‘World does not give things easily, sometimes one has to seize it’: EAM Jaishankar on India’s permanent UNSC membership


Highlighting the increasing global backing for India’s permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that sometimes things are not given generously and one has to seize it.

Among the five permanent members (P5) of the UNSC, China stands as the sole nation opposing India’s inclusion in the highest echelons of the UN. Ironically, India had previously supported China’s bid for permanent membership in the UNSC. The significance lies in the fact that each of the P5 countries possesses veto power within the UNSC, requiring the unanimous approval of all members for the adoption of any resolution.

“With each passing year, the feeling in the world is that India should be there, and I can feel that support…The world does not give things easily and generously; sometimes you have to take them,” the EAM said on a question regarding a permanent seat for India at the UNSC. The EAM was speaking at ‘Manthan’: Townhall meeting in Maharashtra’s Nagpur.

Jaishankar then pointed out that India which has shown the capability of conducting a successful G20 presidency, that brought out the ” New Delhi Declaration” despite differences within the member nations, will contribute to the UNSC. “If a country has such a capability, such a country in the UNSC can actually contribute as well,” he added.

On the relevance of the UN, the EAM said that in many ways, the limitations of the UN are now showing and that the organisation used to be more relevant in the 1950s-60s.United Nations (UN) is getting more and more ineffective in confronting key issues, he said, “The UN used to be more relevant in the 1950s-60s, but as the number of country’s grew, it was easier for the permanent members to dominate the smaller countries.

However, that has not been the case in the last 30 years. Today, the five permanent members are not the five largest economies of the world.”Jaishankar said that with the passage of time, other countries have developed the confidence to challenge and not agree with the permanent members.

“The permanent members are also fighting among themselves. In the Ukraine issue, they themselves could not come to an agreement,” he said.”In many ways, the limitations of the UN are showing. The normal process of renewal and change is today being denied in the UN because there are just a few countries,” he added.

EAM Jaishankar recently emphasised the division of power in the global structure and the importance of negotiating and shaping narratives to create fair systems. Referring to the division of power in the global structure, Jaishankar said that those who have acquired dominance will often create a system that would “appear fair, even if they are not” using negotiations and narrative.

He highlighted the division of power in the UNSC and said, “Those who have acquired dominance, especially economic dominance, will, through the process of negotiation and shaping of narrative, often create a system that would appear fair, even if they are not.”

He also said that even though there are talks of free trade, there are cases of “cherry picking” aiming to freeze leads acquired by the countries. He highlighted that free trade is not applicable to all sectors, such as food, clothing, drugs, and intellectual property.

India has been a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for eight terms (16 years). The country is a member of the G4, a group of nations that back each other to seek permanent membership of the UNSC. The countries advocate for reform in the UNSC.

Recently, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hailed the G20 communique under New Delhi’s presidency, and affirmed Moscow’s support for India’s candidacy as a permanent member of the UNSC.

He said that the New Delhi Declaration in September this year perfectly reflected the balance of interest of global powers.”The G20 Summit in New Delhi that took place last year was truly a triumph for Indian foreign policy, a triumph for multilateral diplomacy, and it was possible primarily due to the chairmanship of G20.

It didn’t allow the final communique to be one-sided, it reflects the perfect balance of interest,” Lavrov said while addressing the joint press conference with EAM Jaishankar in Moscow.

“This is an example of how G20 and other groups should be working and…this includes the UN and the Security Council. We support India’s candidacy for the Security Council,” he added.

He also said that taking note of multilateral cooperation, Russia supports India’s aspiration as a permanent UNSC member along with representatives of Latin America and Africa.

With inputs from agencies.

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