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India’s Track at UNSC- International Relations

By October 12, 2022October 13th, 2022Announcement, Current Affairs

India’s Track at UNSC

International Relation

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Context

  • As we know in January 2021, India joined the UNSC for its 8th term as a non-permanent
  • India secured 184 votes in the 193-member General Assembly.
  • Which includes all the 55 votes of the Asia-Pacific Group.

Growing India’s Credentials

  • This massive support can be seen as acknowledgement of India’s growing prominence at the high tables.
  • India’s membership came at a time of intensifying great power rivalry and increased anti-multilateral sentiments.

Reinvigorating Multilateralism

  • The Ukraine war, for instance, has exposed deep divisions in the UNSC.
  • COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have exacerbated the predicament of multilateral institutions.
  • Consequently, the challenge before India was to help the UNSC to reinvigorate multilateralism.

India as a Non-Permanent Member

  • India was elected as a non-permanent member of the UNSC seven times.
  • 1950–51, 1967–68, 1972–73, 1977–78, 1984–85, 1991–92, and 2011–12.
  • Interestingly India’s UNSC membership always coincided with some significant events in international politics.

Presidency Amidst Chaos

  • India’s first term in the Council and its first presidency coincided with the outbreak of the Korean War (1950–51).
  • During India’s 2nd and 3rd  terms there were heightened tensions in West Asia.
  • Notably the two Arab–Israeli wars in 1967 and 1973.

 

Reformed Multilateralism

  • For the 2021–22 term, India’s primary objective in the UNSC was to implement a new orientation for a reformed multilateral system.
  • This was guided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘5 S’ approach

5 “S” Approach

  • Samman (Respect)
  • Samvad (Dialogue)
  • Sahyog (Cooperation)
  • Shanti (Peace)
  • Samriddhi (Prosperity)

5 Priorities for India

  • Seeking responsible and inclusive solutions
  • Result-oriented measures to counter international terrorism
  • Reformed multilateralism to reflect contemporary realities
  • Streamlining peacekeeping
  • Technology with a human touch

Important Committees Chaired by India

  • In January 2021, India was also elected as the Chair of the Taliban Sanctions Committee.
  • Chair of the Libya Sanctions
  • Vice-Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC).
  • Vice-Chairs of the Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Committee.
  • In January 2022, India assumed the Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC).

August 2021 Presidency

  • India undertook its 10th tenure as President of the UNSC in August 2021 and organised three signature events.
    • Open debates on Maritime security
    • Peacekeeping
    • Terrorism

 

 

Maritime Security

  • Prime Minister Modi chaired the high-level open debate on maritime security.
  • Becoming the first Indian PM to preside over a UNSC meeting.
  • It was the first standalone discussion on maritime security in the UNSC.

India’s Framework for Maritime Security

  • Removing barriers to maritime
  • Resolving maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law
  • Jointly tackling maritime threats from non-state actors and natural disasters
  • Conserving of maritime environment and marine resources.
  • Responsible maritime connectivity

Question Asked in Mains 2022

Below is a Question which had come in GS 3 (UPSC Mains 2022)

What are the maritime security challenges in India? Discuss the organizational, technical and procedural initiatives taken to improve the maritime security (150 Words)

India’s Framework for Peacekeeping

  • On the Field need to employ technologies that are operationally proven, cost-effective, widely available & environmentally friendly.
  • Solid information and intelligence foundation to ensure early warning and mobilisation of early response.
  • Ensuring that technological advancements are readily available on the ground.
  • Consistent technological training and capacity building for peacekeepers was stressed.

Resolution 2593

  • Under India’s presidency, the UNSC adopted Resolution 2593.
  • This demanded that Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country.
  • Neither it should be used to shelter or train terrorists or finance terrorist acts.
  • India also called for an inclusive regime that represents all segments of Afghan society.

Voting Response

  • India’s voting response during the current term shows how responsible India was in the UNSC.
  • From 1 January 2021 to 31 August 2022, UNSC adopted 88 resolutions.
  • Out of these 88, India supported 81 and abstained seven.

On Climate Change

  • India voted against the resolution on climate change and security.
  • India argued that the UNSC was not the place to discuss the issues of climate change and climate justice.

On Ukraine Crisis

  • India’s approach to the Ukrainian crisis, especially its responses in the UNSC, shows its independent and neutral foreign policy.
  • Since February 2022, the UNSC has convened nearly 15 meetings on the issue since then.
  • In all these meetings, India has consistently called for restraint on all sides and peaceful settlement of the conflict.
  • In the initial days of the conflict, India’s primary concern was the well-being of more than 20,000 Indian nationals living in Ukraine

First Abstention

  • When the UNSC considered a draft resolution tabled by Albania and the US demanded immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine.
  • India abstained, along with China and the United Arab Emirates.
  • India said that all efforts should be made for the immediate de-escalation of violence.
  • Requested the conflicting parties to return to the path of diplomacy

Second & Third Abstention

India abstained from voting on a UNSC resolution to-

  • Refer the Ukraine crisis to the General Assembly
  • Draft resolution moved by Russia calling for the protection of civilians in Ukraine

August 24, 2022- India Voted Against Russia

  • India voted against Russia during a procedural vote at the United Nations Security Council on Ukraine.
  • The 15-member powerful UN body invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to address a meeting through a video conference.
  • This was on the 31st Independence Anniversary of Ukraine.
  • Russia voted against such an invitation, while China abstained.

Value Addition- Procedural Vs Non Procedural

  • Voting on something does not indicate of itself whether the Security Council considers it a procedural or non-procedural matter.
  • But it can be determined by the fact that permanent members cannot veto a procedural matter.
  • This is because there is no veto involved in procedural matters.

Inference

  • If a permanent member casts a negative vote on a motion, and it is still adopted, then it is procedural.
  • This means all decisions that are not adopted where it has been voted negatively by a permanent member are non-procedural.
  • This means, procedural or non-procedural matters can be distinguished after the voting.
  • If a permanent member voted negatively, and it was still passed, it is procedural

From Rule Taker to Rule Shaper

  • India has always played an active role in discussions on all issues related to international peace and security.
  • India sought to prioritise the primacy of a political approach to resolve crises through dialogue and negotiation.
  • Its UNSC presidency confirmed that India is no longer just a rule-taker.
  • But rather became a rule-shaper at the high tables

Consensus Mobiliser

  • The general perception is that India is a ‘nay-sayer’ in multilateral forums.
  • However, India’s voting pattern shows that its approach is proactive and positive towards the UNSC agenda.
  • From its first term in 1950–51 to its current term (2021–22) in the UNSC.
  • India favored more than 90% of the resolutions which were adopted unanimously or by consensus.

Think About It

Don’t you think 16 years of UNSC experience is an added credential for its claim for permanent membership in the Council?

UPSC PYQ (2022)

With reference to the United Nations General Assembly, consider the following statements :

  1. The UN General Assembly can grant observer status to the no the non-member States.
  2. Inter-governmental organisations can seek observer status in the UN General Assembly.
  3. Permanent Observers in General Assembly can the UN maintain missions at the UN headquarters.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

 

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