India was elected as a non-permanent member of the powerful UN Security Council for a two-year term on Wednesday. In the 193-member General Assembly, India garnered 184 votes to become a non-permanent UNSC member. This is the 8th time when India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the UNSC.
Ireland, Mexico, and Norway were other nations that also won the Security Council elections. However, Canada lost the election. With this victory, India will sit in the most powerful UN organ, for two years beginning on January 1.
The Security Council has a total of 15 members. Five permanent members with veto power and 10 non-permanent. Among the 10 non-permanent members, five are elected each year by the General Assembly for a two-year term. The UNSC has other non-permanent member states like Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam. Among its permanent members are China, France, Russia, UK and the US.
Previously, India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the Council for the years 1950-1951, 1967-1968, 1972-1973, 1977-1978, 1984-1985, 1991-1992 and most recently in 2011-2012.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday, expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming support shown by the global community for India's membership of the UNSC. The PM said, " India will work with all member countries to promote global peace, security, resilience and equity".
Deeply grateful for the overwhelming support shown by the global community for India's membership of the @UN Security Council. India will work with all member countries to promote global peace, security, resilience and equity.- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 18, 2020
Being a non-permanent member of the Security Council India will be shouldered with certain powers and duties. In fact, before the results of the UNSC, External Affairs Minister Dr Jaishankar had listed out priorities for India's in the UN Security Council. Jaishankar had said that India will have five overarching priorities under the acronym NORMS, which stands for New Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System.
According to Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador TS Tirumurti, India's entry to the Security Council amid the pandemic will give India an opportunity to put forward its international peace agenda.
Besides, India's non-permanent membership amid border tension with China might prove to be a silver lining for the country. Although China is a permanent UNSC member, India will get an opportunity to pursue concrete and result-oriented action.
Cross-border terrorism is another problem that India has always been vocal about. Hence, India's presence in the UNSC will play a peacekeeping role in mitigating all forms of terrorism. According to Tirumurti, the UNSC has been used against India by Pakistan with help from its all-weather friend China. However, with India's membership at UNSC, it will try to ensure that there are no takers for Pakistan's "propaganda".
Reform of the Security Council would be another part of India's agenda, which basically favours a multilateral system. According to the Indian envoy, India needs to go beyond the 1940s multilateral architecture and provide for greater representation of developing countries. Lastly, India will be promoting technology with a human touch as a driver of solutions.