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REGAINING ‘SUPER POWER’ STATUS IN 21st CENTURY
India has chaired G-20 Summit of the world’s top leadership, with aplomb. While the world leaders enjoyed the Indian ‘hospitality par excellence’ at New Delhi, they were subtly given the message that India has arrived at the world stage. The world’s who & who were present in India, for this mega event. India’s pivotal role in global geopolitics got further enhanced by successful presidency of G20, after many success stories scripted by India, in this century. The oldest living civilization and the largest democracy in the world rightfully deserves a permanent seat in the top world forum (UNSC).
GENESIS OF UNSC
United Nations was formed in the aftermath of World war II , in 1945 as the world was in ruins after thousands of deaths and destruction. The Security Council (United Nations’ principal crisismanagement body) is empowered to impose binding obligations and force to maintain peace. The victorious countries of the WWII were given permanent seat in UNSC with VETO powers in all world affairs. These five powerful countries were USA, USSR, UK, France and China.
NEED FOR REFORMS
UNO and UNSC also have to change with times, to honour the changing dynamics of the emerging world order. Structurally, the UN and UNSC remains largely unchanged since its founding in 1945, stirring debate amongst members about the need for reforms. 75 years is a long time in the changing kaleidoscope of the world. The world has changed from Bipolar to Unipolar and now Multipolar with decline of so called super powers and emergence of new power blocks.
The following aspects merit consideration for reforms in UN and UNSC:
- Undemocratic Representation.
- Diminishing Power of P-5.
- Emerging new world order.
- Lack of Global Governance.
- Misuse of the VETO Power.
INDIA’s CLAIM TO P-5 STATUS
In the 21st Century, India stands at the door of UNSC knocking for a rightly deserved place on the P-5 table. The following points merit India’s claim to UNSC permanent membership
- Largest Population. India is having the largest population with 19 % of world population share.
- Mature Democracy. India is the oldest and largest functional democracy with stable credentials in the world.
- Economic Power. India is the Fifth largest (GDP) economy and fastest growing large economy. It will soon be third largest economy with $ 05 trillion GDP.
- Military Might. India is a peace loving country with fourth most powerful armed forces as a ‘Force of Deterrence’. We are also a mature Nuclear Power with second strike capability.
- Friendly Soft Power. India has been at the forefront in all humanitarian aids across the globe. India has also contributed significantly towards saving the planet Earth, social empowerment and wellness of body, mind and soul.
Contribution Towards UN
India is a founder member of UNO and it has actively participated and positively contributed to all UN lead activities for the last 75 years. The following points are noteworthy:
- It is the largest contributor towards UN Peace Keeping, contributing over 2,00,000 troops
- It is also large financial contributor to UN activities giving over $ 40 Million / year.
- It’s always the first responder in case of natural calamities in the world.
- India has been elected member of UNSC for 08 terms.
- India has been a leading voice on environmental and social issues.
- India dons the leadership of developing countries by being members of large no of regional groups.
- Interests of Indian diaspora and business footprints across the globe have to be protected.
The permanent seat for India at P-5 table of UNSC has to come through reforms in UN Charter. Procedure for UN reforms resolution is that it has to be adopted by 2/3 members of UN General Assembly. Thereafter, it has to be approved by UNSC, without VETO. When it comes to UNSC, four out of Five permanent members have endorsed India’s claims to Permanent membership with exception of China. China is likely to veto the proposal, notwithstanding the fact that India had declined this seat, in favour of China, when offered by USA and USSR in 1950s.
India’s meteoric rise in world forum in 21st Century and it’s friendly contributions towards aim and charter of UNO, makes it a deserving case for permanent membership of UNSC. Vested interests of the existing members may sabotage the justified claim of India, as of now but will not be able to do it for long. Certainly, this century belongs to India and the world may ignore this fact for some time, albeit at its own peril.
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL
Maj Gen CP Singh (Retd) The writer is a scholar soldier accredited with MA, MSc, LLB, MBA, M Phil (Def Mgt) and M Phil (International Strategic Affairs)