Editorial Notes

[Editorial Notes] Padding up for the next UNSC innings

To anticipate what issues will arise during India’s tenure two and three years down the road in UNSC which is the highest decision-making organ concerned with peace and conflict in the global organisation, is clearly problematic as the dynamics of international politics are fast moving.
By IASToppers
August 01, 2019


  • Introduction
  • Members of UNSC
  • Current International Scenario
  • What should be the role of India as a non- permanent UNSC member?
  • How the membership will benefit India?
  • Challenges to India in UNSC
  • Pakistan and the terror angle
  • Conclusion


Padding up for the next UNSC innings

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  • India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat at the powerful UN Security Council for a two-year term has been unanimously endorsed by the 55-member Asia-Pacific grouping, including China and Pakistan.


Members of UNSC:

The UNSC has 15 members: Five permanent and ten non- permanent.


  • The five permanent members of the Council are China, France, Russia, UK and the US.
  • The 10 non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis:
    • Five for African and Asian States
    • One for Eastern European States
    • Two for the Latin American and Caribbean States
    • Two for Western European and other States
  • Each year the 193-member General Assembly elects five non-permanent members for a two-year term.
  • Previously, India has been elected as a non-permanent member for seven times.

Current International Scenario:

  • The US has made various international agreements in the wake of tensions between major powers, Wars in Middle East and widespread use of threat and economic sanctions by the United States.
  • The rise of China and Russian aggression are resisted through military and economic measures by US.
  • Every country wants the supremacy in artificial intelligence, high technology and 5G, which will have strategic significance in future decades.
  • The high prevalence for generating greater influence among big and medium powers and rising polarization between the major powers adds the complexity to the situation.

What should be the role of India as a non- permanent UNSC member?

  • India needs to support the objective of a more than one super powers in world and counter existing trends towards unilateralism, ethno-centrism, protectionism and racial intolerance.
  • India should seek to protect the World Trade Organisation from American attempts to undermine it, as the WTO’s dispute mechanism is a useful resource for developing countries.


  • India should attempt to make progress on the non-discriminatory elimination of weapons of mass destruction, protection of the environment against global warming, safeguarding outer space from weaponisation, and enhancing respect for diversity and plurality in world politics.
  • India should underline the validity of Article 2 of the UN Charter that provides for state sovereignty and safeguards countries against outside interference in the domestic affairs of other states.
  • India should give importance to treaties such as the multilateral accord with Iran endorsed by the UNSC and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in order to support a rule-based order in international society.
  • To strengthen India’s position, India needs to normalize relations with China during its term in office.
  • India must give exceptional weightage as to how major superpowers of world will have an impact on the Indian subcontinent.

How the membership will benefit India?

  • India can use its term as a non-permanent member to enhance its credentials as a constructive and responsible member of international society.
  • India is one of the world’s biggest economies. Accordingly, India’s opinion is capable of making a significant contribution during its tenure by strengthening multilateralism as a means of making the world safer.

Challenges to India in UNSC:

UNSC-Logo IASToppers

India will likely face the country-specific topics such as disputes of Cyprus, Palestine, Ukraine and North Korea.

  • The issue of Kashmir can be revived by Pakistan in UNSC in case the situation in the Kashmir Valley deteriorates.
  • Along with India, Japan, Germany and Brazil are also in the UNSC members which will create an imbalance in favor of the West versus the Rest of world in addressing world affairs.

Pakistan and the terror angle

  • The question of an international convention against terrorism has been under discussion in UN committees for many years, however, this issue could not be solved under UNSC.
  • What India can do is India is, through its presence on the UNSC’s sanctions subcommittee, forbid Pakistan-based militant groups and individuals. But experience shows that this is also not much proven useful.

Pakistan-and-the-terror-angle-IASToppers – Padding up for the next UNSC innings


  • American policies in India’s near-neighbourhood towards West Asia, Russia and China present challenges that can be met only with great skill and delicate balance.
  • India should aim to end its eighth term on the Council with its merit- and legality-based judgments intact and widely respected.


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