India at UN High Table
Why in News?
- India has entered the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a non-permanent member this month. It will stay on the council for two years.
India at UNSC
- India has served in the UN Security Council seven times previously.
- In 1950-51, India, as President of UNSC, presided over the adoption of resolutions calling for cessation of hostilities during the Korean War and for assistance to Republic of Korea.
- In 1967-68, India co-sponsored Resolution 238 extending mandate of UN mission in Cyprus.
- In 1972-73, India pushed strongly for admission of Bangladesh into UN. The resolution was not adopted because of a veto by a permanent member.
- In 1977-78, India was a strong voice for Africa in the UNSC and spoke against apartheid. Then External Affairs Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee spoke in UNSC for Namibia’s independence in 1978.
- In 1984-85, India was a leading voice in UNSC for resolution of conflicts in the Middle East, especially Palestine and Lebanon.
- In 1991-92, PM P V Narasimha Rao participated in the first ever summit-level meeting of the UNSC and spoke on its role in maintenance of peace and security.
- In 2011-2012, India was a strong vice for developing world, peacekeeping, counter-terrorism and Africa. First statement on Syria was during India’s Presidency at the UNSC.
- During the 2011-12 term, India chaired the UNSC 1373 Committee concerning Counter-Terrorism, the 1566 Working Group concerning threat to international peace and security by terrorist acts, and Security Council 751/1907 Committee concerning Somalia and Eritrea.
- India played an active role in discussions on all issues related to international peace and security, including several new challenges which the UNSC was called upon to deal with in Afghanistan, Cote d’Ivoire, Iraq, Libya, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen. In view of the threat posed to international trade and security by piracy off the coast of Somalia, India promoted international cooperation against the pirates.
- At India’s initiative, the Security Council mandated international cooperation for release of hostages taken by pirates as well as for prosecution of those taking hostages and those aiding and abetting these acts.
- India also worked for enhancing international cooperation in counter-terrorism, prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-state actors, and the strengthening of UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts.
Issues before India
- UN REFORMS: India has said it is essential that the Security Council is expanded in both the permanent and non-permanent categories. It says India is eminently suited for permanent UNSC membership by any objective criteria, such as population, territorial size, GDP, economic potential, civilisational legacy, cultural diversity, political system and past and ongoing contributions to UN activities — especially to UN peacekeeping operations.
- TERRORISM: The international effort against terrorism is a key priority for India in the UN. With the objective of providing a comprehensive legal framework to combat terrorism, India took the initiative to pilot a draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in 1996. A text of the Convention is being negotiated in the 6th Committee of the UN General Assembly.
- India worked closely with its partners in the UNSC to ensure the listing of Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar under the UNSC’s 1267 Sanctions Committee (May 2019) concerning al-Qaida and ISIS and associated individuals and entities, which was pending since 2009.