India’s Quest for Permanent Membership at UN Security Council

India’s Quest for Permanent Membership at UN Security Council

                                                Author:Amrusha Sengupta ,
3rd year,
School of law and Justice, Adamas University .
 

Abstract

Membership to the United Nations Security Council has always been a contentious issue, as the Security Council of the United Nations plays an important role in maintaining International Peace and Security. India is one of the contenders for the permanent membership along with Brazil, Japan and Germany. The paper will discuss as to why India is still not a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, how far China has contributed for the same. The paper will also highlight the reasons provided by India as to why it should be given a permanent membership at the Security Council. The paper will also focus as to whether the Permanent Members of The Security Council will ever consider the fact regarding the expansion of the United Nations Security Council for the permanent members; lastly the author will conclude with the probability as to whether India will ever become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
Key Words: Security, China, Permanent Membership, Contentious.

Introduction

Historical Development

This chapter of the paper will discuss the fact as to why India is not a permanent member at the United Nations Security Council. The issue why India is deprived of a permanent membership is a controversial one, the historical controversy has centered on the culpability of Independent India’s First Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru,[1] he was the one who had turned down the offer for Indias permanent seat not just once but twice.
                  In the year 1950, USA had offered India to join the United Nations Security Council as a permanent member in the place of China, as the wanted to unseat China at that point of time due to the Korean War. Nehru had responded to the letter by stating that “In your letter you have mentioned that the State department is trying to unseat China as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and put India In her place. So far as we are concerned we are not going to countenance it. It would be a clear affront to China and it would mean some kind of a break between us and China. India because of many factors is certainly entitled to a permanent seat in the Security Council, but we are not going in at the cost of China”[2]. Nehru at that point of time rejected the offer as he did not wanted to disturb India’s internal peace; however the real reason is still   not known.
         The Second time in the year 1955 The Russian Minister Bulganin wrote to Nehru and made a proposal to him that India will be given a permanent Seat at the United Nations Security Council as its sixth member, this was also again rejected by Nehru , however at that same year Nehru in a parliament speech totally declined the proposal which came from Russia regarding India’s Permanent Membership at the Security Council.

India’s Contribution in the United Nations Peacekeeping operations

India has contributed a large amount of Military troops, in the United Nations peace keeping operations. After the Korean War troops treated over 400 causalities, a large number of war prisoners were taken many of who have refused repatriation. The India Army had also played an important role in Congo in 1961 during a peacekeeping operation by The United Nations. During the Cambodian Crisis as well India has contributed infantry battalion group. The Indian Army had tactfully handled three politically sensitive and underdeveloped provinces in Cambodia.
India has actively contributed to the United Nations Peace keeping operations in Somalia. In 1998, the Indian Army provided military support when Southern Lebanon was occupied by  Israel.
India has also participated in the United Nations peace keeping operations in Kosovo , it helped them to establish their civil administration, India had also actively participated in the peace keeping operation of Ethiopia in early 2000.[3]

India’s claim for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council

India is demanding a permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council . India has contended that it is just after China in terms of population, It has the Sixth largest democracy in the world , it ranks fourth in terms of having purchasing power , India is also technologically advanced and most importantly India  has actively participated in many peace keeping operations which has been organized by the United Nations, the question arises as to why it is still denied a permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council[4]. India has joined the G4 which consists of Japan , Brazil, Germany and India for the permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council, however the main point of issue is that this proposal has to be approved by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. As of now United States has not shown any support to back the candidacy [5].
 
            In my Opinion an internal politics is going on among the permanent members of UN Security Council, and this is what preventing India to get a permanent Seat. China had once openly admitted that they are ok with India’s membership in the United Nations, but only as a “non permanent member”[6], apart from that USA had always supported initially but now it is saying that India Should Focus on resolving its internal issues , including the disputes in Kashmir. Therefore there is a probability for China to exercise a veto for India’s permanent membership because China has been very vocal about its opinion regarding India’s Permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council.

Should the permanent membership be expanded?

Whether The seats for the permanent membership in the United Nations should be increased or not has always been a matter of controversy, however in my opinion the question whether The members of The Security Council will allow such change is a greater matter of concern.  Article 27 of the United Nations Charter states that concurrence of five permanent members are  a requirement to bring a change in substantive matter. If the number of permanent members are to be increased then the UN Charter has to be amended, and any amendment of the Charter will require the approval of the entire five permanent members as mentioned under Article 108 of the UN Charter. Therefore if any one of the members makes a veto the proposal gets cancelled wholly. Thus it is very difficult to say
as to whether the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council will ever agree to amend it.
[7]

Conclusion

India’s Demand for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council is a clear indication that it wants a position among the Superpowers of the World, however as of now USA is not supporting this completely and wants India to settle the matters concerning the disputes in the region of Kashmir, But the Security Council should also consider that the world is changing and the composition of the permanent membership should also change, as change is required with development. But the question as to whether the five permanent members will approve the amendment of the UN Charter in order to expand the seats for permanent membership is still left unanswered, Will the permanent members expand the seats of The UN Security Council at the cost of their own interest. In my opinion India’s dream to become a permanent member can only be achieved if  Article 108 of the Charter is not complied with and clearly as of now this seems to be impossible.

Webliography

M D Smith, Expanding the Permanent Membership in the UN Security Council: Opening a Pandora’s box or Needed Change, 12, DICK. J. INT’L  LAW , 173-194, 183-184, (1993).
Yadav. M.K, July-December 2014, “India’s Quest for United Nations Security Council Permanent Seat with special reference to its Peace Keeping Credentials”; International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences., Research India Publications, New Delhi, Volume 4, Number 2, pp-137-147 with ISSN No. 2250-3226.
  Mussarat Jabeen, Indian Aspiration of Permanent membership in the UN Security Council and American Stance,25(2) , A Research Journal for South Asian Studies, 237-253,246, (2010)
  Anton Harder, Not at the cost of China: New Evidence regarding US proposals to Nehru for joining the United Nations Security Council,  CWIHP, 1-24, 1 ( 2015).
RSTV: The Big picture – UNSC and permanent seat for Security Council (https://www.insightsonindia.com)
India’s Quest for a permanent Seat on the UNSC (https://www.boloji.com)
 At the High table; on India’s non permanent seat (https://www.thehindu.com)

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[1] Anton Harder, Not at the cost of China: New Evidence regarding US proposals to Nehru for joining the United Nations Security Council,  CWIHP, 1-24, 1 ( 2015).</span >
[2]  Ibid,5
[3] Yadav. M.K, July-December 2014, “India’s Quest for United Nations Security Council Permanent Seat with special reference to its Peace Keeping Credentials”; International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences., Research India Publications, New Delhi, Volume 4, Number 2, pp-137-147 with ISSN No. 2250-3226.
[4] Yadav. M.K, July-December 2014, “India’s Quest for United Nations Security Council Permanent Seat with special reference to its Peace Keeping Credentials”; International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences., Research India Publications, New Delhi, Volume 4, Number 2, pp-137-147 with ISSN No. 2250-3226.
[5] Mussarat Jabeen, Indian Aspiration of Permanent membership in the UN Security Council and American Stance,25(2) , A Research Journal for South Asian Studies, 237-253,246, (2010)
[6]  China Says it values the role of India in maintain International Peace, Economic Times, June 28, 2019
  (m-economic times-com.cdn.ampproject.org.)
[7] Michelle. D Smith, Expanding the Permanent Membership in the UN Security Council: Opening a Pandora’s box or Needed Change, 12, DICK. J. INT’L  LAW , 173-194, 183-184, (1993).
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1 thought on “India’s Quest for Permanent Membership at UN Security Council”

  1. Hi Amrusha,
    This is Dr. Manish Kumar Yadav whom you have quoted in your paper. This message is to tell and notify you about the work of mine which you have cited. Though it is correct i would prefer another citation from the same publication house which has ISSN Number. This particular Journal doesn’t have an ISSN Number.

    The updated citation should be Yadav. M.K, July-December 2014, “India’s Quest for United Nations Security Council Permanent Seat with special reference to its Peace Keeping Credentials”; International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences., Research India Publications, New Delhi, Volume 4, Number 2, pp-137-147 with ISSN No. 2250-3226.

    For Any Clarifications You Can Contact Me On My Email Id: drmanishyadava@gmail.com

    Reply

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