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UNSC does not reflect today’s realities, is paralysed, says UNGA President

GS Paper 2

Syllabus: International Organizations


Source: Indian Express, The Hindu


Context: UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Csaba Korosi has expressed concern that the UN Security Council does not reflect today’s realities, is paralysed and is unable to discharge its basic function of maintaining international peace and security.


What has happened now?

Russia, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN, attacked Ukraine. Russia has vetoed UNSC resolutions on Ukraine and voted against a resolution in the UNGA which called on countries not to recognise the four regions of Ukraine that Russia has claimed.


What is UNSC?



What is Veto power in UNSC?

The United Nations Security Council veto power is the power of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) to veto any “substantiveresolution


Why the need for Reforms in UNSC?

  • Changing geopolitical realities: Since 1945, the world has changed significantly: the Cold War strategic influences have declined; the membership of the UN has increased almost fourfold and the expectations of what the UN should do have grown.
  • Overrepresentation: There is a huge European bias in P-5 due to the presence of the United Kingdom and France, including Russia.
  • Under-representation: Regions like Latin America, the Caribbean Group, the Arab World, and Africa do not have a single permanent member
  • Question of Veto: All five permanent members of the UNSC enjoy veto power. But the veto has been misused to put national interests ahead of global interests. Critics of the veto power say that it is the most undemocratic element of the UN and the main cause of inaction on war crimes & crimes against humanity, as it effectively prevents UN action against the permanent members and their allies. For E.g. in the current Russian case
  • Non-transparent and non-consultative manner of functioning.
  • North-South Inequality: Only China is representative of the global south region, whereas the global north has four nations to represent them at the UNSC.
  • Growing stresses on the International System: geopolitical conflict, climate change, food and energy insecurity, and pandemics have brought out the inequities and inadequacies of the way the world currently functions.


Key reforms taken in recent times:



Why India should be given a UNSC seat:

  • India’s culture and worldview resonate with the UN’s vision
  • India’s extensive association with the UN since its inception
  • India’s democratic values and credibility of being the largest democracy
  • India’s intrinsic strength – Most populous country, Fifth largest economy and Responsible Nuclear power
  • India as the leader of the ‘Global South’
  • Contribution to peacekeeping
  • The active role played on various issues of emerging importance in the UN


India’s Efforts for reforms:

  • India’s NORMS reform (New orientation for a reformed multilateral system) in the changing architecture of global governance, including the UNSC
  • As an advocate of the ‘Global South’
  • G4 and L69: G-4 (India, Brazil Germany and Japan) and L.69 (A group of like-minded countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America) have tried to push UNSC for reforms and expansion
  • The Indian strategy of “revisionist integration”into the Security Council consists of two components: (see below image)




India advocates for democratic reforms in multilateral fora, starting with the UN system, to better respond to the needs of its membership, especially developing countries. The implementation of the Council’s decisions, and its very legitimacy, could be enhanced if the Council was reformed to be more representative, effective, efficient, accountable and transparent.


Quote: “It’s clear that outdated systems that were created to deal with the challenges of the past cannot be expected to address the multitude of challenges of today’s dynamic and interdependent world. The Security Council can deliver effective solutions only if it gives a voice to the voiceless rather than zealously guarding the status quo of the mighty.”Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Security Council Ambassador R Ravindra


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Analyze the factors that lend credibility to India in assuming a permanent seat at the UN Security Council, amid calls for its reforms. (10M)