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India Assumes UNSC Presidency

  • 02 Aug 2021
  • 6 min read

Why in News

Recently, India assumed the presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the month of August 2021.

Key Points

  • India’s UNSC Presidency:
    • India will decide the UN body’s agenda for the month and coordinate important meetings on a range of issues.
    • It is going to organise key events in three major areas of maritime security, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism.
      • The Security Council will also have on its agenda several important meetings including Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, and the Middle East.
      • The Security Council will also be adopting important resolutions on Somalia, Mali, & United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.
    • Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi will be the first Indian PM to preside over a meeting of the UNSC.
      • The last time an Indian PM was engaged in this effort was the then PM PV Narasimha Rao in 1992 when he attended a UNSC meeting.
  • Support from France & Russia:
    • France has stated that it is dedicated to collaborating with India over strategic problems such as maritime security, peacekeeping, and counter-terrorism.
    • Russia welcomed the country gaining the UNSC presidency saying it is very impressed by India’s agenda, which embraces critical global concerns.
  • Challenges for India at UNSC:
    • China Challenge:
      • India is entering the UNSC at a time when Beijing is asserting itself at the global stage much more vigorously than ever. It heads at least six UN organisations and has challenged the global rules.
      • China’s aggressive behaviour in the Indo-Pacific as well as the India-China border has been visible in all of 2020.
      • China has tried to raise the issue of Kashmir at the UNSC.
    • Post Covid World Order:
      • As the global economy is in shambles with various countries facing recession and health emergencies.
    • Balancing USA and Russia and Unstable West Asia:
      • With the situation deteriorating between the US and Russia and increasing tensions between US and Iran, it will be a tough situation to handle for India.
      • India needs to uphold rule based world order with due respect to human rights ensuring the national interest.

United Nation Security Council

  • About:
    • The UNs Charter established six main organs of the UN, including the UNSC. Article 23 of the UN Charter concerns the composition of the UNSC.
      • The other 5 organs of the UN are—the General Assembly, the Trusteeship Council, the Economic and Social Council, the International Court of Justice, and the Secretariat.
    • The UNSC has been given primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security and may meet whenever peace is threatened.
    • While other organs of the UN 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.
  • Headquarter:
    • The council is headquartered at NewYork.
  • Members:
    • The UNSC is composed of 15 members, 5 permanent and 10 non-permanent.
      • 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.
    • 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.
    • The council's presidency is a capacity that rotates every month among its 15 members.
  • Voting and Discussions at UNSC:
    • Each member of the Security Council has one vote. Decisions of the Security Council on matters are made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members.
      • A "No" vote from one of the five permanent members blocks the passage of the resolution.
    • Any member of the UN which is not a member of the Security Council may participate, without vote, in the discussion of any question brought before the Security Council whenever the latter considers that the interests of that member are specially affected.
  • India as a Permanent Member:
    • India has been advocating a permanent seat in UNSC.
    • India has the following objective criteria, such as population, territorial size, Gross Domestic Product, economic potential, civilisational legacy, cultural diversity, political system and past and ongoing contributions to UN activities especially to UN peacekeeping operations.

Source: IE

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