Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and the Netherlands formally joined the ranks of the non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council today “to make a difference,” the body’s president said. “Peace and security are difficult to achieve,” Kazakh envoy Kairat Umarov, who took the rotating presidency in January, told council members at a special ceremony. “You are going to have a real chance to make a difference.”
One after the other, ambassadors representing the council’s six new member countries – five men and a woman, Polish envoy Joanna Wronecka – placed their flag among those of the body’s nine other members. The UN Security Council has 15 members, including five with permanent seats who have the power to veto resolutions – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.
Three women and 12 men are among the 15 ambassadors who will soon be seated at the U-shaped table in the center of the Security Council’s chamber. In addition to Wronecka and US envoy Nikki Haley, Karen Pierce will take her seat later this month as Britain’s new ambassador.
The six countries who left the UN Security Council on December 31 are Egypt, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine, and Uruguay.
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.
Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) encompasses five key issues: categories of membership, the question of the veto held by the five permanent members, regional representation, the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods, and the Security Council-General Assembly relationship. There is also a proposal to admit more permanent members.
Why should India 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 contributor 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 for a long time, has been demanding expansion of UNSC and its inclusion as the 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.