Question on the identity of the Security Council

The United Nations Security Council-UNSC is considered the largest platform for global security management. The challenge that the world has faced in the form of COVID-19 epidemic at this time, is being considered as the biggest crisis for humanity in the twenty-first century. At the time of this crisis, when the UN Security Council was expected to play an active role in ending the crisis, the council itself is in a passive state. The inaction of the Security Council can be gauged from the fact that in the time of this global crisis, member countries are blaming each other. In this crisis period over humanity, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appealed for a cease-fire from countries involved in domestic conflict. But despite his appeal, the way the Security Council is absent in this global scenario of crisis is indeed a worrying situation.

However, the United Nations Security Council held its first meeting with the member states a few days ago after the global criticism. The United Nations Security Council, in its first meeting convened to discuss the worldwide crisis arising from the corona virus, stressed the need to show solidarity and maintain unity with those affected by COVID-19.

This article will attempt to discuss various aspects in the context of the history, organization, role of the United Nations Security Council and the need for reform in the organization of the Security Council and India’s claim.

Security Council: Historical Background

  • The Security Council is the most important unit of the United Nations, which was formed in the year 1945 during the Second World War.
  • The five permanent members of the Security Council are the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China.
  • Permanent members of the Security Council have the right to veto. Membership of these countries reflects the post-World War II balance of power.
  • Permanent members of the Security Council have the right to veto. Membership of these countries reflects the post-World War II balance of power.
  • It is worth noting that apart from these permanent member countries, 10 other countries are included in the Security Council as temporary members for two years.
  • Permanent and temporary members are made the president of the council for one month respectively.
  • The purpose of electing temporary member states is to strike a regional balance in the Security Council. Elections are held in member countries for this temporary membership.
  • Five members are elected from Asian or African countries, two from South American countries, one from Eastern Europe and two from Western Europe or other regions.

Powers obtained by the Security Council

Security Council

The Security Council is the most powerful body of the United Nations whose primary responsibility is to maintain international peace and security.
Its powers include the contribution of peace operations, the imposition of international sanctions and military action through Security Council resolutions.
It is the only body of the United Nations with authority to issue binding proposals on member states.
Under the UN Charter, all member countries are bound to follow the decisions of the Security Council.
Currently, five permanent members of the UN Security Council have veto power. Veto power means ‘prohibition’.
If any one permanent member does not agree with the decision of the permanent members, then he can stop the decision by using the veto power.

Security Council and Global Health System

  • Health has generally been considered a personal and domestic subject of various countries. Especially until a health challenge arises in many countries simultaneously.
  • At the beginning of this century we saw that the HIV / AIDS issue had come up in the UN Security Council. This was the first time that any disease in the Security Council was looked at from a security point of view and at that time it was discussed on the biggest security platform of global administration.
  • As a result of the Security Council discussing the issue, it was agreed to include AIDS disease in peacekeeping efforts in the warring countries of Africa. In 2000, the United Nations Security Council declared AIDS disease a safety issue. For this, the resolution number 1308 was approved by the Security Council.
  • Under its proposal, it was emphasized that if the HIV / AIDS epidemic is not prevented, it threatens the stability and security of entire Africa.
  • Similarly, when the Ebola virus epidemic spread in West Africa in 2014, the UN Security Council took a reactionary step and included the goal of tackling the epidemic as part of its peace operations. After this, in Security Council resolution number 3177, it was emphasized that all the subsidiaries of the United Nations should work with mutual coordination for prevention of the Ebola virus epidemic.
  • Unfortunately, in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, no member of the UN Security Council has put forward any such proposal. Whereas the need is that in order to deal with the epidemic, efforts should be made to build mutual agreement among all the countries.

Why the need for change in the Security Council?

  • The Security Council was established according to the geopolitics of the year 1945. The current geopolitics is now very different from the background of World War II.
  • The need for improvement has been felt since the end of the Cold War. There is a need for many reforms in which organizational structure and process is most important.
  • Currently, Europe has the highest representation among the 5 permanent countries of the UN Security Council. Whereas only 5 percent of the total population of the world lives here.
  • No country in Africa and South America is a permanent member of the Security Council. Whereas more than 50 percent of the work of the United Nations is related to African countries alone.
  • Despite playing an important role in peacekeeping operations, the favor of other countries such as India is ignored by the current members.
  • There is also a need to reform the structure of the United Nations because the US dominates it. The US has also ignored the United Nations and other international organizations on the strength of its military and economic power.

Why the contender of the Security Council of India?

  • India is the second most populous country in the world with a population of 1.3 billion. It occupies about 1 / 5th of the total population of the world.India is the emerging economic superpower of the world. India’s growing economic stature at the global level has strengthened India’s claims. At present, India is the sixth largest economy in the world.
  • India is now counted among the most influential countries in economic organizations such as the World Trade Organization, BRICS and the G-20.
  •  India’s foreign policy has historically promoted world peace.
  • India is the largest sending country in the United Nations Army.

Other groups are also demanding reform of the Security Council

  • G4 Group: India, Germany, Brazil and Japan have formed a group called G4. These countries support each other for permanent membership of the UN Security Council. The G4 group believes that the Security Council needs to be more representative, equitable and effective.
  • L-69 Group: This group is leading a group of about 42 developing countries in India, Asia, Africa and Latin America. The L-69 group has demanded immediate action on the UNSC Reform Front.
  • African Group: The African Group consists of 54 countries. The United Nations Security Council is the second important group advocating reforms. The group demanded that at least two African nations be made permanent members of the Security Council with veto powers.

Obstacles to the reform of the Security Council

  • The 5 permanent member countries of the Security Council are not ready to give up their veto power nor do they agree to give this right to any other country.
  • The United States and China are opposed to any major changes to the Security Council.
  • America is against multilateralism. So Russia is also not in favor of any kind of reform. China, which intends to be the sole representative of Asia in the Security Council, also does not want any reform of the United Nations. China does not want India and Japan to become members of the Security Council.

The conclusion

At the time of this global crisis, the United Nations Security Council should show activity as before so that the importance of international institutions is not underestimated in front of the world order. The United Nations should also work towards reforming the Security Council once the current circumstances become normal. Certainly, permanent membership will bring India to the level of global politics by bringing it at par with the US, Britain, France, China and Russia. Therefore, India also needs to make more serious efforts for permanent membership in the UN Security Council.

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