India eyes global post-Covid role, pitches for UNSC seat

Photo: India’s Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar.

New Delhi: Keen to play a larger international role in the likely China-dominant, post-COVID-19 World Order, India today formally launched its campaign for an elected seat at the coveted United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and spelt out its vision for a reformed global system.

India’s Minister of External Affairs Dr S. Jaishankar launched a brochure listing India’s priorities at the powerful global body and pointed out that the country’s objective during the UNSC tenure would be to achieve New Orientation for a Reformed Multilateral System.

The new vision, said the minister, would be based on new opportunities for progress, an effective response to international terrorism, the need to reform the multilateral system, a comprehensive approach to global peace and security and promotion of technology with a human face as a driver of solutions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been talking about the need to reform the global institutions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For several years, India has also been articulating its case for a permanent seat at the UNSC arguing that it was time the powerful body should be reshaped to reflect the changing reality of the world.

“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has further contributed to a more complex international economic and political environment, including by limiting the capacity of the States to respond to local, regional and global challenges,” Jaishankar said.

The minister stressed upon India’s long-standing role as a voice of moderation, an advocate of dialogue, and a proponent of international law and pointed out that the country has had a principled approach to international relations.

India’s approach would be guided by the five S’s set out by the Indian prime minister, namely, Samman (Respect), Samvad (Dialogue), Sahyog (Cooperation), Shanti (Peace) and global Samriddhi (Prosperity).

Elections for the elected seat at the UNSC would be held on June 17 and as a single endorsed candidate of the Asia-Pacific group, India is pretty confident of securing the position. The role is not new to India and the new two-year term starting January 2021 would be the country’s eighth round at the UNSC.

The UNSC has 15 members including five permanent members — the United States, the United Kingdom, Russian Federation, China and France. The 10 non-permanent members are elected for a two-year term by the United Nations General Assembly.

India is also a part of Group of Four or G4 along with Japan, Germany and Brazil that are pressing for reforms in the UNSC to include more permanent members at the high table to reflect the current reality of geopolitics in which new nations have emerged as power centres in the last seven decades since United Nations came into being

Only yesterday, India had concluded two key defence agreements with Australia and the two nations defined their future ties with the major powers of the Indo-Pacific region — United States and Japan — under the four-nation QUAD arrangement.

The new dynamism exhibited by India and its strong forward movement towards forgings new, reliable bonds with the major powers in the Indo-Pacific indicate New Delhi’s eager to prepare itself for an aggressive China in the years to come.

Already, India is facing China’s belligerence at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de factor border between the two nations, at Ladakh for nearly a month now in the form of People’s Liberation Army forays that has resulted in face-offs between their military personnel.

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