UPSC CSE MAINS SYLLABUS- GS – 2- Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
India & UNSC seat
India at UNSC
- India has served in the UN Security Council seven times previously.
- In 1950-51, India, as President of UNSC, presided over the adoption of resolutions calling for cessation of hostilities during the Korean War and for assistance to Republic of Korea.
- In 1967-68, India co-sponsored Resolution 238 extending mandate of UN mission in Cyprus.
- In 1972-73, India pushed strongly for admission of Bangladesh into UN. The resolution was not adopted because of a veto by a permanent member.
- In 1977-78, India was a strong voice for Africa in the UNSC and spoke against apartheid. Then External Affairs Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee spoke in UNSC for Namibia’s independence in 1978.
- In 1984-85, India was a leading voice in UNSC for resolution of conflicts in the Middle East, especially Palestine and Lebanon.
- In 1991-92, PM P V Narasimha Rao participated in the first ever summit-level meeting of the UNSC and spoke on its role in maintenance of peace and security.
- In 2011-2012, India was a strong vice for developing world, peacekeeping, counter-terrorism and Africa. First statement on Syria was during India’s Presidency at the UNSC.
- During the 2011-12 term, India chaired the UNSC 1373 Committee concerning Counter-Terrorism, the 1566 Working Group concerning threat to international peace and security by terrorist acts, and Security Council 751/1907 Committee concerning Somalia and Eritrea.
- India played an active role in discussions on all issues related to international peace and security, including several new challenges which the UNSC was called upon to deal with in Afghanistan, Cote d’Ivoire, Iraq, Libya, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Issues before India:
- New Delhi has said it is essential that the Security Council is expanded in both the permanent and non-permanent categories.
- It says India is eminently suited for permanent UNSC membership by any objective criteria, such as population, territorial size, GDP, economic potential, civilizational legacy, cultural diversity, political system and past and ongoing contributions to UN activities — especially to UN peacekeeping operations.
- The international effort against terrorism is a key priority for India in the UN.
- With the objective of providing a comprehensive legal framework to combat terrorism, India took the initiative to pilot a draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in 1996.
- A text of the Convention is being negotiated in the 6th Committee of the UN General Assembly.
- India worked closely with its partners in the UNSC to ensure the listing of Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar under the UNSC’s 1267 Sanctions Committee (May 2019) concerning al-Qaida and ISIS and associated individuals and entities, which was pending since 2009.
The China challenge:
- India is entering the UNSC at a time when Beijing is asserting itself at the global stage much more vigorously than ever.
- It heads at least six UN organisations — and has challenged the global rules.
- China’s aggressive behaviour in the Indo-Pacific as well as the India-China border has been visible in all of 2020, and New Delhi will have to think on its feet to counter Beijing.
- At Pakistan’s behest, China has tried to raise the issue of Kashmir at the UNSC — but has not found much support. There is some discussion among the strategic community in New Delhi on raising the issues of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Tibet at the UNSC.
- India will weigh the pros and cons with partners on what steps to take in this direction.
- The polarising politics inside India gives a window of opportunity to its rivals, and opens up the possibility of criticism — especially on human rights issues.
POSSIBLE UPSC MAINS QUESTION:
Provide an assessment of India’s performance as a non-permanent member in the UNSC so far. Also discuss the future prospects.