A Dream or a Reality?
There is an urgent need for an expansion of UNSC to accommodate more permanent members with veto right to make it a true representative of an inclusive world. Bharat is a strong contender for its membership.
United Nations, UN (earlier UNO) came into being in October, 1945 after the devastation of humanity during the World War-second, with a pious motive to avoid the World War-third, maintain international peace, co-operation, human rights, environment and to counter other disasters. Apart from a General Assembly, comprising of all member nations which stands 193 as on today, one supreme body to control various activities of UN, a UN Security Council (UNSC) was made with five permanent members (also called as P5 countries) having a very important VETO right. With this right to veto, all the decisions of UN were supposed to be taken with consensus where even a single member, if present, can Veto the decisions taken by other four members resulting in non implementation of that very decision. During the formation of UNSC, Victor’s justice prevailed as all the main four members .i.e. USA,UK, France, Russia were members of Allied block which won the second world war and China was made member as nation of largest population and as an opponent of Japan. All these P5 countries are declared and recognised Nuclear weapons armed countries. Two of these five, UK and France, were colonial powers of yester years and very important nations during those times. Many decades have passed since then and things have changed a lot. The present UNSC is not a true representative of world powers of 21st century. Countries like Bharat, Germany, Brazil and Japan have more relevance in current world order vis a vis political, military and economic might. So, there is an urgent need for an expansion of UNSC to accommodate more permanent members with Veto right to make UNSC a true representative of an inclusive world. UNSC has to have greater representation of all geographical regions of World, be it Asia, South America or Africa.
UNSC as an elite club, is a very crucial and powerful body at UN having a greater responsibility and role to play in all decisions taken by UN and hence supposedly represents the international community. Be it a military intervention in any country, to influence regime change, peace keeping operations, international sanctions, care for human right violations and other international efforts for upkeep of peace/order, if there is any legitimate action it has to be sanctioned by UNSC.
Bharat along with Brazil, Germany and Japan (called as P4 countries in diplomatic circles at UN) have been actively trying and pursuing for UNSC reforms and for their inclusion in expanded UNSC. Bharat represents aspirations of all developing countries where 4/5th of world’s population lives. After prolonged and untiring efforts of Bharateeya diplomates, UN has accepted “Text based Negotiations—a question of equitable representation and increase in the membership of Security Council” , a frame work to discussions for UNSC reforms which will be taken up at next year’s session of UN general assembly at New York , which may go for voting after long discussions. This is a little hope in right direction for UNSC reforms. There are many countries i.e. USA, UK, France, P4 block, African countries and many others, who support the cause of Bharat for inclusion in UNSC. Similarly there is an opposition by a group called as Coffee Club or United for Consensus (UFC) comprising Italy, Mexico, Egypt and Pakistan. Italy, Mexico and Egypt are not against Bharat’s contention for UNSC but have other reasons. Bharat’s bid to UNSC is opposed strongly by China and Pakistan. China doesn’t want that Bharat should become a global power and have that powerful status as of P5 countries but wishes that it should remain confined to be a regional player. Pakistan on the other hand is deeply obsessed with Bharat, having all enmity and envy towards it, they are actively lobbying and spreading all sort of false propaganda to stop Bharat joing the UNSC as a permanent member. Russia was supportive of Bharat’s inclusion in UNSC but without a Veto power according the statement of Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia during his last official visit to Bharat.
Bharat is a strong contender for UNSC membership on its own merit. It is the world’s largest liberal democracy, going to become world’s most populated country by 2020 with a vast human resource potential, home to world’s all religions, the most plural society but living in great harmony, Non-Violence , a major Space/Scientific power with large number of space missions including successful Mission on Mars, a major economic power having around 2 trillion USD economy with world's 3rd largest Purchasing Power Parity-PPP with a decadal GDP growth of 8 per cent, a major military power with world’s third largest modernised standing army having two operational sea carriers, most responsible nuclear weapons state with a principle of “NO FIRST USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS and NO USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AGAINST NON-NUCLEAR COUNTRY”, having largest contributions towards international peacekeeping operations of UN, providing major humanitarian assistance in all international crises/disasters, having elected to UNSC as a non permanent member for record seven times, out of which most recently got elected with 188 votes out of 190 in 2011.
If we are too optimist, then during the next UN session in 2016 if there is a voting in UN General Assembly (UNGA) to adopt the resolution to UNSC reforms, there are chances that this will be adopted and Bharat may secure the required 2/3rd majority votes to become a UNSC member. Then things will get struck in UNSC where Russia may and China will oppose this inclusion. Even the last expansion of UNSC was decided with 2/3rd majority in UNGA with two permanent members abstaining. But China may not oblige Bharat by abstaining from voting in UNSC. We should step up the diplomatic efforts to convince Russia and China about this. Our trade/Import and other co-operation with them should be linked to the support for UNSC membership. Bharateeya government has stepped up the efforts with many initiatives.
Development Partnership Administration (DPA) in Ministry of External Affairs-MEA works toward this goal by extending assistance to many countries, as they have done in case of Mongolia, Nepal and Bangladesh. Bharat becoming founding members of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, Bharat, China, South Africa Bank), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), becoming member of Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO), engagement with South East Asian Nations etc.
Future belongs to money bag and cheque book diplomacy i.e. economic prowess of a country and financial assistance it can give to others. If things do not fall in place despite all efforts, Bharat should develop its economy at fast pace and take it to 4 trillion mark and along with Brazil, Germany and Japan make the P4 Club as 20+ trillion USD economy block and act as an international alternative, make a block of more than 2/3rd UN members which demand UNSC reforms at the earliest and force the current dispensation (who oppose the UNSC reforms due to their vested interests) to accept the expansion of UNSC with equal rights and include countries like Bharat in it. The current Government is keen to accomplish this task. The way MEA with an active support from PMO is engaged in international diplomatic maneuvers in gathering opinion in Bharat’s favours, things seem to be going in right direction. Our Prime Minister’s overseas visit is an important step towards this and his ability to develop a personal rapport with important World leaders is an important aspect which may help to get Bharat into a Global arena.
In the words of most important world leader, Mr Barack Obama-The President of The United States of America, “The UN exists to fulfill its founding idols of preserving peace and security, promoting global co-operation and attaining human rights and we look forward to a reformed UNSC that includes ‘Bharat’ and ensure that UNSC is effective, resolutions are implemented, sanctions are enforced, rights and responsibilities of all nations and individuals are recognised.” It is high time that Bharat rises to the occasion with all its capability and become voice of hitherto unheard, representative of non-represented and give the world gifts of non-violence, spiritual freedom, democracy and pluralism.
Sukhwinder Singh (The writer is a columnist)