Why India Shouldn't be Vying For a Security Council Seat

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India, along with countries like Germany and Brazil are vying for a Permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. When the elections for the 2 year rotation period of the non permanent members of the security council were held, 189 out of 192 countries voted for India to hold a 2 year term in the Security Council

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What is the security council and why is it important to India?

The security council is a body of the United Nations. It can be compared to the executive branch of a democratic government. The UNSC has 15 members in total which includes 5 permanent members and 10 non-permanent members. The 5 permanent members include the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Russia, France and China. The other 10 non permanent members and selected on a 2 year basis and elections are held to replace them every 2 years.

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

The various bodies of the United Nations include the General Assembly, the Economic and Social council (ECOSOC), the Human Rights Commission and many other bodies. Any resolutions that are passed in these bodies go to the Security Council for discussion and adoption. The permanent members of the security council possess a particular power called the “veto power”. So if any one of the permanent countries opposes the resolution, the resolution is thrashed. So even if the resolution has the backing of 4 permanent members and all 10 non-permanent members and even if 1 permanent member vetoes the resolution, then the resolution fails.

India wants a permanent seat in the Security Council so that it can also have a veto. When it has a security council seat, it will have more say in the United Nations and its affairs. It will also increase India’s prestige in the world and could also in some way fuel India’s growth.

Of course, it is in my opinion that India makes an ideal candidate for a permanent seat in the Security Council. It is a responsible country, it is a fledging democracy, it has an excellent nuclear record, it has enormous respect for the United Nations, not to mention that India is the third largest contributor of peacekeeping forces sending more than 8000 troops for peacekeeping missions all around the world and most importantly, India is one of the great powers today which is aiming to be a superpower in the next few decades.

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However, there is no reason why India needs a Security Council seat so bad.

Even when India is gripped by terrorist threats, the Indian government refuses to take any form of stern action because any decision is weighed in every aspect and that also includes the political aspect. One of the reasons includes that any action will give a chance for the world to deny India a seat in the Security Council. That is perhaps why India is always a very neutral country who does not take a stand.

This should be stopped. India obviously does not need a security council seat. First of all, it is questionable as to when India will be in the security council even if India was supported by all 5 permanent members. Experts say that reforms may come only after 20 years or more. India cannot afford to act impotent till then. And we may never know if India will be admitted to the Security Council with veto powers or not.

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And it is questionable to what will India gain after getting a security council seat. If India wants to see a resolution passed and if any of the other powers don’t agree with it, then it is thrashed. What is the use of India’s veto then?

Secondly, there is the question of all 5 members of the security council endorsing India’s bid for a permanent seat. Russia, France, UK and now even the USA has endorsed India’s bid for the permanent seat. But China is yet to endorse India’s bid and by the look of it, that seems to be quite unlikely considering the fact that they both are rivals in the region and they have had their share of disputes.

It would be a real shame if India came down on its knees in front of China for the sake of the Permanent seat in the Security council.

Besides, if India just wants a veto, then there is absolutely no need to try and get a permanent seat in the security council. Russia is India’s closest ally and it has always been very supportive of India especially in the international arena. Just as Israel asks the United States to veto any resolution that is anti-Israel, India can ask the Russians to veto any resolution which is anti-India and the Russians, being such good friends of India, will do it.

India should stop exercising restraint on the activities a state must do in order to protect its citizens because of a security council seat. India has lost respect in the world for being so meek and so unresponsive towards the threat of terrorism and national security. If India wants to change that, then India should stop worrying about a security council seat.

National law always has more priority over international law. India doesn’t need to fall in the hands of terrorism for a better PR record.

India does not need to worry about the Permanent seat in the security council. In due time, India will be a permanent member.

Copyright © 2010 AshwathKomath

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