Agenda for Reform:
India’s suggestions revolve round following claims.
i. To increase the number of members of the Security Council, in view of the increasing membership of the UN from 51 to 192. It should be widened so as to include either 21 or 27 members.
ii. To increase the number of permanent members of the Security Council only countries who have enthusiastically fulfilled their obligations in achieving the objectives of the organization should be included in this category.
iii. To grant membership to countries representing continents and having democratic institutions viz; Nigeria, Brazil and India. Moreover membership should also be granted to two fatly growing economies like Germany and Japan.
iv. To reform the Security Council so as to make it fully deliberative democratic body; not an instrument of big power interests.
v. Security Council is the instrument arm of the UN. So, its strengthening and democratisation are necessary for its vitality in the newly emerging world order.
vi. To empower the new member with veto power or to propose a scheme whereby the power be withdrawn from all the members.
Though the talks for reform have remained dormant from 1992 onwards; there have emerged renewed interests in it. Even the Secretary General in his speech has clearly outlined a proposal for reform.
India’s case for permanent membership of the Security Council rests on following grounds:
i. India has been a founding member of UN and done its best in filling the role expected of it.
ii. India is the largest democracy and a fatly growing economy.
iii. India has fulfilled its financial obligations on time without any default.
iv. India has genuinely pursued a policy of national interest which has seldom threatened the security and integrity of any other state.
Recently Group of 4 consisting India, Brazil, Japan and Germany has intensified efforts to reform the Security Council. In May 2005, G. 4 proposed inclusion of six new permanent and four new non permanent members.
However, reports from Washington saying inclusion of two permanent members, one of which will be Japan seems to split the group. India is of the opinion that it fulfills all the conditionality’s mentioned by Nicholas Burns, (U.S. under secretary of state).
But, it remains to be seen whether India is able to garner the required support to achieve permanent membership of the council.
Under this background, India’s case for permanent membership of the Security Council is as sound as any other giant. But, efficacy of such claims ultimately depends on how far Indians are able to garner the international support.
The contemporary trend is in favour of India. For, France, Britain, Japan, Brazil and many countries have fully acknowledged India’s role and support her claim.
But, India has to see that promises are maintained and reforms are not biased. It has to man oeuvre public support for maintaining equality between all the members of Security Council.
The indication of non-allocation of veto power to new members needs to be addressed firmly. For this, India can lobby with other countries, either for time bound renunciation of veto power or its allocation to all the members.