India and restructuring of United Nations

India and restructuring of United Nations

The demand for restructuring of UN gathered momentum in the post cold war era to manage emerging challenges especially the challenge of increasing US preponderance in international affairs. The reforms are essential to make UN strengthened and revitalized and more democratic. There have been demands to

 Reform the structure and processes of the UN
 Reforms in budgetary procedure and
 Reforms in day to day administration
 Reforms in jurisdiction of the UN
 Reforms in structure and functioning of Security Council

The structure and the functioning of the UN Security Council constitute the core of reform debate. Experts feel that the Security Council does not represent the political realities of contemporary world. The membership of UN has increased exponentially since
last six decade- from 51 in 1945 to 193 in 2011. However the Security Council has remained largely static and thus jeopardized the representative character of Security Council. Moreover the activities and responsibilities of Security Council have enlarged over a period of time. There are five permanent and six nonpermanent members in Security Council. The non-permanent membership of Security Council was increased from six to ten in the 1960s. However the permanent membership remained five till today. Hence there is an increasing demand to expand both the permanent and nonpermanent membership of the Security Council in order to make the body truly representative and democratic and to enable it to perform its enlarged responsibilities efficiently.

Furthermore, large number of UN membership is constituted by the developing countries today and due to continuation of old UN structure they are inadequately represented. The  UNSC is dominated by the developed Western countries and the developing countries are left out in shaping the decision of the Security Council. Hence there is particular demand to give adequate representation to Asia, Africa and Latin America in proportion to
their strength in  UN. Although there is a unanimous demand for thereforms in UN, there seems to be scant consensus and clarity among states on the nature of reforms.

India has strongly supported the ongoing initiatives at the international level to reform and restructure the UN so that it can face emerging challenges to international peace and security effectively. India is insisting that the United Nations must undertake reforms to become truly representative while enhancing its credibility and effectiveness. India is more concern about the composition of United Nation’s Security Council and pleaded for its expansion. India is in favor of expansion of Security Council to make it more representative and reflect the increased membership of UN. India maintains that with the expansion of Security Council the credibility of UN will enhance and it will enjoy greater support in the international community. India wants the number of both permanent and non-permanent members to be increased.

India itself is in race of securing permanent membership of UNSC. India has been elected seven times to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member and now India has been seeking a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council along with Brazil, Germany, Japan. Indian claim to UNSC as a permanent member is based on its

 Huge population,
 Largest democracy,
 Increasing economic power, purchasing power parity,
 Colossal Armed forces,
 India’s consistent contribution to the UN since its inception especially in Peacekeeping Operations
 Financial support to UN

It should be noted that India was offered a permanent seat on the council in 1955. However the offer was declined by India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru said the seat should be given to China instead

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