We need to question the criteria for the status of being a permanent member of the UNSC. If any set of rules is made, India would surely meet with the requirements
Once again, India is making the valiant attempt to become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). And this time, through the aegis of the BRIC where G-4 (India, Brazil, Germany and Japan) are trying to push for UNSC reforms.
It may be recalled when the world leaders met, some five years ago, they agreed that the composition of the UNSC must be reformed to recognize the world’s needs and changed circumstances, since the establishment of the UN almost 70 years ago.
This move is taking place on the sidelines of the 67th UN General Assembly session that is in progress. They are now trying to reiterate the urgent need to change the composition of the UNSC, once again, based on the contributions made by countries to maintain international peace and security and the increased representation of developing countries in both permanent and non-permanent categories, to reflect the “geopolitical realities” of today.
These are great ideals and sound nice, but in reality, we are overlooking a few fundamental changes that have actually taken place.
In the Bretton Woods Conference, the world at large accepted that USA, UK, France, Russia and China (Taiwan or Formosa) should be the permanent members of the Security Council with veto powers. However, in one sweep of the pen, Richard Nixon, the US President dumped Taiwan and had it replaced by China. This was accepted by the members of the
UN without question, because it “was common sense to accept and recognize the voice of some 600 million people” China represented.
Couple of decades later, when the European Union came into existence, which includes UK and France, in the same principle of China replacing Taiwan, Europe ought to have occupied the permanent seat in the UNSC in lieu of UK and France, who ought to have ‘surrendered’ or ‘lost’ their permanent status—just as Russia replaced USSR in the Security Council. The one seat vacant in the big five ought to have gone to a country like India. Alas, this did not happen then, because of the vested interests of western powers did not dwell on the subject in any manner or form in the UN.
Every attempt that India made, supported by USSR (Russia later) was vetoed by China for its own reasons of security, jealousy and inherent enmity, prompted by Pakistan, its ally.
Now the question is what are the criteria for such a status of being a permanent member of the UNSC? If any set of rules are made, India would surely meet with the requirements except that it would not be a so-called ‘global power” having gone to war with other nations. In fact, India is one of the very few nations in the world that has not gone to war over any other country for more than 1,000 years!
It is time the UN itself needs to set up a high-profile committee of international jurists, legal experts and intellectuals to study and amend its Constitution to accommodate the changing world situation. It may also question if UNSC is needed in the first place; and if so, what are the criteria that must be fulfilled before a country can become a permanent veto wielding power.
Will it be based on economic or military strength? Or just the population? Or peace and industrial progress? Or a world divided by geographical status of five continents or into major religious denominations? In the interim period, should UK and France be replaced by Europe? Should a country like India, representing 20% of the global population be left out because China can exercise a veto?
It is time the UN reviews the whole situation and takes practical steps to correct the anomalies that have crept in.