Prelims level : International Mains level : GS-II Important International institutions, agencies and their structure, mandate
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Why in news:

  • The US introduced a resolution in the UN Security Council (UNSC) to get Jaish-e- Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar listed as a terrorist


  • The US resolution seen as forcing China’s hand on terrorism, was co-sponsored by the UK and France and circulated at the UNSC.
  • It aims to designate Azhar a terrorist and subject him to an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze. The JeM has claimed responsibility for the 14 February Pulwama attack that killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel in the South Kashmir region. The attack had sharply raised tensions between India and Pakistan.
  • France had moved a proposal to get Azhar listed as a terrorist by the UN’s 1267 sanctions committee that has proscribed terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.
  • The proposal, which required consensus according to the norms of the 1267 committee, was supported by 14 of the 15 members. China however, stalled the move by not supporting the proposal.China had prevented the committee from sanctioning Azhar in 2016 and 2017. After China’s block, France moved quickly to impose sanctions on Azhar, including a freeze on his assets. It is working with its European partners the matter of putting Azhar on a European Union list of terrorists and terror organisations.
  • The international community, apart from China, has rallied behind India after Pulwama and has pushed Pakistan to undertake serious measures to control terrorism emanating from its territory.

About UNSC:

  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
  • Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions;
  • it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states.


  • The Security Council consists of fifteen members.
  • Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, and the United States serve as the body’s five permanent members. These permanent members can veto any substantive Security Council resolution, including those on the admission of new member states or candidates for Secretary-General.
  • The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve two-year terms. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.

India’s demands:

  • India has been calling for the reform of the UN Security Council along with Brazil, Germany and Japan for long, emphasising that it rightly deserves a place at the UN high table as a permanent member.

Why India should be given a permanent seat in the council?

  • India was among the founding members of United Nations.
  • It is the second largest and a one of the largest constant contributors of troops to United Nations Peacekeeping missions.
  • Today, India has over 8,500 peacekeepers in the field, more than twice as many as the UN’s five big powers combined. India, since long time, has been demanding expansion of UNSC and its inclusion as permanent member in it. It has been a member of UNSC for 7 terms and a member of G-77 and G-4, so permanent membership is a logical extension.
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