India votes against UNSC resolution to securitise climate action

On December 13, 2021, India voted against a UN Security Council (UNSC) draft resolution to securitise climate change.

Key Points

  • The draft resolution linked climate change with global security challenges.
  • India argued that; this move seeks to undermine the hard-won consensus which was reached at the recent Glasgow Summit.
  • The new climate agreement was accepted by the negotiators from around 200 countries, after the COP26 summit, which recognises India’s intervention to “phase down” rather than “phase out” the fossil fuels.

About the Draft resolution

  • The draft resolution was moved jointly by Niger and Ireland.
  • It called the UN Secretary General Antonion Guterres to “integrate climate-related security risk into comprehensive conflict-prevention strategies, as central component”.
  • Russia had vetoed the resolution.

United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

UNSC is among six principal organs of the United Nations (UN). It is charged to ensure international peace and security. It also recommends on the admission of new UN members to the Assembly. It further approves any changes to the UN Charter. It is the only UN body, having the authority to issue binding resolutions on member states.

Powers of UNSC

Major powers of UNSC include:

  1. Establishing peacekeeping operations
  2. Enacting international sanctions
  3. Authorizing military action.

Members of the UNSC

UNSC comprises of fifteen members:

  1. Five permanent members: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland, and the United States.
  2. Ten members are elected on a regional basis, for two years term.

UNSC Presidency

UNSC presidency rotates on monthly basis, among its members.

Veto Power

Permanent members have the power to veto any substantive resolution, like on admission of new member states to the UN or nominees for the office of Secretary-General.  Veto Power is provided in accordance with the Article 27 of the UN Charter. According to it, UNSC decisions on all substantive matters needs affirmative votes of three-fifths of the members.

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