Recently, India has entered the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a non-permanent member this month and it will be a non-permanent member for two years
Previous terms: India as a non-permanent member 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 the Republic of Korea.
- In 1967-68: India co-sponsored Resolution 238 extending the mandate of the UN mission in Cyprus.
- In 1972-73: India pushed strongly for admission of Bangladesh into the 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.
What is apartheid?
Apartheid was a system of institutionalised racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South West Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s
- hen 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. In view of the threat posed to international trade and security by piracy off the coast of Somalia, India promoted international cooperation against the pirates.
At India’s initiative, the Security Council mandated international cooperation for release of hostages taken by pirates as well as for prosecution of those taking hostages and those aiding and abetting these acts.
India also worked for enhancing international cooperation in counter-terrorism, prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-state actors, and the strengthening of UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts.
India will sit in the 15-nation UNSC for the 2021-22 term as a non-permanent member — the eighth time that the country has had a seat on the powerful horseshoe table.
India’s stand on UN reforms
- UN reforms: India said it is essential that the Security Council is expanded in both the permanent and non-permanent categories.
- India argues that it is eminently suited for permanent UNSC membership by any objective criteria, such as population, territorial size, GDP, economic potential, civilisational legacy, cultural diversity, political system and past and ongoing contributions to UN activities — especially to UN peacekeeping operations.
India’s stand on terrorism
- 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.
- 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 United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
- UNSC is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), charged with ensuring international peace and security,recommending the admission of new UN members to the General Assembly, and approving any changes to the UN Charter.
- Its powers include establishing peacekeeping operations, enacting international sanctions, and authorizing military action.
- The UNSC is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions on member states.
- Like the UN as a whole, the Security Council was created after World War II to address the failings of the League of Nations in maintaining world peace.
- Membership: Along with the five permanent members, the Security Council of the United Nations has ten temporary members that hold their seats on a rotating basis by geographic regionIt
Ten Non-permanent members are elected by the United Nations General Assembly for two-year terms starting on 1 January, with five replaced each year.To be approved, a candidate must receive at least two-thirds of all votes cast for that seat, which can result in deadlock if there are two roughly evenly matched candidates.