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  • 04 February, 2023

  • 5 Min Read

United Nations Security Council Membership

United Nations Security Council Membership

  • The UN Security Council is paralyzed, does not reflect contemporary circumstances, and is unable to carry out its fundamental duty of sustaining global peace and security, according to UNGA President Csaba Korosi.

  • Russia, a permanent member of the UN with a veto, attacked Ukraine. Russia has exercised its veto over UNSC resolutions pertaining to Ukraine and voted against a UNGA resolution urging nations not to recognize the four regions of Ukraine that Russia has annexed.

Important things about United Nations Security Council

  • In 1945, the UN Charter created the Security Council. It is one of the United Nations' six main bodies.

  • The General Assembly (UNGA), the Trusteeship Council, the Economic and Social Council, the International Court of Justice, and the Secretariat make up the remaining 5 institutions of the UN.
  • Its major duty is to contribute to the preservation of world peace and security.
  • The council has its main office in New York.
  • The United Nations Security Council has both permanent and temporary members.
  • The Council has a total of 15 members, of which 10 are temporary and 5 are permanent.
  • China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States are among the five permanent members.
  • The United Nations General Assembly elects non-permanent members for two-year periods.
  • The UNSC replaces five of its non-permanent members each year.
  • Members are chosen from every continent in the world. Africa has three members, with two each from Asia, Western Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
  • The United Nations Council met for the first time on January 17, 1947, in London.
  • A resolution cannot be passed even if it receives the required 9 votes because the five permanent members have "great power unanimity," often known as the veto power.

What does the UNSC veto authority mean?

  • The five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) have the authority to veto any "substantive" resolution.

  • Any UN member who is not a member of the Security Council is permitted to take part in discussions without having a vote whenever the Security Council determines that the member's interests are particularly impacted.

India and UN Security Council:

  • India has attempted to join the UNSC's permanent membership list but has been unsuccessful. India is not a permanent member of the UNSC despite having a large population, a developing economy, and nuclear power.

  • India has a better chance of becoming one of the permanent members of the UNSC because it is a member of the G4 (Germany, Japan, Brazil, and India).

Obstacles to Obtaining a Permanent Seat at the UNSC:

  • Despite appearing to be a straightforward process, it is complicated by the protests of some permanent members of the Security Council. In particular, China has been resisting India's efforts to gain permanent membership in the Council. China, which is supported by its partner Pakistan, thinks that giving India a permanent seat at the UNSC will make Indian interests the most important ones in the geopolitics of the subcontinent.

  • India is moreover regarded as a nuclear power that is expanding. Analysts argue that this is the main reason impeding India's hopes of joining the UNSC.
  • The permanent 5 members are certain that India must give up its nuclear capability in order to join, making India becoming a permanent member of the UNSC appear like a far-off goal.

The following is a list of arguments India made to secure its status as a permanent member of the UNSC.

  • France has recently joined other countries in advocating for India's permanent UNSC seat.
  • India actively participated in the 1947–1948 drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and spoke out vehemently against racism in South Africa.
  • India has contributed to the formulation of policies on a number of matters, including the admission of former colonies to the UN, resolving lethal conflicts in the Middle East, and preserving peace in Africa.
  • It has made significant contributions to the UN, particularly for the upkeep of world peace and security.
  • India has participated in 43 peacekeeping missions, contributing more than 160,000 troops and many police officers in all.
  • G-4 (India, Brazil, Germany, and Japan) and L.69 (A collection of like-minded nations from Asia, Africa, and Latin America) have attempted to press the UNSC for changes and expansion
  • India can act as an advocate of the "Global South."

Issues with UNSC:

  • The five permanent members of the UNSC have veto power, which is out of date in this day and age.

  • In its current form, the UNSC has become a barrier to comprehending the global dynamics and developments in the field of human security and peace.


  • The UN's membership is deeply divided, and as a result, decisions are either not made or are not given much weight among the P5.

  • The UNSC P-5 frequently splits, which prevents it from making important decisions.
  • As an illustration, when the coronavirus epidemic emerged, the UN, UNSC, and World Health Organization were unable to effectively assist governments in controlling the spread.
  • Due to the inclusion of the United Kingdom, France, and Russia in P-5, there is a significant European bias.
  • The Arab World, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean Group don't each have a single permanent member.
  • non-consultative and opaque method of operation.
North-South Inequality:
  • The global south is only represented by China, but the global north is represented by four countries in the UNSC.
  • Growing strains on the international system, including pandemics, food and energy insecurity, climate change, and geopolitical conflict, have highlighted the flaws and injustices of how the world now operates.
India Elected as Non-Permanent Member of UNSC:
  • India had been a non-permanent member of the UNSC eight times, with a recent for 2021–2022. India had previously held membership during the years 1950–1951; 1967–1968; 1972–1973; 1977– 1978; 1984–1985; 1991–1992; and 2011–2012.
Focus of India in UNSC:
  • India wants more women and young people to participate in creating a new paradigm.
  • India would constructively collaborate with allies to provide creative and inclusive solutions to promote growth.
  • A cogent, pragmatic, quick-thinking, and effective framework for cooperation is required to maintain lasting peace in light of the fast-changing nature of the world's security environment, the persistence of long-standing security challenges, and the emergence of new and complex ones.
  • India will effectively respond to and combat international terrorism in all of its guises and guillotines.
  • An all-encompassing strategy for maintaining world peace and security

India's vision for international peace and security is informed by the following principles in order to balance national preference with global priorities:

  • Cooperation and communication
  • Mutual Respect
  • Support for International Law
  • Innovative technological applications present encouraging chances to tackle humanitarian issues. India would support collaborations that take advantage of technological advancement for:
  • Reduce suffering in people
  • increase comfort of life
  • Create Community Resilience
Way Forward
  • There is an urgent need to address the disparities in power between the P5 and the rest of the world.
  • In order for the UN body to properly address the "ever-complex and growing problems" of maintaining global peace and security, the Security Council must also be reformed by adding more permanent and non-permanent seats.

Source: New India Express

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