Question: India’s election as non-permanent member of UNSC brings back the permanent seat debate. In changing global scenario, highlight the significance of permanent seat on UNSC.
Answer: The United Nations Security Council consists of permanent members and non-permanent members. The permanent members are USA, UK, Russia, China, France whereas temporary members are elected on rotational basis for a period of two years.
There also exist a group that is lobbying for entry of new members into UNSC permanent seat. This grouping is called the G4 and consists of Brazil, Germany, Japan and India.
Significance of permanent membership for new countries in UNSC
- Influence on International politics
Most of the decisions on international issues such as wars, trade etc are taken by the grouping of permanent members. Gaining a seat will automatically yield a more powerful opinion on global politics. This will help countries to look after their and allies’ needs more actively.
- Wider representation
At present the permanent members are world war era powerhouses, which have lost their influence over a period of time. Passing of time has given rise to new strong countries which are influential both economically as well as strategically. In addition countries from Africa and South America have no representation.
- Veto power
The contention between old members and new aspirants is regarding veto powers. The old powers do not want to yield veto power to newcomers as it will undermine their influence and power. The new aspirants do not want a position without any powers. Using veto power, countries can influence politics of the world effectively.
- Voice of smaller countries
Countries such as India wants the position as a representative to smaller countries, who struggle to make their voices heard at the highest level. By encouraging newcomers, the position may be looked upon with respect which otherwise is considered a bully.
UNSC permanent seat needs reforms to accommodate changing global position of countries in Asia as well as the new world.
Thus, India’s efforts towards securing a permanent seat on UNSC, represent aspirations of a developing country which wants its voice to be heard at the highest echelons of international politics.