Why India may never get to enter the Power Club aka become UNSC permanent member

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by Singh, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Why India May Never Get To Enter The Power Club



    Permanent membership is not just about power; it's also a gravy train that feeds the Big Powers' economies, which is why they won’t be willing to share the spoils readily, when they have no compelling need to. AFP Photo

    In the endearing Charlie Brown comic series, the bald-headed protagonist is the subject of a running gag that features Lucy who tempts him, time and again, to kick a football that she is holding down. Never one to learn from his previous experiences, Charlie Brown gets his hopes up and runs in – only to find Lucy pull the football away at the last minute, causing him to fall flat on his back.

    India’s ongoing effort to secure a permanent seat for itself on the United Nations Security Council, despite repeated rebuffs, reflects a certain guilelessness that would do a Charlie Brown proud. Along with three other countries – Germany, Japan and Brazil – India is putting in a joint bid for an expansion of both the permanent and non-permanent membership of the UN.

    Ever since the November 2010 visit to India of US President Barack Obama, during which he said that “in the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed United Nations Security Council that includes India as a permanent member”, a billion-plus hearts have soared on expectation that a seat at the High Table of global governance represents a date with destiny for India.

    But like Charlie Brown, those billion-plus hearts are certain to be crushed yet again. The very nature of cynical power politics at the global level, and the monstrous complexity of undertaking any meaningful reforms of the UN, means that India and the other aspirants stand no chance of gaining entry into the Power Club of permanent members.

    The current architecture of the UN Security Council, with five permanent members with veto powers — the US, Russia, the UK, France and China — was drawn up at the end of the Second World War. To that extent, it represents a world whose power structure is changing dramatically, but given the way the reform process has been hard-coded into the UN process, it’s virtually impossible to change that structure today.


    China is the only existing member of the P-5 not to have expressly articulated its support for India’s candidacy – beyond a few anodyne statements. Reuters

    Ironically, China, to whom India yielded the offer of permanent membership that was made during Jawaharlal Nehru’s time (in a syrupy moment of Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai sentiment that recoiled on him), is emerging as the biggest hurdle to India’s securing a seat today.

    China is the only existing member of the P-5 not to have expressly articulated its support for India’s candidacy – beyond a few anodyne statements that it “understands India’s aspirations” for a bigger role at the UN.

    In fact, China has being doing its damnedest to thwart or delay India’s admission into other agencies, such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group – by pitching a false equivalence case for Pakistan’s admission too, which is unlikely to come about, given Pakistan’s record of nuclear proliferation.

    It’s a gravy train

    Permanent membership of the UN Security Council, with the Brahmastra of the veto power that it comes with, isn’t just about prestige and status – or the consideration that these countries have a voice on global issues (and on international issues that could potentially affect their respective interests).

    There are also material gains to be had, given the very nature of the UN system. For instance, for every dollar of investment that the US makes in UN operations, it extracts four dollars by way for contracts for its companies. China too leverages its Council permanent membership to secure diplomatic influence around the world – and lucrative contracts.

    So, permanent membership is not just about power; it’s also a gravy train that feeds the Big Powers’ economies, which is why they won’t be willing to share the spoils readily, when they have no compelling need to.

    If the US even seems halfway keen on getting India in today, it’s only because it sees India as a long-term strategic hedge against China, a consideration born of China’s unwillingness to play by the rules of the game as set by the Western powers.

    But even then, there is no certainty that the US will go out batting for India to change the UN power structure to let in India. That’s because during the past year that India has held non-permanent membership of the Security Council, it hasn’t exactly been excessively accommodating of US interests on Syria and Iran: in the cynical game of power politics, such independence of mind in foreign policy matters will not be rewarded.

    But here’s the thing: even if the US sets its mind to secure admittance for India, it cannot swing it. Marshalling support for UN reforms is a diplomatic nightmare: it requires support from two-thirds of the General Assembly members, after which the proposal must be ratified by the member-countries’ respective parliaments, including those of the five permanent members of the Security Council. Given the entrenched vested interests in the system, that’s a virtual non-starter.

    In any case, China will never support India’s candidature if it is linked with Japan’s, given that the sense of injury over Japan’s wartime atrocities in China (and elsewhere) is never far from the surface. And even if it were to support India’s case, it will look to extract a sufficiently high “blood price” – perhaps in the form of territorial or other concessions – that India may not be willing to pay.

    All things considered, India may have a case to argue that it is folly for the UN not to allow a country that represents one-sixth of humanity permanent membership on the Security Council. But this isn’t a morality play: it’s about brute force and cynical, cold-blooded, heartless diplomacy.

    But given that India punches considerably below its weight on the world stage, and hasn’t exactly endeared itself to the Big Powers, it’s bound to be knocking on the Power Club’s doors for a long while.


    http://www.firstpost.com/world/why-india-may-never-get-to-enter-the-power-club-195747.html
     
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  3. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    In order to gain entry we must threaten them with 'consequences' that what will happen if we are not given are due!
     
  4. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    I wouldn't say never, but it is guranteed that india can't enter before it reach a certain level: i.e. third economy.
     
  5. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    United nations will go the way of league of nations if India is not given its due.

    Its as simple that.
     
  6. niceguy2011

    niceguy2011 Tihar Jail Banned

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    what can India do, if UNSC dont accept India as a permanent member?
     
  7. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    Messiah can send Agni V toys to all UNSC members... :laugh: (just for laughs)
     
  8. niharjhatn

    niharjhatn Regular Member

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    It already has.

    The UN deploys many peacekeeping troops of Indian origin in Africa, and intend to keep the hierarchy that way.
     

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