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UN Security Council and India

The main bodies of the United Nations are there to maintain international peace and security. One of these main bodies, The United Nations Security Council, has a total of 15 member states. The body is made up of five permanent seats held by the United States, Russia, China, France, and the United Kingdom. Not only do they have a permanent spot but also the power to veto resolutions. The other ten members get elected for two-year terms.

When there's a global conflict or threat to peace this group is called on for help. They can carry out actions to bring things back into balance like imposing sanctions, authorizing peacekeeping missions and even in extreme cases let loose use of force to ensure stability. It's important for the body to have stability since each one of the five permanent members can block any resolution with their veto power.

Global diplomacy would not run as smoothly without this council. Their decisions play a huge role in relations with other countries and resolving conflicts that otherwise might've grown into something worse.

The Security Council of the United Nations (UNSC) is made up of five main members these include China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US. Each of these countries has veto power, that's a powerful say. In addition, there are ten temporary members who stay for just two years. They're chosen by the General Assembly. Right now, the temporary members and when their term ends are: Albania (2023), Brazil (2023), Ecuador (2024), Gabon (2023), Ghana (2023), Japan (2024), Malta (2024), Mozambique (2024), Switzerland (2024), and the United Arab Emirates (2023).

Peace and Security

By far, main responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security is entrusted to the Security Council. There are 15 members, with each member being entitled to one vote. To the charter of the United Nations, each and every member state has legal obligation to respect ruling of Security Council.

The Security Council determines whether there is a threat to the peace or an act of aggression. It invites for dispute settlement through peaceful means and suggests adjustment measures or terms of settlement. Some instances could involve sanctions or authorization of force by the Security Council on maintaining or restoring international peace and security.


Chapter VII, on the other hand, provides for action by the Security Council with respect to threats to peace, breaches of peace, or acts of aggression even when it is not yet so determined. Acting under Chapter VII, the Security Council adopts measures and sanctions in particular pursuant to Article 41, which covers a wide range of enforcement options that do not involve the use of armed force. From 1966 onwards, the Security Council has set 31 sanctions schemes.

These were done in areas like Southern Rhodesia, South Africa, the Former Yugoslavia (2), Haiti (2), Angola, Liberia (3), Eritrea/Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Côte d'Ivoire, Iran, Somalia/Eritrea, ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida, Iraq (2), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Lebanon, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Libya (2), the Taliban, Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic, Yemen, South Sudan and Mali.

Over time sanction measures taken by the Security Council have been a plurality with varying objectives. However, the measures have involved blanket economic and trade sanctions, as well as the more targeted measures, like arms embargo, travel restrictions, asset freezes, or commodity limitations. The UN Security Council works for promotion of peace, discouraging unconstitutional regime change, countering terrorism, protecting human rights, and non-proliferation.

Sanctions on their own don't bring about changes. Their effectiveness increases when combined with peace-making, peacekeeping, and peace-building. Rather than viewing sanctions as penalties, they can aid governments in transition aiming for peace. This method is visible in the Libyan and Guinea-Bissau sanctions.

There are fifteen running sanction regimes for political settlement of conflict, nuclear non-proliferation and terror mitigation. There are separate sanction committees chaired by a non-permanent member of the security council, who oversee each regime. Thirteen out of fifteen sanctions committees have eleven groups, teams, and panels that support their work.

The Council enforces penalties. This is done with an increasing understanding of the rights of the people or groups that are targeted. The General Assembly, in its 2005 World Summit declaration, called upon the Security Council, supported by the Secretary-General, to ensure that fair and clear procedures exist for the imposition and lifting of sanctions measures. This approach in practice may be illustrated by the establishment of a focal point on de-listing, as well as the Office of the Ombudsperson to the ISIL (Da'esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee.

The Process to Becoming a Permanent Member of the UN Security Council

Since World War II ended, five countries have been permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, namely, United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom. They get this status due to historical reasons. To get permanent member status a country has to make changes to the UN Charter which needs approval from all current permanent members. It's challenging because it's politically sensitive.

The process of becoming a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council is complex and tricky. A country would first need international recognition and support for its bid. After that, they'd have to propose amendments to the United Nations Charter and secure approval from a two-thirds majority in the UN General Assembly, including the support of every existing permanent member.

To successfully become a permanent member, you would have to negotiate and diplomatically persuade the current P5 members that adding another one is in the best interest for peace and security across the world. With the current process, making any changes to the Security Council is highly political. Those who are already permanent members never really want to increase their ranks. But if the proposed adjustments do get enough support and approval from the P5, it then needs to be ratified by the UN General Assembly. This would eventually lead to formal approval of a new permanent member status. But this will be an uphill battle that's politically sensitive. The existing permanent members hold a lot of power when making decisions like these.

Powers and Functions of the UN Security Council

The United Nation Security Council (UNSC) is a very powerful institution of the UN with many functions on the issues of peace and security in the world. It has the authority to take measures that may involve use of military power, establishment of commercial barriers, as well as deployment of peacekeeping operations in order for it to tackle and prevent disputes. UNSC is involved in mediation, diplomacy and pre-empting threats to international peace respectively. Despite this ability to influence global actions and national behaviours within its member countries, its performance is greatly affected by the politics between the P5 nations, all of whom are permanent members with a veto right apiece.

Besides handling urgent security issues, the UNSC is also authorized to work on the maintenance of international peace and security. It has the capacity of recommending new member state's admission into the United Nations. The roles undertaken by the UNSC involve various activities such as conflict prevention, response, and peacekeeping that form the core of UN's objective towards peaceful world order.

Limitations of the UN Security Council

UNSC suffers a lot of limitations which affect its ability to ensure international peace and security. Some of the major restrictions include the veto authority enjoyed by the five permanent members (P5), which consist of the United States, Russia, China, France, and the United Kingdom. Such a veto power may end up crippling the council in that any P5 member could halt resolutions even with a global agreement towards urgent steps. Thus, the P5's political interests and conflicts in their own backyards usually overlook the need for immediate assistance to strife zones.

The other limitation is on the basis of geographical representation of the United Nations Security Council. However, the present composition does not adequately represent the balance of power in today's global community. For a long time, many countries have voiced the opinion that the composition of the Security Council should include more permanent members representing different parts of the globe. Further, the UNSC has limited means of enforcing resolutions and for resources it relies largely on voluntary and often late contributions from its member States with resultant constraints.

It is also challenging for the United Nations Security Council to handle present security problems efficiently. Terrorists, who do not belong to any sovereign state, now hold the greatest sway over international security, yet such institutions are mainly geared towards addressing state conflicts. Such a disparity makes it challenging for the council to respond to new security threats that differ from conventional patterns of state-based conflicts. This often translates into the constrained capacity for the UNSC to respond to complex situations that involve the humanitarian aspect.

Impediments in India becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council

There have been substantial hurdles to India's aspiration to join the UNSC as its permanent member. For instance, the P5 countries including China are reluctant to expand the number of permanent seats and provide a veto right to additional member-states. Its opposition to India's bid stemmed from China's longstanding political and territorial disputes with India which effectively impeded UNSC reform.

Firstly, there is high levels of complexity involved in the process of UNSC reforms. Making compromises, especially determining the number of new permanent members, the regional representation, and the allocation of veto power, proves to be a complex diplomatic undertaking. The negotiations towards reform are further complicated by the divergent interests and priorities of UN member countries; geopolitical struggles among those countries; and alliances between them.

Finally, there are oppositions against India's bid by some states. Also, other regional dynamics pose hindrances. Regional rivalries coupled with complicated international politics also act to complicate the positions of countries in such a way that India would require even broader base of support than before if desired to assume the global leadership via being elected as a permanent seat holder at the UNSC. Consequently, in spite of constant attempts, India's way to UNSC still faces uncertainty and controversy.

Getting a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) isn't simple. Several issues stand in the way, particularly problems from some everlasting members, like China. They're not supportive of India's efforts owing to the fear that India might get a little too controlling if they gained a permanent UNSC position. Pakistan, friend to China, feels the same line of worry.

Additionally, India owning nuclear weapons and even increasing their pile is a big bone of contention. Countries including the hard-hitting P5 aren't keen to back India's seat without tamping down on its nuclear streak. However, France, for one, has shown support for India's dream, but the gridlock remains. So, it seems India's permanent spot in the UNSC isn't coming anytime soon, at least as of late 2023.

India, Brazil, South Africa, Germany, and Japan stand as potent hopefuls to gain permanent seats in the UNSC.

How China got a permanent seat in UN Security Council?

China got a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) back in 1945 when the UN started. The UNSC kicked-off with five permanent members, known as the P5. These members also have veto power. They got this power because of their big role in World War II. A permanent seat went to China. The Republic of China (ROC) under Chiang Kai-shek spoke for China then.

However, in 1949, after the Chinese Civil War, the Communist team, led by Mao Zedong, won. They started the People's Republic of China (PRC) as the new government in mainland China. The ROC moved to Taiwan. The PRC, now with the Chinese Communist Party in charge, said they were the only real representative of China. Therefore, the PRC took over the ROC's permanent seat on the UNSC, and also had veto power.

China earned a permanent seat on the Security Council due to its global influence and help in winning World War II. We should remember that the group in power in China was the Republic of China (ROC), steered by the Nationalist Party. Things changed in 1971. The People's Republic of China (PRC), led by the Chinese Communist Party, took the ROC's place at the United Nations. Most UN member states considered the PRC as the real Chinese government. This shift happened because of shifting political landscapes.

The most significant thing about India-UN relationship is that India is one of the world's largest financial contributors to the United Nations. India gives the UN over 40 million US dollars every year which helps support the UN's various activities, including peacekeeping operations, humanitarian assistance, and the promotion of human rights. However, India's aspirations for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council are yet to be fulfilled.


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