India’s UN journey and its role

What are the different phases of India’s journey in UN?

  1. Phase 1- Before the end of the Cold War in 1989-
  • The Indian leadership learned that the UN could not be relied upon to impartially resolve vital security disputes.
  • The UN only to focus on common causes such as anti-colonialism, anti-racism, nuclear disarmament, environment conservation and equitable economic development.
  • In 1988- India claims the moral high ground by proposing, three-phase plan to eliminate nuclear weapons from the surface of earth.
  1. Phase 2- The demanding decade from 1990-2000-
  • There was a change in India’s foreign policy which was reflected in voting patterns at the UN.

For example– India showed pragmatism in enabling the toughest terms on Iraq even after eviction from occupied Kuwait, or in reversing the hitherto stated position on Zionism as racism

  • India’s diplomatic difficulties were exposed when it suffered a humiliating defeat in the hands of Japan in the 1996 contest for a non-permanent seat in the UNSC.
  • India stood against indefinite extension of the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1995, and rejected the backdoor introduction for adoption of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in 1996.
  1. Phase 3- Wind of changes – 21st century.
  • India strengthened its profile- The economic liberalization and globalization policies, helped India to strengthening its profile.
  1. The reliable and substantial troop contributions to several peacekeeping operations in African conflict theatres.
  2. India has emerged as a responsible stakeholder in non-traditional security issue areas such as the spread of small and light weapons, the threat of non-state actors acquiring weapons of mass destruction, and the impact of climate change.

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

India’s areas of priority will continue to be-

  • The upholding of Charter principles in the backdrop of a turbulent world..
  • Mounting effective punitive measures against those who support, finance and sponsor terrorists.
  • Striving for securing due say to the troop contributing countries in the management of peace operations.

Challenge for India-

  1. In the midst of multilateralism and, and China’s aggressive territorial forays India may face challenges and opportunities in the UNSC.
  2. Voting scenario– China might succeeding in convening a formal meeting on Kashmir, India may have to choose either to abstain in the vote since it is a party to the dispute or vote against any unfavorable proposal that might be tabled.
  • The growing proximity with the US may prompt India not to stay neutral in order to counter balance China.

Way forward-

  • India’s future role will probably depend on its ability to weather the impact of the multiple crises it now faces on account of an unabated economic slowdown and a troubled relationship with China.
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