India-specific.
- PROFILE : India will have a higher profile at the UN for the next two years as the non-permanent members have a collective veto over every resolution in the Council.
- VOTING ON RESOLUTIONS : Permanent members can prevent adoption of resolutions by themselves, but they need at least nine votes to get a resolution passed.
- CONSULTATION CHAMBER : India will also have a rare peep into the consultations chamber of the UNSC, which is closed to non-members of the Council.
- WORK PRESSURE FOR MISSIONS : The pressure of work of the mission will also increase because India will get involved in many issues in which it may not have any direct interest.
- NEW ENERGY : India’s mission in New York has earned a reputation that it is next only to the permanent members in influence.
SOURCES: THE HINDU EDITORIAL | UNSC Reforms and India