News: India took over the presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) from France for the month of August on 1st August 2021. It will be India’s first presidency as UNSC’s Non-Permanent member for 2021-22. During the month, India will be organizing three high-level signature meetings (virtual) with focus areas like Maritime, Peacekeeping, and Counter-terrorism. Read News Here.
About UNSC from UPSC perspective:
What is UNSC?:
UNSC stands for United Nations Security Council. It was formed after World War 2, realizing the failures and the inability of the League of Nations to maintain peace and order in the world. The United Nations consists of 6 principal organs of which the UNSC is also a part. (The other are the General Assembly, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Trusteeship Council, International Court of Justice (ICJ), and the UN Secretariat). Formed in 1945 with headquarters in New York it held its first session in 1946.
With the only body to have the authority of issuing binding resolutions on member states, the UNSC is also charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the members adhere to international peace and security practices, recommend new members in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), and approve changes (if any) to the UN charter. Moreover, it has the power to establish peacekeeping operations, put international sanctions and also authorize military actions.
There are a total of 15 members in this UNSC at a given point in time. Of these 5 are permanent members and the reaming 10 are elected on the regional basis for a term of 2 years. The 5 permanent members are the People’s Republic of China, the French Republic, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America. They got the permanent seat in UNSC because these 5 members were the great powers and the victors of World War 2. These 5 members have Veto powers by which they can veto any resolution including the entry of any member to the UN.
This is the reason why India’s permanent membership is getting blocked each time because China uses its veto against India’s entry to UNSC. The other 10 states enjoy the presidency of the UNSC on a monthly rotational basis (last month July 2021 the president was France, this month August 2021, the presidency is with India). This is the 8th time that India will be enjoying the presidency of the UNSC (India was also the president in1950-1951, 1967-1968, 1972-1973, 1977-1978, 1984-1985, 1991-1992, and 2011-12.) But it’s special this time because for the first time our political leadership (PM MODI) will be addressing the members and not the ambassadors as used to happen earlier. Moreover, India will be celebrating its 75th independence day on August 15th, 2021 which makes the presidency even special.
India has committed to promoting international peace and security by its 5-S approach:
The 5S approach of India stands for
- Samman – Respect
- Samvad – Dialogue
- Sahyog – Cooperation
- Shanti – Peace
- Samriddhi – Prosperity
How will permanent UNSC seat help India:
India’s journey towards getting a permanent seat in UNSC is difficult. This is because China, a permanent member of the UNSC has always voted against India. Moreover, its membership is also difficult because it requires the amendment in the Charter of the UN for the inclusion of any new member as a permanent one. Not just this, even Germany is in line to get the UNSC permanent seat as it is more financially robust and capable than its European neighbor France. Yet France has a permanent UNSC seat but not Germany. However, if India gets a permanent seat in the UNSC, it can benefit in the following ways:
- It will enhance India’s role and influence in the global politics. Every major affair affecting the member states’ security and existence can be analysed by India and see if its beneficial for her politically as well as economically.
- It will also enhance India’s bargaining power with other major powers including the permanent members of the UNSC on matters of her national interests. Since India will also have veto power, it can secure herself from any policies or decisions which go against India’s developmental goals.
- Moreover, with a notorious neighbour like Pakistan, a permanent seat means a veto making power to put sanctions on Pakistan to curb cross border terrorism, and the Kashmir issue can also be resolved faster.
- It can help India to find a balance amidst the rising polarization between the world powers.
- India will have a definite stand and can even change the course of events by giving protection to the environment against global warming, safeguarding outer space from weaponization and enhancing respect for diversity and plurality in world politics.
- Moreover, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) can be protected from the American attempts to undermine developing countries’ say in the organisation and help the poor farming families by giving them subsidies.
Learn More on why India wants UNSC permanent seat: Watch video here:
For UPSC Prelims:
Consider the following statements with respect to United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
- It is the only organ of the United Nations that has the power to make decisions that member states are obligated to implement.
- Each year the UN General Assembly elects five non-permanent members for UNSC, out of 10 in total, for a two-year term.
Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
- a. 1 only
- b. 2 only
- c. Both 1 and 2
- d. Neither 1 nor 2
Which of the following countries are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)?
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
- a. 3 and 4 only
- b. 2 and 4 only
- c. 2, 3 and 4 only
- d. 1, 2, 3 and 4
Consider the following statements about UNSC
1) India will sit 1st time in the 15-nation UNSC for the 2021-22 term as a non-permanent member
2) UNSC is composed of 15 members, 5 permanent & 10 Non- permanent members & they all elected for 2 year terms by the General Assembly
3) Each year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members (out of ten in total) for a two-year term
Which of the above is/are correct
a) Only 1 and 2
b) Only 1 and 3
c) Only 3
d) Only 2 and 3
Correct Answer is: C
In which situation that the “Veto is not considered as action of a permanent member”?
A. US Senate passed a resolution
B. British Parliament made a law
C. Security Council permanent members absent during meeting of the Security Council
D. All the above
Which of the following are the functions and powers of the Security Council?
A. Maintenance of international peace and security, elective functions
B. Supervisory functions
C. Constituent functions
D. All the above
How does the Security Council take military action against any country as per Article 41 of the UN Charter?
A. Through air
B. Through sea
C. Through land
D. All the above
To whom, the Security Council asks whom to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security and make available its armed forces, etc under Article 43 of the UN Charter?
B. International Peace Keeping Force
C. UN members
D. International Law of India
Which of the following committee advise and assist the Security Council of UN on all matters relating to its military requirements for maintenance of international peace and security?
A. Military Advisory Committee
B. Military Staff Committee
C. Military Security Council
D. None of the above
Which among the following article of UN states that “A war of aggression is a crime against international peace”?
A. Article 5
B. Article 6
C. Article 7
D. Article 8
Which UN organ separately elects the judges of the International Court of Justice?
A. UN General: Assembly
B. UN Security Council
C. A & B
D. None of the
Which of the following organization led the foundation towards the formation of the International society nations?
A. League of Nations
B. United Nations
C. International UN Federation
D. International Institution
What are the parameters to become a member of the UN?
A. It must be a state, it must be peace-loving
B. It must accept the obligations to the Charter; it must be willing to carry out these obligations
C. It must be able to carry out these obligations
D. All the above
Under whom recommendations the UN General Assembly suspends the UN membership?
A. Judicial Body
B. International Judicial Community
C. Security Council
D. All of the above
For UPSC Mains:
- Discuss India’s position in getting closer to permanent membership of UNSC.
- How will a permanent seat in UNSC help India in its geopolitical game?
- What measures should India take inorder to influence other members of UNSC for India’s permanent membership?
More on this website for your UPSC Preparation:
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: https://currentaffairsupsc.in/international-relations/
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: https://currentaffairsupsc.in/science-technology/
ENVIRONMENT & ECO.: https://currentaffairsupsc.in/environment-ecology-and-biodiversity/