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25 Oct

UN Security Council

The UNSC was established keeping in mind certain key features and powers. Given below are the functions and powers of the United Nations Security Council:

  1. The most important function of the UNSC is maintaining peace and security at the international level. It takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to peace or act of aggression.
  2. Apart from maintaining peace, the Security Council can also deploy UN peacekeeping operations and impose sanctions on states.
  3. The UNSC can also impose diplomatic relations severance, financial restrictions and penalties, blockades and even collective military action if required.

UNSC Members

There are permanent and non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

  • A total of 15 members are there in the Council, out of which 5 are permanent and 10 are not permanent.
  • The five permanent members include China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
    • The 10 non-permanent members are:
      • Estonia
      • India
      • Ireland
      • Kenya
      • Mexico
      • Niger
      • Norway
      • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
      • Tunisia
      • Viet Nam
  • The non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
  • Five members of the UNSC are replaced every year.
  • The members are selected from all the regions of the world. Three members are from Africa, while Asia, Western Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean have two members each. Three members are from African group, 2 members are from Asia-Pacific group, 2 members from Latin America and Caribbean group,  2 members from Western Europe group and 1 from Eastern Europe group.

The First Session of the UN Council was held in London on 17th January 1947. The five permanent members are given ‘great power unanimity’ referred to as the veto power, which means if any of these countries veto a resolution it can’t be passed even if it has the 9 votes needed.

India Elected as Non-Permanent Member of UNSC

In June 2020, India was elected to the UNSC as a non-permanent member, winning 184 out of the 193 votes at the UNGA. This membership is for 2021-22. India was the only candidate from the Asia-Pacific category for the year 2021-22. This is India’s eighth stint at the UNSC. Previously, India had been a member in the years 1950-1951, 1967-1968, 1972-1973, 1977-1978, 1984-1985, 1991-1992 and 2011-12.

Few Important Points related to India being Non-Permanent Member of UNSC – 

India through this non -permanent membership is committed to promoting responsible & inclusive solutions to international peace & security and multilateralism.

5S approach of India – 

  • Samman – Respect
  • Samvad – Dialogue
  • Sahyog – Cooperation
  • Shanti – Peace
  • Samriddhi – Prosperity

Associated Opportunities-

  1. India calls for greater involvement of women and youth to shape a new paradigm.
  2. India will work constructively with partners to bring innovative and inclusive solutions to foster the development
  3. A rapidly shifting global security landscape, the persistence of traditional security challenges, and the emergence of new and complicated challenges, all demand a coherent, pragmatic, nimble, and effective platform for collaboration to ensure sustainable peace.
  4. India will effectively respond to International Terrorism and will combat this menace in all its forms and manifestations. India will pursue concrete and result-oriented action by the Council aimed at:
    • Addressing the abuse of ICT by terrorists;
    • Disrupting their nexus with sponsors and transnational organized criminal entities;
    • Stemming the flow of terror finance;
    • Strengthening normative and operative frameworks for greater coordination with other multilateral forums
  5. Reforming Multilateral System –
    • Reformed multilateralism: a must for the post-COVID19 era.
    • Promote greater cooperation in multilateral institutions.
    • Widespread concern at the inadequacy of the existing multilateral institutions to deliver results or meet new challenges.
    • A first and vital step is the reform of the Security Council. It must reflect contemporary realities to be more effective.
  6. comprehensive approach to International Peace and Security –
    • To harmonize national choice and international priorities, India’s vision for international peace and security is guided by –
      • Dialogue and cooperation
      • Mutual Respect
      • Commitment to International Law
  7. Innovative uses of technology offer promising opportunities to address humanitarian challenges. India will encourage partnerships to harness the benefits of technological innovation to –
    • Reduce Human suffering
    • Enhance ease of living
    • Build Resilient Communities
  • India’s UNSC Presidency:
    • India will decide the UN body’s agenda for the month and coordinate important meetings on a range of issues.
    • It is going to organise key events in three major areas of maritime security, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism.
      • The Security Council will also have on its agenda several important meetings including Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, and the Middle East.
      • The Security Council will also be adopting important resolutions on Somalia, Mali, & United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.
    • Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi will be the first Indian PM to preside over a meeting of the UNSC.
      • The last time an Indian PM was engaged in this effort was the then PM PV Narasimha Rao in 1992 when he attended a UNSC meeting.
  • Support from France & Russia:
    • France has stated that it is dedicated to collaborating with India over strategic problems such as maritime security, peacekeeping, and counter-terrorism.
    • Russia welcomed the country gaining the UNSC presidency saying it is very impressed by India’s agenda, which embraces critical global concerns.
  • Challenges for India at UNSC:
    • 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.
      • China has tried to raise the issue of Kashmir at the UNSC.
    • Post Covid World Order:
      • As the global economy is in shambles with various countries facing recession and health emergencies.
    • Balancing USA and Russia and Unstable West Asia:
      • With the situation deteriorating between the US and Russia and increasing tensions between US and Iran, it will be a tough situation to handle for India.
      • India needs to uphold rule based world order with due respect to human rights ensuring the national interest.

United Nation Security Council

  • About:
    • The UNs Charter established six main organs of the UN, including the UNSC. Article 23 of the UN Charter concerns the composition of the UNSC.
      • The other 5 organs of the UN are—the General Assembly, the Trusteeship Council, the Economic and Social Council, the International Court of Justice, and the Secretariat.
    • The UNSC has been given primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security and may meet whenever peace is threatened.
    • While other organs of the UN make recommendations to member states, only the Security Council has the power to make decisions that member states are then obligated to implement under the Charter.
  • Headquarter:
    • The council is headquartered at NewYork.
  • Members:
    • The UNSC is composed of 15 members, 5 permanent and 10 non-permanent.
      • Five permanent members: China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
      • Ten non-permanent members: Elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.
    • Each year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members (out of ten in total) for a two-year term. The ten non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis.
    • The council’s presidency is a capacity that rotates every month among its 15 members.
  • Voting and Discussions at UNSC:
    • Each member of the Security Council has one vote. Decisions of the Security Council on matters are made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members.
      • “No” vote from one of the five permanent members blocks the passage of the resolution.
    • Any member of the UN which is not a member of the Security Council may participate, without vote, in the discussion of any question brought before the Security Council whenever the latter considers that the interests of that member are specially affected.
  • India as a Permanent Member:
    • India has been advocating a permanent seat in UNSC.
    • India has the following objective criteria, such as population, territorial size, Gross Domestic Product, economic potential, civilisational legacy, cultural diversity, political system and past and ongoing contributions to UN activities especially to UN peacekeeping operations.

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