India deserves a permanent seat in UNSC | Daily News

India deserves a permanent seat in UNSC


If our neighbour and friend India is not given a permanent seat in the Security Council, it is some loss to India, but it is a greater loss for the United Nations. If the UN wants to maintain its relevance in the 21st Century, then it needs to be more inclusive. India, by any objective criteria - such as population, territorial size, GDP, economic potential, civilizational legacy, cultural diversity, political system, is eminently qualified for permanent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) membership. The Indian tryst for permanent membership of Security Council flows broadly from a mix of, three streams - India’s historic association with the UN system, India’s intrinsic value in contemporary international politics and its role as the leader of developing countries. India is making a legitimate claim for its rightful place in the changing architecture of global governance, including the UN Security Council A victory for India will surely mean a victory for Sri Lanka, its friend for centuries.

After the First World War, the League of Nations was established in January 1920 with the Treaty of Versailles. But the Second World War led to the demise of the League. A second attempt to unite the world for peace was made with the United Nations. Formed on October 24, 1945, the United Nations was a radiant beacon of hope for the post world war geopolitics.

The UNSC has five permanent members: China, France, Russian, United Kingdom, and the United States, and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly. Germany, Brazil, Japan and South Africa are pitching for a permanent seat at the Security Council. Today we can see that the P-5 nations have experienced considerable reduction in their power, as compared to decades ago. The power realities of the 21st Century and the definition of peace and security, which the United Nations Security Council undertook to protect at its formation, have undergone change. Many will agree the West has lost the moral authority it had once sought to spread around the world.

UN Peacekeepers. 

According to article one of chapter one of the Charter of the United Nations – “To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace”. - all member nations are equal.

The United Nations Security Council is a vital organ of the UN. Ensuring international peace and security, recommendations for the admission of new UN members in the General Assembly and approving changes to the UN Charter, peacekeeping operations, international sanctions, and military actions are under the jurisdiction of the UNSC. Today a large number of countries are facing asymmetric threats and are trying to combat these on stand-alone mode, despite acknowledging that problems (especially terrorism) have regional and international linkages. The problem is more acute for certain nations.

China, who is also a friend of Sri Lanka, in particular should support India’s ascension to permanent membership on the Security Council, a change that would reflect India’s global influence and a world order shifting away from the West’s dominance. China has repeatedly affirmed that the era of Western hegemony and dominance has ended. We in Asia must unite and emerge as a strong stakeholder in global peace and stability. India’s role as a stabilizing force in Asia, its vast economic might, its culture — have all proven to wield substantial soft power over countries and peoples across the world.

In its years of independent history, the Republic of India always remained a democracy. Democracy is not the only merit of India. India has the second largest population in the world. India is also a major military power. Global Fire Power Index ranked India 4th out of 142 nations in 2022. India is among the largest contributors to the UN Peacekeeping Forces. Today, most significantly, India has almost twice the number of peacekeepers deployed on the ground as much as by Permanent five countries. More than 200,000 Indian troops have served in 49 of the 71 UNPKOs deployed so far.

From November 1956 to May 1967, eleven infantry battalions from India served by rotation in the UN Emergency Force (UNEF 1). In 2007, India became the first country to deploy an all-women contingent to a UN peacekeeping mission. The Formed Police Unit (FPU) in Liberia provided 24-hour guard duty and conducted night patrols in the capital Monrovia.

India has been bidding for the permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council since 1994 when India made its intention clear in the General Assembly that it was prepared to bear the responsibility of the permanent membership of the UNSC. It is necessary to put India’s case within larger context of changing power realities and the emerging definitions of peace and security.

India became the fifth largest economy in the world surpassing Britain. India is the fastest-growing economy and emerging regional power in geopolitics. India has been an active participant in all initiatives undertaken by the United Nations - Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable development goals and various UN summits, including on Climate Change. India is the undisputed leader of the Third World countries, as reflected by its leadership role in Non-Aligned Movement. Indians at home and in the diaspora play a prominent role in shaping global geopolitics. Indian origin CEOs living overseas, have dominated global business companies, especially in the IT sector.

By empowering India through Security Council membership, the United Nations would equip the country’s leadership with prestige and credibility as an international actor. Permanent members are subject to heightened scrutiny of moral standards. India also adheres to the principle of Panchsheel whose relevance is timeless. The principle of Panchsheel is based on mutual respect for sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference, equality and peaceful coexistence. Solidarity cannot be forged through inequality. India has been a consistent propagator of peace everywhere in the world. Participating in such actions demonstrates Indian commitment to world peace. India rightfully deserves a permanent seat in the UNSC. 

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