September 22, 2017
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India should assess its strategy for UNSC seat
The talk of India being admitted into UN high table in near future is gaining momentum due to text based negotiation circular issued by the UN Headquarters recently. But it has many pitfalls. Thus, India needs to recast its strategy while looking for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council. The more India will press hard for it, this will enhance the bargaining capacity of others to push India back and extract their benefits. Big powers always do that to stay afloat and safeguard their greed. These days all the so-called P5 members are facing acute crisis both financially and politically. India, MINT economies and others are rising at the moment. The issue of UNSC seat should not be very top priority for Indian leaders since it can attract unwanted attention about India’s possible interests. The UN, the one we know in its present form, is totally irrelevant for all practical purposes. The UN is just a body to authorize the wrong doings of P-5. The big 5 have always let down the world body and used the farcical and dictatorial veto power to promote their own ambitions. They have been doing so all through the last seven decades but they have come under intense scrutiny these days due to information revolution. One cannot find a single example where the UN intervention brought peaceful resolution of any issue. Not even one. The P5 are just using it for their own benefits and sidelining others as a means of supremacy. In fact, the UN which was created for the purpose of preventing conflict in the fifties after the Second World War is long dead. The corporate UN that we know today is a body for power matrix of select few. The idea of UN was first mooted in the early 20th century but it failed for a similar reason that the interests of European powers collided passionately.

Now a similar situation is also emerging where interests of P5 nations are often at loggerhead. Take the example of Iran, Syria, Ukraine and North Korea where they promote their interests covertly. They are opposing sometimes each other based on their perceptions and at times fearing they may lose the status as few others can share the same table which they had once reserved for themselves exclusively for years. They never thought that outsiders will suddenly become so powerful or relevant. On the other hand, they are scoring economically minus growth and facing decline which is threatening their existence. The root cause of the Second World War was when Allied powers imposed treaties and unfair order on Germany. Similarly, the so-called P5 are also doing the same under the garb of maintaining global order. Some of the former UN diplomats privately agree that if the UN does not opt for reforms now, then it will lose its relevance as a true global body at an unprecedented pace. India which is home to one sixth of humanity is kept outside the body for decades. However, India and other countries financially contribute more than UK, China, Russia and France together. They also contribute sending troops for various UN missions in most difficult situations. The US which is the largest contributor always holds UN into a ransom due to its Dollar punch. How the UN has been functioning for years and how many new conflicts and wars have ruined the lives of millions, it is all documented in history. So the P5 have done more disservices to the functioning of the UN than any other nation or element in recent time.     

Now when the UN General Assembly President Sam Kahamba Kutesa, now retired, wanted to push for reforms he faced tough battle. Countries like China, Pakistan, Italy and Argentina were on the forefront to oppose the reforms. Astutely, Kutesa opted for a rationale by introducing open circulars. He authorized a survey in which about 120 countries participated that was conducted by Jamaican permanent representative Courtenay Rattray. In fact, Rattray was appointed by Kutesa to head the Inter-Governmental Negotiations process for Council reform. Sometime in July, Kutesa circulated a draft negotiating text based on a survey of member states on Council reforms that laid out different options for expanding the Council, different categories of membership, geographic representation and use of veto powers. That was included in his decision on continuing, the reform process that adopted unanimously by the Assembly. Now this move has angered select five or six nations out of 194. The choice is either the UN goes for reforms and becomes more inclusive or it will lose its relevance. That is why the US never goes to war with UN mandate. Most wars conducted by the US were outside the UN purview as Washington knows it is better to act with coalition of willingness than seeking UN approval. The veto should be abolished permanently. Indeed, use of veto is condemnable for the simple reason that it defies logic and rule of law. The veto power is equivalent to issuing a decree by a dictator. India must launch a campaign for abolishing veto permanently. The world is fast becoming a global village and massive public empowerment is being witnessed. In such a situation, any member using veto is ridiculous and absurd. We do not live in an era of bullying tactic of powerful ones.