India has been elected as the non-permanent member of the powerful UN Security Council for a two-year term. India won 184 votes in the 193-member General Assembly in the election that was held on Wednesday 17th June 2020. India will be sitting in the most powerful organ of the United Nations, for two years beginning on January 1, along with the five permanent members China, France, Russia, the U.K., and the United States of America. Non-permanent members Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent, Grenadines, Tunisia, and Vietnam are also the non-permanent members of the security council. India has been previously elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the years 1950-1951, 1967-1968, 1972-1973, 1977-1978, 1984-1985, 1991-1992 and most recently in 2011-2012.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that he was “deeply grateful” after India was elected unopposed as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. India with its global relations, territorial size, GDP, economic potential, civilizational legacy well and truly qualifies to be a permanent member. India has been part of the United Nations for a long time and India’s historic association with the UN system, India’s intrinsic value and place in contemporary international politics and its role as the leader of developing countries all favours it. Let’s look at all the criteria and opportunities that India has.
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Criteria to be elected to the Council
The Security Council has 15 members with 5 permanent members and 10 non permanent members who are elected for a period of 2 years.
- Permanent members of the UN Security Council:
- Russian Federation
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- United States of America
- Non-Permanent members of the UN Security Council:
Along with 5 permanent members, 10 non-permanent members also sit in the UN Security Council. Originally, there were 11 members of the Security Council: 5 permanent and 6 non-permanent members. Then in 1963, the General Assembly recommended an amendment to the Charter to increase the membership of the Security Council
- 5 from African and Asian States
- 1 from the Eastern European States
- 2 from the Latin American States
- 2 from Western European and other States
To be elected to the Council, candidate countries need a two-thirds majority of ballots of the Member States that are present and voting in the Assembly.
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Opportunities for India
- India’s international profile and capabilities will rise due to its expanding global footprint in diverse areas like politics, sustainable development, economics, and culture and science and technology.
- Election of India in the UNSC, would provide India with the much-needed leverage to expand its geo-political and geo-economic clout globally.
- Inclusion of India into UNSC will help in transforming its status from being a responsible stakeholder’ (following international norms) along with becoming a global rule-maker.
- It would serve as an equalizer to China, its rival and an emerging hegemony in Asia and an ever-increasing strategic and security concern in its immediate neighborhood and beyond.