India’s Performance as the Non-permanent member of UNSC

CONTEXT:India concluded its eighth stint in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at the end of December 2022. And, by any yardstick, its two-year stint has been unprecedented.

India focused inter alia on maritime security, terrorism, UN peacekeeping, reformed multilateralism and the Global South. India was elected Chair of three important UNSC Committees: the Taliban Sanctions Committee, Libyan Sanctions Committee and Counter-terrorism Committee.

Following were the achievements of India at the end of two year tenure.

On Maritime security

As the head of UNSC meeting on maritime security the presidential Statement issued was the first holistic document on this issue which, for the first time, had a direct reference to UN Convention on the Law of the Sea as international law setting out the legal framework in the context of maritime activities. The statement also called for freedom of navigation, anti-piracy and combating terror and transnational crime at sea.

On Myanmar

In Myanmar the military coup took place. The Permanent-5 (P-5) were pulling in opposing directions while the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) counselled caution. India shares a nearly 1,700 kilometre-long border with Myanmar and it was vital to stop violence, bring in stability and ensure democratic processes went forward. India ensured balanced and comprehensive Council pronouncements, which finally culminated in a resolution on Myanmar 

On Afghanistan

In Afghanistan Taliban took over the control. India was able to steer the negotiations which resulted in UNSC Resolution 2593 laying down benchmarks: on stopping cross-border terrorism from Afghan soil, including from proscribed UN terrorist entities in Pakistan; protecting the rights of women, minorities and children; ensuring an inclusive government, and providing humanitarian assistance.

On Terrorism

As Chair of the UNSC Counter-terrorism Committee (CTC), India brought the CTC meeting to India in October 2022. Though India’s attempt to list terrorists under UNSC Resolution 1267 sanctions (along with the U.S.) was thwarted, in a significant development, the proposal to list Abdul Rehman Makki, Deputy Amir/Chief of the Lashkar-e-Taiba was approved by the UNSC. 

On Peacekeeping

India launched the UNITE Aware technology platform to strengthen real-time protection of peacekeepers. 

India introduced UNSC resolution, calling for accountability for crimes against peacekeepers.

India also gifted two lakh vaccines to all UN peacekeepers.

On Global South

India thwarted a move by the West to wrest climate change from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change-led process and bring it under the ambit of the UNSC, where the P-5 are also major historical polluters. The draft resolution was defeated in the Council when India and Russia voted against. A change in the climate change architecture would have shut out the voice of the Global South, especially Small Island Developing States.

The conclusion under the India’s Presidency was the need for immediate reform of the Council. India’s performance over two years is testimony to why India needs to be at the horseshoe table permanently.


About Unite Aware

India, in collaboration with the UN, launched a technology platform to ensure the safety and security of peacekeepers who are operating in an increasingly complex and risky environments across the world. For the project India contributed USD 1.64 million.

  • It is a situational awareness software programme that will utilise modern surveillance technology for real time threat assessments to peacekeepers and help them enhance their security. 
  • This will access live video and satellite imagery, and in very volatile circumstances can also deliver early warnings to peacekeepers. It can also record data on critical incidents and events and follow daily operational activities.
  • Using the platform, the entire peacekeeping operation can be visualised, coordinated, and monitored on a real time basis.
  • India has developed the technology platform in partnership with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Operational Support.

Initial roll out

India has partnered with the UN to roll out the UNITE Aware platform initially in four UN Peacekeeping Missions: MINUSMA (Mali), UNMISS (South Sudan), UNFICYP (Cyprus) and AMISOM (Somalia).

About UNSC

United Nations Security Council

  • Security Council has primary responsibility, under the UN Charter, for maintenance of international peace and security. 
  • It has 15 Members (5 permanent and 10 non- permanent members). Each Member has one vote. 
  • Elections of Non-Permanent Members of UNSC: Each year the UN General Assembly elects 5 non- permanent members (out of total 10 non-permanent members) for a two-year term. The 10 non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis: Five for African & Asian States; One for Eastern European States; Two for Latin American & Caribbean States; Two for Western European and other States. 

A retiring member is not eligible for immediate re-election. 

  • The election is held by a secret ballot and there are no nominations. Non-permanent members of the UNSC are elected by two-thirds majority in UNGA. (India was elected as the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council on January 1, 2021. Term of India as non-permanent member ended on December 31, 2022. India has earlier been a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 1950-51, 1967-68, 1972-73, 1977-78, 1984-85, 1991-92 and 2011-12.) 
  •  UN Security Council is organised to be able to function as continuous body. Meetings of UNSC are held at the call of the President of UNSC at any time he deems necessary, but that interval between meetings shall not exceed 14 days. 
  • Under the Charter, all Member States are obligated to comply with Council decisions. 
  • PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS: Consist of military, police and civilian personnel, who work to deliver security, political and early peacebuilding support. They are usually led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and many although not all – peacekeeping operations have a Chapter VII mandate. 

In addition, peacekeeping operations, as opposed to other missions, have a military or international police presence in the field. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 20 MB. You can upload: image, document, archive, other. Drop files here

Online Counselling
Table of Contents
Today's Current Affairs
This is default text for notification bar