On September 4, 2020, Pradeep Mehta, the Secretary-General of Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS), International took to Twitter to state that it is crucial to include countries like India, Japan, Germany and Brazil (collectively called the G4 nations) in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to benefit ‘multilateralism’. For this to happen, these four countries are to be inducted as Permanent Members in the UNSC
He made similar remarks on the previous day in a webinar titled ‘Imperative of Resurrecting #Multilaterlism’, which was conducted by CUTS.
Statements by Expert Attendees at Webinar
There is a need for India, Japan, Germany and Brazil to be present permanently within the UNSC in order to expand the membership and change its functions.
There is a need to understand the reason why multilateralism is experiencing a downfall and whether the United Nations (UN) is doing anything to improve the graph.
The UN System affects almost all areas of our lives, with the governments, people and the secretariat determining the ‘credibility of multilateralism’ and its success being determined by the more powerful Members. “In short, it (multilateralism) is about one planet solidarity. If it is in crisis, then our civilization will be under trial.”
The need to introduce the concept of ‘Polylaterism’. He further stated that “One major reason is division among the major sovereigns in respect to their interests and values, resulting in divergence of thoughts and actions.” Having a Sovereign system on the one hand and an increasing divergence from this Sovereign system, on the other hand, makes multilateralism even harder to proceed.
According to Pascal Lamy, if a balance is to be established between the interests of producers and consumers engaged in trade, the world has to find a new approach. This new approach must be capable of addressing the current day issues, including those coming out from bio-security.
While trying to tackle problems at the global level, one should not forget to act at the local level too. Both centralization and decentralization of ideas and workings are required, which leads towards ‘polylateralism’. However, uncertainty settles in when we view from a broader perspective.
The manner of progress of ‘globalization’ in the last 20 years could be the reason why the present-day crisis is on a high level, at a time when multilateralism is supposed to be at par with the obstacles created by the pandemic. “We have to balance the means of globalization with the needs of the common public”, said Jorge Heine.
Why should India be a part of UNSC?
India has been acknowledged as a ‘rising power’ by most of the countries around the world. According to reliable sources, the main reasons for India to be a permanent member of the UNSC are as follows:-
- India’s Renowned Relationship with the UN System
India was one of the founding members of the UN and have actively participated in all the initiatives and summits undertaken by the UN. India was offered to join the UNSC in 1950 and 1955 by the USA and the Soviet Union respectively, but got declined due to the cold war politics prevalent then. So far, India was elected for seven terms for a two-year non-permanent member seat (the last being 2011-12). The main highlight is that today, India has deployed almost twice the number of peacekeepers in the ground, which is as much as those deployed by the five permanent member countries (popularly termed as the P5 countries).
- Largest democracy in the world;
- The second most populated country in the world, constituting around 17.35 per cent of the world’s total population (as on August 28 2020);
- Acquisition of the status of a ‘Nuclear Weapons State’ (NWS) in May 1998, which the existing permanent member countries already are;
- India’s induction into export control regimes (like MTCR, Wassenaar arrangement, etc.) and expansion of its international profile by leaving a trail in different areas of politics, sustainable development, economics, culture, science and technology.
India is the leader of the ‘Third World countries’, which is evident with the Non-Aligned Movement and G-77 grouping being led by it. Hence, including India in the UNSC will represent the developing countries and in turn, make the organization more democratic.
Advantages for India
- Act as a catalyst in expanding India’s geopolitical and geoeconomic power internationally;
- Its status will move from being a responsible stakeholder (under the international norms) to becoming a global rule-maker;
- Indian interests will not be hushed down just to satisfy the higher influential political players.
France emerges as G4’s (mostly India’s) Strongest Supporter
On May 7, 2019, a French representative stated to the UN that India, Germany, Brazil and Japan are ‘absolutely needed’ at UNSC as permanent members. He emphasized that the enlargement of the Security Council with the addition of a few key members is one of their strategic priorities. As of September 3, 2020, Emmanuel Lenain, the French Ambassador, mentioned that, “France strongly supports India and the G4 (India, Brazil, Germany and Japan) in their bid for a permanent seat in a reformed United Nations Security Council.”
India has been making a bid for permanent membership in the Security Council for a very long time. Its offer is now backed up by 4 out of the five existing permanent member countries, namely France, Russia, the United Kingdom (UK) and the USA. China, on the other hand, is trying its best to ‘veto’ India’s attempt.
- India’s priorities at Security Council
- Provide an effective response to international terrorism;
- Reformed multilateralism to reflect contemporary realities;
- An extensive approach towards peace and security;
- Ensuring commitment to the international laws by assisting UN peacekeeping.
With the above actions being prioritized, it can also prove to be beneficial to the rest of the world in the long run.
Currently, India is hopeful that its election as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for two years will help it to ensure an attempt at making it a permanent. One can only expect all this will benefit India and the rest of the world in the long run.