India eyes permanent UNSC seat

New Delhi is making a serious bid to get permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council, reports Sunny Sharma

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At present, there are five permanent members of the Security Council — China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the US — which all have veto powers to cast aside any resolution which could compromise world stability and security. 

How serious India is to gain UN Permanent Membership would be clear from the fact that the Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for renewed efforts by India to gain permanent membership of the UN Security Council. India, an important global power with 1.3 billion people has been calling for reform of the UNSC for quite some time, along with Brazil, Germany, and Japan. It argues that the country has earned the right to contribute to the world’s security.

This is what Vice-President of India said “The world needs India because the problems and challenges facing the planet today need a humane, holistic  vision,” Naidu stressed. “The world needs India because it needs a voice that speaks of peace, non-violence and peaceful coexistence.”

Yet despite calls to reform the UNSC, any changes to the composition of the chamber would require at least two-thirds approval from members of the General Assembly. Furthermore, all permanent members must consent to any expansion of the council to include new veto-yielding states.

Interacting with the Officer Trainees of the 2018 Batch of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Bhutanese Diplomats, the Vice President referred to the growing prominence of India on the world stage and underscored the need for  enhancing support from world nations and building a sustained dialogue in favor of UNSC reforms.

The Vice President also stressed the need to build a consensus for expansion and democratization of a number of multilateral fora to ensure representation to a number of other emerging nations. Congratulating the young officers for choosing IFS as a profession,  Naidu said that the Service offered a challenging and exciting career and a unique opportunity to take India’s great civilizational and cultural ethos with its developmental aspirations to the rest of the world.

Terming the young diplomats as ‘future spokespersons, interpreters, and narrators of India’s story to the world’, the Vice President said that they would soon work on constructing new bridges of understanding between India and the rest of the world. He told ‘You can play an important role in shaping the geopolitics of the future and in determining the new world order.’ Naidu cautioned that the return of the unwelcome tendency of protectionism would adversely impact the global effort for collective advancement. Despite the acknowledged need for an Integrated World Order, new walls are being to the free flow of goods and services and people as well, he added.

Outlining the challenges the budding diplomats would have to deal with, Naidu expressed his concern over the threat posed by terrorism. Observing that no country was immune to the consequences of terrorism, he called for a united response from world nations to curb the menace of terrorism. Pointing out that India consistently took an unrelenting and uncompromising stand against terrorism, he said, “we must continue to be champions of peace”.

Referring to the unethical acts of financial fugitives, the Vice President expressed his concern over the ease with which they find safe havens in other countries. He suggested the constant updating and overhauling of Extradition Treaties and all bilateral and multilateral agreements to defend and safeguard the integrated global economic order for the collective good.

The Vice President said that the world community would need India’s participation to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, because of the problems faced by the planet today needed a humane and holistic vision. The world needs India because it needs a voice that speaks of peace, non-violence and peaceful co-existence.

Expressing his happiness that India took the lead in building sustainable development solutions, he said the International Solar Alliance launched under India’s initiative in Paris was such an example.

Stating that India was moving on the development path swiftly,  Naidu said that the world was looking at India with keen interest. He emphasized the need to take advantage of this momentum by capitalizing on opportunities in areas of trade, services, investments, and infrastructure. “Diplomats must be proactive in enabling Indian industries and business to tap into world markets and must do their best in encouraging foreign investment to flow into India”, he stressed.  Describing the Indian Diaspora as an asset, he said they play an important role culturally as well as economically in the countries they live in.

The Vice President urged the young officers to develop a deep understanding of the countries of their posting and explore all opportunities for improving relations between those countries and India. He advised them to uphold the principles of Integrity, Probity, and conscientiousness at all times. He asked them to be India’s articulate voices, proactive catalysts of India’s prosperity and relentless advocates of Indian values of peaceful coexistence, inclusive and sustainable development. The Foreign Service offers you the privilege of being India’s ambassador’s to the world. The Service offers a challenging and exciting career and a truly unique opportunity to take our country’s great civilizational and cultural ethos with its developmental  aspirations to the rest of the world.

He said that the IFS officers would soon be given the crucial responsibility of being all the spokespersons, interpreters and narrators of India’s story to the world. They will construct new bridges of understanding, appreciation and collective advancement between India and the rest of the world and build new, forward-looking and stable partnerships between nations. They can play an important role in shaping the geopolitics of the future and in determining the new world order.

Naidu observed that “We are now living in a world that is more connected than ever before. The world is truly a Global Village. It is also swiftly changing in many unprecedented ways. The changing global geopolitical and geo-economic landscape requires a new agile, carefully strategized diplomatic response. I see a number of challenges that budding diplomats such as you would have to deal with and overcome. Despite the acknowledged need for an Integrated World Order, new ‘walls’ are being erected to the free flow of goods and services and people as well. This return of the unwelcome tendency of protectionism has the potential to adversely impact the global effort for collective advancement”.

He impressed upon them the grave nature of the threat that the world community as a whole faces due to terrorism. No country in the world is immune to the consequences of terrorism now and therefore curbing this menace would require a united response from world nations.  India has consistently taken an unrelenting and uncompromising stand against terrorism; we must continue to be champions of peace.  We are now confronted by the unethical acts of financial fugitives.  The ease with which they find safe havens in other countries escaping the long arm of law is a serious global concern. Extradition Treaties and all bilateral and multilateral agreements need to be constantly updated and overhauled to defend and safeguard the integrated global economic order for collective good.

To transform this world into the world we want, in consonance with the United Nations’ transformative, ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the world needs India. The world needs India not only because we are home to nearly 1.3 billion people comprising one- sixth of humanity. The world needs India because the problems and challenges facing the planet today need a humane, holistic vision.

The world needs India because it needs a voice that speaks of peace, non-violence and peaceful coexistence. The world needs India because it needs to harness the potential of dialogue and discussion, collaboration and cooperation. This vision and voice, this attitude and belief are what India has stood for over the last twenty millennia. This vision and voice of India is more relevant to the world than ever before.

Our core civilizational principle of viewing the world as ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and our prayer of ‘Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavanthu’ gives us the moral strength and courage to influence global discourse in these testing times of great turbulence. He said that “I am glad to note that India has taken the lead in building sustainable development solutions. International Solar Energy Alliance, launched under India’s initiative at the COP 21 in Paris is one such example. You must continually look for opportunities to provide similar leadership and lead the global agenda setting and implementation in as many fields as possible. Our foreign policy formulation and implementation must be firmly tied to the domestic development agenda. There is a constant need for sustained dialogue and exchange of information between India’s representatives abroad and those who are implementing the development initiatives back home”.

With India moving on the development path swiftly, the world is looking at India with keen interest. The Vice-President said that “We must not hesitate to take advantage of this momentum by capitalizing opportunities in areas of trade, services, investments, and infrastructure. Diplomats must be proactive in enabling Indian industries and business to tap into world markets and must do their best in encouraging foreign investment to flow into India”.

Indian Diaspora is a great strength of our nation. Diplomats must continually engage with Diaspora while also safeguarding their interests and looking after their welfare and ensuring that their efforts and goodwill is appreciated and channelized suitably. Just like the world needs India, India needs the world too. We need to learn and draw benefits from the good practices from all over the world. India is strong and is gaining in strength because we are open to good ideas from all over the globe. This is what the ancient sages had also said when they said: “Aa no bhadrah kratavo yantu vishwathaha” “Let noble thoughts come to us from all over the world”.

India has emerged as the fastest growing economy with global powers acknowledging India’s growth story.  We must renew our efforts to gain a permanent membership of the UN Security Council by further enhancing support from world nations and building a sustained dialogue in favor of UNSC reforms.  We have to build consensus for the expansion and democratization of a number of other multilateral fora to ensure representation of a number of other emerging nations.

Recently, France too supported India and said that India and nations like Germany, Brazil and Japan is “absolutely needed” as permanent members of a reformed and enlarged UN Security Council these permanent members were needed to better reflect contemporary realities and the addition of these key members to the UN high-table is among France’s “strategic” priorities, the French envoy to the UN has said.

Speaking alongside German envoy to the UN Christoph Heusgen at the end of Germany’s Presidency of the Council for April, Delattre emphasised that France considers that Germany, Japan, India, Brazil and a fair representation of Africa in particular are absolutely needed at the table to get towards fairer representation of the Security Council. This is for us a matter of priority.” He underlined that Paris believes the enlargement of the Security Council with the addition of a few key members is “one of our strategic priorities.”

India is at the forefront of efforts at the UN to push for the long-pending reform of the Security Council, emphasizing that it rightly deserves a place at the UN high table as a permanent member.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, speaking at the informal meeting of the Plenary on the Intergovernmental Negotiations on the question of equitable representation on an increase in the membership of the Security Council earlier this year, had said that on the issue of Categories of Membership’, a total of 113 Member States, out of 122 who submitted their positions in the Framework Document, support expansion in both of the existing categories specified in the Charter. In short, more than 90 per cent of the written submissions in the document are in favour of expansion in both categories of membership specified in the Charter, he had said.

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