India’s Election Campaign for UNSC Elected Seat

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A detailed brochure was released by the Government of India on 5th June 2020, which highlighted India’s campaign for securing an elected seat at the United Nations Security Council (hereinafter referred to as ‘UNSC’). The elections for the same are scheduled to take place on 17th June 2020, in New York. If India succeeds in this, this will mark the country’s eighth term of occupation as a non-permanent seat at the UNSC, the last term being 2011-12. The present term, if a seat is secured, will begin in January 2021. The objectives of UNSC are to ensure international peace and security, launch peacekeeping missions, recommend the general assembly, enact international sanctions etc.  The non-permanent members in the UNSC also get to be involved in global security briefings.

Salient features

As highlighted in the brochure, the features of this election campaign have laid out several objectives and priorities for India. The approach of the campaign has been guided by “FIVE S’s which are as follows:

  • Samman (Respect),
  • Samvad (Dialogue),
  • Sahyog (Cooperation),
  • Shanti (Peace), to create conditions for universal
  • Samriddhi (Prosperity)

The objective of India during this tenure of two years has been highlighted as the achievement of N.O.R.M.S: A New Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System. The mantra of “The World is one family” adopted from the Sanskrit slogan of “Vasudev Kutumbakam” has been adopted for the campaign. India’s vision to achieve the objectives of UNSC is guided by the following factors:

  • Dialogue and Cooperation,
  • Mutual respect and
  • Commitment to International Law

Objectives and purposes

India is committed to fight terrorism which is an eminent threat to international peace and security and association with the council can help in help in combating the menace in all forms. In the post-COVID era, India can also help in the reform of the council which is much needed for the promotion of greater cooperation in multilateral institutions. In the international context, the Security Council will face new challenges in the wake of this pandemic due to a more complex economic and political environment and India can help in having a sound approach to tackle the same. Another purpose which India can help fulfill if elected as a non-permanent member is to harness the benefits of technological innovation by building partnerships and resilient communities as it has promised in the campaign to build ‘Technology with a human touch’. In today’s context the security challenges faced by the world require a comprehensive and integrated approach to harmonize international priorities and India’s vision can help in achieving that objective. A comprehensive approach to foster international peace and security will definitely help in realizing the objectives and purpose of the institution.

Critical analysis

India is the sole candidate from the Asia-Pacific region, but it will need two-third of the general assembly to vote in its favour. The government of India has been looking forward to this since 2013 and this particular year is important for two reasons; 2021 marks the 75th year of independence and no slot for this was available before 2026, it is only because Afghanistan’s cooperation that we are given a chance to contest as they backed out, showing a friendly gesture to India. The engagement with UNSC can also be seen as a tactic of foreign policy and can help in India becoming an advocate of dialogue, a proponent of International law and significant factor in decision making.

Also, India, wants a change in UNSC P5 to get included in it so that it can wield greater power and influence. India is a super power aspirant and it needs to be there to be reflective of its power. This will also be seen as a status of power or a power symbol for the country. It will also help in having a say in the decision making at an international level and will also provide opportunities to foster ties with other countries in regards to security and peace cooperation. As discussed above, global institutions like UNSC are in need of reform and India’s vision and approach as promised in the campaign can definitely play a positive role in that regard. It will also help in developing an effective response to counter terrorism which is one of the biggest aims of the country as well as the institution.  

Conclusion

This campaign launched by India highlights an integrated approach to deal with the contemporary challenges and the need of reform faced by global institutions like the UNSC. Through the campaign, a positive role promised to be played by the country can be realized and the vision behind it as highlighted forms a strong base for India to be re-elected for the 8th time. The constructive and innovative support will also help the institution and other developing countries to recover from the crisis due to the upsurge of COVID-19 pandemic. The government looks confident enough for getting 2/3rd votes of the General Assembly.

Author: Aakash Batra from Symbiosis Law School, Pune.

Editor: Silky Mittal, Junior Editor, Lexlife India.

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