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Harikrishnan Nair asked: What are the arguments that India puts forward in its bid to secure a permanent post in the UNSC? How many countries support the bid?

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  • Keerthi Sampath Kumar replies: A survey of India’s statements at the UN Security Council over the last two years would reveal that its bid for permanent membership is based on the premise that the current structure of the UNSC does not reflect ‘contemporary realities’ but the geopolitical realities of 1945. On several occasions, India put forth the argument that the Council has to be reformed in order to make it more credible, effective and efficient. India aligns itself with the G4 and the L.69 group that seek expansion both in the permanent and the non-permanent categories, on the basis of equitable geographical distribution as well as demand for improvements in the working methods of the Security Council. Though the groups demand for expansion of membership in the permanent category with veto rights, the veto is not to be exercised by the new permanent members until the end of the 15-year review period. India is also striving for a veto restraint agreement whereby the permanent members would limit the usage of veto power and abstain from using it under certain circumstances.

    The G4 is pressing for a reformed Council that would accommodate around 25 members, with six new members in the permanent category that would include two seats from Africa, two from Asia, one each from Latin America and the Caribbean, one from Western European and Others Group. The non-permanent seats would be expanded from 10 to 14 or 15 members with the addition of one new non-permanent seat each for Asia, East Europe, GRULAC (Latin American and Caribbean Group) and one or two non-permanent seats for the African states. India has vehemently criticised the ‘interim/intermediate model’ proposed by the Uniting for Consensus group as being a non-starter.

    As of today, more than 80 members of the UN have supported the G4 bid for permanent membership and 50 other members are yet to formally render support.