Dr. Nivedita Das Kundu writes India has been vigorously following its quest for United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) permanent membership. In the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), India has pressed for text based negotiations as a step to move forward the agenda of UNSC reform and expansion which was held-up aimlessly in the working group for last many years. India has been actively participating in the UN peacekeeping operations for last many years. Till date around 18,000 Indian troops have participated in UN Peacekeeping Operations. India has participated overall in 48 peacekeeping operations. India has also provided training to peacekeeping officers in 82 countries.
During the 70th UNGA, the thought of starting-up the negotiations on this issue showed some progress in this regard. Though significant breakthrough has not been achieved during the 70th UNGA meeting, but the initiation to start-up the talks can be considered as a good sign. Though no closure date is visible in near future but the process has started and some movement has taken place, which can be considered as a positive outcome. Nonetheless, the discourse among political analysts in India is such that even though the text based negotiations started India is nowhere near the UNSC permanent membership seat and this will remain as a distant proposal
The argument given by the analysts’ and experts on this issue is such that the negotiating text is a very lengthy document and the views and various parameters need to be accepted by the diverse group of countries, including the group of countries from L69, the G-4 as well as the African group. The document includes issues related to permanent and non-permanent categories of the membership, on the working pattern of the Security Council, on regional distribution, on Security Councils relationship with the UNGA and on the veto powers. It seems all these issues are very complex; hence, the negotiations over these issues could drag for many years. Therefore, no concrete results from the 70th UNGA session could be expected on India’s UNSC permanent membership dream.
The Permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (P5 countries), i.e. Russia, China, United States, France and United Kingdom did not shown much enthusiasm on expansion of UNSC. Though Russia initially along with the US and China refused to contribute to the text for negotiations on reforms, which was seen as a move to prevent India’s proposal for the UNSC seat, however, after official talks and discussions Russia assured to support India. The Russian side has also re-affirmed to support India’s candidature in case of decision to extend it in both permanent and non-permanent member categories.
Though from Russia’s side India got some assurance, nonetheless, China has been against any expansion of the Security Council. China did not respond positively towards India’s demand for the UNSC Expansion. China has remained ambivalent mentioning that China appreciates India’s desire to play a bigger role in the UN, however, China feels India made a big mistake by aligning with Japan, Germany and Brazil for the UNSC Seat.In November when UNSC’s text based negotiations for expanding the most powerful wing of UN begins, it has to be seen how the negotiations takes place during the meeting and what stand is taken on the UNSC expansion issue.
 NDTV News report on UNGA meeting, available at http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pm-modis-2-nation-tour-of-ireland-and-us-live-updates-1220593
 Sibbal Kawal, “Why India won’t get permanent seat in UNSC?”, Daily O, 27th September 2015, available at http://www.dailyo.in/politics/unsc-seat-for-india-unga-kashmir-security-council-unga/story/1/6370.html
 Guruswamy Mohan, “does India wants to be second Class citizen with permanent seat at UNSC?, Daily O, 25th September 2015, available at http://www.dailyo.in/politics/india-united-nations-permanent-unsc-membership-unga-cold-war/story/1/6455.html
 Report from Russian Embassy, New Delhi, 27th September 2015.
 Jagannathan R, “India’s permanent UNSC membership will only be possible in 2020-25 despite Modi’s pitch”, Sep 27, 2015, First Post, available at http://www.firstpost.com/world/despite-modis-pitch-indias-permanent-unsc-membership-will-only-be-possible-in-2020-25-2446222.html
 DNA Analyses, 27th September 2015, “Chinese President Xi Jinping skirts G4 nations’ demand for UNSC expansion”, available at http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-chinese-president-xi-jinping-skirts-g4-nations-demand-for-unsc-expansion-2129209
 Xinhua News report “President Xi Jinping’s UN speech in 6 key words”, 28th September 2015. available at http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2015-09/29/c_134672436.htm