Chasing National Interests at the UN high table

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Syllabus: GS 2

Synopsis: India’s mission of achieving its goals at the UNSC should have a clear plan and reveal its material and geopolitical confines.


India has got a two-year non-permanent period at the UNSC. But it is almost certain that India is not getting permanent membership of UNSC  anytime soon. Thus, this opportunity should be viewed as a once in a decade opportunity to pursue the national interests of the country.

What are the trends that will dominate UNSC?

New Delhi’s entry into the UNSC coincides with the rise of the new world order. There is an absence of global leadership. The world is divided into rival blocs for narrow national interests.

Currently, the relevance of the UNSC is in serious doubt, and it is not able to do justice to its primary objective i.e. “the maintenance of international peace and security”.

Biden’s administration will be busy undoing the policies of the previous regime for some time. Thus, nothing much should be expected from US as of now.

India’s term at the UNSC comes at a time when its military rivalry with China is increasing. This has come to the UNSC table after china opposed the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) to be chaired by India in 2022.

How will India’s approach be in addressing its key issues at UNSC?

  • India’s seat at the UNSC is important for keeping in check the further Chinese invasions along the line of actual control. 
  • Terror is going to be a major focus for India at the UNSC. New Delhi’s approach on the issue is going to be on the lines of external minister’s statement: “Terrorists are terrorists; there are no good and bad ones. Those who propagate this distinction have an agenda. And those who cover up for them are just as culpable”.
  • Recently India assumed the chair of the Taliban sanctions committee. India’s policy approach on the Taliban will be very important for its global image.
  • India should focus to use the platform and its engagement there to build alliances among like-minded states. It should set out its priorities for the next decade from climate change to non-proliferation.
  • India would try to shape the narrative and global policy engagement regarding the Indo-Pacific concept. This would also provide an opportunity to improve its relations with Moscow.

The way forward

  • New Delhi must focus its energies on what it can achieve during the short period that it would be in the UNSC rather than expecting a permanent membership because UNSC is unlikely to admit new members anytime soon.
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