How can India reap the benefits if granted a permanent seat to United Nation Security Council (UNSC)? Throw light on the reasons that are impeding India's permanent membership to UNSC.

Published: April 28, 2018

India is the world’s largest democracy. It is fastest growing economy of the world. It is also the largest contributor to the world peace keeping force. It has made rightful claim to the permanent seat in the UNSC.
Benefits to India from the permanent seat at UNSC

  • UNSC is the premier decision making body of UN. Decisions like imposing sanctions or the implementation of the verdict of ICJ, it needs the endorsement of UNSC. Permanent seat will enable India to have a greater say in the global geo-politics.
  • UNSC permanent membership will provide India with the veto power. This will enable India in tailoring the decisions of the UNO according to its interests.
  • UNSC permanent seat will also give a formal endorsement to India as the responsible nuclear power. All the five permanent members are nuclear powers.
  • UNSC permanent seat will increase the stature of India in the global arena. It will add prestige to the country.
  • UNSC permanent seat will also provide a new avenue in the bilateral negotiations. As permanent members have a greater say due to veto powers the countries want a good relationship with the permanent members.
  • UNSC permanent membership will strengthen India’s resolve to act as the net security provider in the region.
  • UNSC permanent membership will add to strengthening of the mechanisms to address the external security threats and addressing of state sponsored terrorism against India.
  • Threats of two front wars which the Indian army is cautioning can be effectively dealt as UNSC permanent membership will create deterrence.

Reasons for impeding membership in UNSC

  • Differential attitude of P5: P5 have an added advantage due to the veto. The P5 are not open to the idea of sharing the advantage with the new members.
  • Opposition: Groups like G4 have an opposition in the form of coffee club who oppose the candidature of frontrunners.
  • Consensus: Almost all of the UN members agree that it is necessary to reform the Security Council. However this issue touches not only on the North-South conflict, but also on the redistribution of power in the world. Every country bases its actions on its national interests. There has been no consensus reached among UN members, including the P5, on how to adjust the Security Council’s structure, and in particular, on how to increase the number of new permanent members. 
  • China: China is seeing a rival in India. Increasing tensions has resulted in china cold shouldering any attempts by India to increase its stature in geopolitical arena. China is even blocking India’s entry into NSG.
  • Fence sitter: India is often perceived as fence sitter while dealing with conflicts. As a result India’s candidature is not being endorsed by certain quarters.

There is a unanimous acceptance on the fact that UNSC must be expanded. But questions are on how the expansion should be. As arriving at the consensus will take time as an interim measure world must look at the formula proposed by Kofi Annan so that UNSC becomes more broad based and inclusive.

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