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Elections for Non-permanent Members of the UNSC

  • 17 Jun 2020
  • 6 min read

Why in News

Election for five non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is being held on 17th June, 2020.

Key Points

  • India’s Election:
    • India is standing unopposed as the nominee for the Asia-Pacific seat, for the 2021-22 term and needs the vote of two-thirds of UNGA members (129 votes) to be confirmed.
    • In 2019, the candidature of India was unanimously endorsed by the 55-member Asia-Pacific grouping, which also included China and Pakistan.
    • This would be India's eighth term in the UNSC which will begin from January 2021.
    • Contenders for Other Seats:
      • Mexico is expected to be elected unopposed for the Latin American group.
      • Canada, Ireland and Norway will contend for two seats of the West European and Others Group (WEOG).
      • Kenya and Djibouti will contend for an African seat.
  • India’s Commitment at UNSC: In its campaign brochure, India had highlighted:
    • Its commitment to multilateralism.
      • India’s objective will be the achievement of N.O.R.M.S: a New Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System.
      • A reformed multilateralism and multilateral system is essential to ensure that the international system is inclusive and caters to the requirements of all countries.
    • Demand for transparency in mandates for UN peacekeeping missions.
    • Push for the Indian-led Comprehensive Convention for International Terrorism (CCIT). CCIT includes the following major objectives:
      • To have a universal definition of terrorism that all 193-members of the UNGA will adopt into their own criminal law.
      • To ban all terror groups and shut down terror camps.
      • To prosecute all terrorists under special laws.
      • To make cross-border terrorism an extraditable offense worldwide.
    • Joint efforts for UN reform and the expansion of the UNSC.
      • India has been at the forefront to reform the UNSC, saying it rightly deserves a place as a permanent member of the UNSC, which in its current form does not represent the geo-political realities of the 21st century.
  • Benefits of India’s Membership at UNSC:
    • India’s presence in the UNSC will ensure that the voice of the largest democracy in the world (with strong multilateral credentials) will be heard in an important organ of the United Nations.
    • India has always had a global voice and this will give India a greater opportunity to participate actively and shape the Covid-19 and post-Covid scenario.
    • Its presence in the UNSC will help bring to the world its ethos of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’-the world is one family.
    • The Global South has its development and security aspirations and India will help articulate these aspirations in the Council across different issues.
  • Issues Involved:

United Nation Security Council

  • The United Nations Charter established six main organs of the United Nations, including the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
    • Article 23 of the UN Charter concerns the composition of the UNSC.
  • The UNSC has been given primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security to the Security Council, which may meet whenever peace is threatened.
  • While other organs of the United Nations make recommendations to member states, only the Security Council has the power to make decisions that member states are then obligated to implement under the Charter.
  • Permanent and Non-Permanent Members
    • The UNSC is composed of 15 Members:
      • Five permanent members: China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
      • Ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly.
  • Selection of Non-permanent Members of Security Council
    • Each year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members (out of ten in total) for a two-year term. The ten non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis:
      • Five for African and Asian countries.
      • One for Eastern European countries.
      • Two for Latin American and Caribbean countries.
      • Two for Western European and other countries.

Source: TH

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