If not reformed, the UN will be overtaken by other organisations

Prelims level : International Institutions – Summits, Working, Organisations Mains level : GS-II Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
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Why in News?

  • According to India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Ruchira Kamboj, organisations such as the G-20 may step up to play a more important role in international affairs if the UN fails to implement reforms in the UN Security Council (UNSC). 


  • She stated during India’s December UNSC Presidency on the themes of reformed multilateralism and counterterrorism that the UN reformation is the “most complex process” of the UN system.
  • The item of reform has remained on the agenda of the UNSC for nearly three decades without any substantive progress.
  • Today, the UN has almost 200 member states. But their voices are not being heard and everything is being scripted for them.

Need to reform UNSC:

  • Ineffectiveness: Global issues have been increasingly complex and interconnected, yet UNSC remains ineffective to address these.
  • Underrepresentation: The composition (P5-Permanent 5 members) does not reflect contemporary geopolitical and economic realities and excludes globally important and emerging economies like G4.
  • Powerplay and division among P5: The P5 with veto powers often act in self-interest rather than serving the global interests.

Why is the process complex?

  • Veto powers: Reform of the UN Charter requires all the P-5 to be on board and none of them should veto.
  • Conflict of interest: There are many who aspire to be in a reformed council but there are many who would not like to see those in the council. For example, the tussle between G4 and the coffee club.
  • India’s 2021-22 stint as a non-permanent member of the UNSC (which ended with the Presidency):
  • India has been vocal in expressing an opinion on difficult issues during the past two years (like the pandemic, and crisis in Ukraine).
  • India’s role in providing vaccines to the least developed countries had been applauded by all.

Way ahead: 

  • The possibility of “minilaterals” (like G20, which are more democratic) taking centre stage in global affairs if the UNSC refuses to make any progress.
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