UNSC No Longer Aligns With Realities Of Multi-Polar World: India Says Time For Reform Is Now

India on Thursday stressed that Security Council Reform at the United Nations headquarters stating that the current structure of the UN Security Council is “perverse and immoral”, a perpetuation of the colonisation project and does not reflect the rise of new powers and shifting geopolitical landscape, asserting that the time for reform is now and status quo is untenable. A Roundtable on Security Council Reform was hosted at the UN headquarters by the Permanent Missions of Brazil, India, South Africa, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj said, “The current composition of the Security Council no longer aligns with the realities of our interconnected and multi-polar world.” “The Council structure, designed in a different era, does not reflect the rise of new powers, the shifting geopolitical landscape and the aspirations of nations striving for a fairer and more equitable global order,” she added, as quoted by news agency PTI.

The roundtable was held to bring in the perspective of the Global South on the long-pending issue while seeing the urgency for a reformed multilateralism architecture in the United Nations representative of contemporary geo-political realities.

As per Kamboj, the urgency of UNSC reform is also underscored by the unprecedented global challenges that transcend borders.

“Climate change, terrorism, pandemics, and humanitarian crises require collective efforts and shared responsibilities,” she said while mentioning that a reformed Security Council will “enable us to pool resources, expertise, and perspectives from a wider range of countries, empowering us to confront these issues with greater effectiveness and unity.”

The envoy emphasised that the “time for Security Council reform is now” and called on the Member States to “seize” the opportunity to revitalise and strengthen the United Nations by making it more inclusive, representative, and responsive to the needs and aspirations of all nations.

President of India’s leading think tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF) Samir Saran stated that in a deeply heterogenous, multipolar world, it is “untenable” that a group of victors of war from another century should be in charge of managing the world of today.

“The war is history and so is the influence and capabilities of some of the members in the room. I think the current structure of the UNSC is perverse and immoral. It is a perpetuation for many of us from the Global South of the colonisation project. The burden of the war was borne by the colonies while the privileges of peace benefited the colonisers and their allies,” he said, as quoted by PTI.

He noted that in the past decades, “we have seen how the will of the comity of nations has been negated by one or more of the permanent members” of the Council.

“More recently, Ukraine presents a classic example of the Security Council’s failure to deliver and is a stark reminder of why status quo is untenable,” he asserted.

“The voting patterns, the abstentions on Ukraine matter clearly point to the need to bring in others who can contribute to the global efforts around peace and stability.”

Saran went on to call the current UNSC as inefficient, undemocratic, and non-representative and questioned “How can we accept a structure that shuts out Africa, Latin America, and democratic Asia, including the world’s largest nation and democracy,” making a reference to India.

Kamboj stressed that the inclusion in a reformed UNSC of emerging economies and regions with growing political influence is not just a matter of fairness but a “pragmatic necessity.”

Panellists at the roundtable ‘Shifting the Balance: Perspectives on United Nations Security Council Reforms from Global South Think Tanks’ included Professor of International Relations at FGV (Brazil) and Visiting Scholar at Princeton University Matias Spektor and Senior Researcher, South Africa Institute of International Affairs Gustavo de Carvalho.

The event was attended by the President of the UN General Assembly Csaba Kőrösi, UN Ambassadors, delegates, civil society and think tank members, policy experts, and thought leaders.

China, France, Russia, the UK, and the US make up the five permanent members of the 15-nation Council.