UN Reforms

Source- Live Mint

Context- UN  reforms are urgently required. India’s absence from UN decision-making structures and lack of genuine reforms might force India to look for alternatives.

What are the current issues of the UN?

  1. Ineffectiveness of UN-The UN has been unable to respond effectively to the once-in-a-century global crisis triggered by the coronavirus.
  • A global health pandemic should have been the high point of the multilateral search for a collective solution. Instead, it has turned out to be its nadir.
  1. Challenge to multilateralism– The rift between the permanent members of the Security Council has already started affecting the work of the UN Security Council.
  • China has stepped in to take advantage of the West’s retreat from multilateralism.
  • The U.S. withdrawing from multilateralism.
  • Brexit has shown that nationalism remains strong in Europe.

What steps should India take in future with regard to UN?

  1. Reforming UNSC – Equitable representation as well as expansion of the UNSC is the desired reform that India envisages.
  • It is not readily evident if the global multilateral order will be able to reform itself and cope with rising geopolitical tensions and new security challenges.
  1. Looking for Alternatives– If the extant multilateral order will not work to secure Indian interests, then India will have to look for alternatives.
  • Today, the Indo-Pacific is driving the global economic and political agenda. Global institutional frameworks should reflect this shift.
  • Reforming UN multilateralism is wishful thinking and countries like India should embrace plurilateral setups, where like-minded nations come together on common interests.

Way forward-

  • India called for a new template of multilateralism that reflects today’s reality, gives voice to all stakeholders, addresses contemporary challenges, and focuses on human welfare.
  • For India, the status quo is no longer a viable option. If UN reforms fail, New Delhi’s approach to the United Nations could significantly alter in the coming years as India would feel it necessary to look elsewhere for solutions.
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