India Called for UNSC Reforms

India Called for UNSC Reforms


• India reiterated its stance on the urgent need for genuine reform of the UN Security Council.


• During the 6th round of the intergovernmental negotiations of the UNSC, India favored expansion of the UN
Security Council membership in both the permanent and non-permanent categories.
• A total of 113 member states out of 122 supported expansion in both of the existing categories specified in
the charter.
• This means that more than 90 percent were in favour of expansion in both categories of membership
specified in the charter.

About the UNSC

• The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the principal organs of the United Nations,
responsible for maintaining international peace and security.
• It was established in 1945 as part of the UN Charter and is composed of 15 member states, including
five permanent members with veto power—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United
States—and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.
• It is headquartered in New York City.

Need for the Reforms in the UNSC

• Under-Representation: The current composition of the Security Council has under-representation and
un-representation of key regions.
• It fails to represent the diversity of today’s world, with emerging powers like India, Brazil, and South Africa,
as well as regions like Africa, being underrepresented or not represented at all.
• Inability to Adress Conflicts: The current composition of the council has an inability to address critical
conflicts and maintain international peace and security.
• Changes in World Order: The world has undergone a sea change since 1945 and the new realities need to
be reflected in the permanent membership.
• Any proposal that does not address the issue of representation of the Global South, including Africa,
Asia and Latin America, in the permanent category does a grave injustice to the aspirations of developing
countries for equality.
• Veto Power: Currently, only the five permanent members hold veto powers and through its use have stalled
action in the Council to address global challenges and conflicts such as in Ukraine and Gaza.
• The remaining 10 nations in the Council are elected to sit as non-permanent members for two-year terms
and do not have veto powers.
• Legitimacy: The disproportionate power held by the five permanent members, particularly their veto power,
can lead to a perception of unfairness and lack of legitimacy.
• Transparency and Accountability: Critics argue that the UNSC operates with a lack of transparency and
accountability, with decisions often made behind closed doors and without sufficient consultation with
other UN member states.

Limitations in Introducing the Reforms in UNSC

• Veto Power of Permanent Members: Any reforms to the composition or working methods of the UNSC
require the approval of the five permanent members.
• These countries have divergent interests and are reluctant to support changes that could diminish their
influence within the Council.
• Regional Dynamics: Regional rivalries and geopolitical tensions complicate efforts to reform the Council.
• Complexity of the Reform Process: Amending the UN Charter to enact reforms requires a lengthy and
complex process involving ratification by a significant number of member states, making it difficult to enact
substantive reforms.
• Chinese Opposition: China being a permanent member blocks the growth of India becoming a Permanent Member.

Way Ahead

• It is important that both the permanent and non-permanent membership be representative of the world as
it is today, not the world as it existed in the wake of the Second World War.
• Reforms in the UNSC are essential for maintaining its relevance, legitimacy, and effectiveness in addressing
the complex security challenges faced by the international community.
• However, achieving consensus on such reforms among the UN’s member states remains a challenging and
ongoing process.