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UNSC (United Nations Security Council)


Why in News: India has been elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the term 2021-22.

United Nations Security Council

  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), charged with ensuring international peace and security, accepting new members to the United Nations and approving any changes to its charter.
  • Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations and international sanctions as well as the authorization of military actions through resolutions.
  • Like the UN as a whole, the Security Council was created following World War II to address the failings of a previous international organization, the League of Nations, in maintaining world peace.
  • The UN Charter gives all three powers of the legislative, executive, and judiciary branches to the Security Council.
  • The Security Council consists of 15 members, which include 5 permanent members viz, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, People’s Republic of China and the United States.

Non-permanent members

  • In addition to permanent members, the council has 10 non-permanent members, elected on a regional basis to serve a term of two years.
  • The number of non-permanent members of the Security Council was increased from 6 to 10 following an amendment to the UN Charter which came in to force in 1965.

Election procedure for non-permanent members

  • Every year, the General Assembly elects five non-permanent members out of the total 10.
  • The Assembly also decided that the non-permanent members of the Council should be elected according to the following pattern:
  • Three from African Group
  • Two from Asia-Pacific Group
  • One from Eastern European Group
  • Two from Latin American and Caribbean Group of States
  • Two from Western European and Others Group
  • The non-permanent members of the Security Council are elected by a two-thirds majority and there are no nominations.
  • The elections are conducted by secret ballot,
  • A retiring member is not eligible for immediate re-election.

Latest Update

  • India has been elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, with 184 of the 192 votes polled.
  • The 2/3 required majority to be elected was only 128.
  • India begins its term in the beginning of 2021, and will hold the position until the end of 2022.
  • Previously, India was elected as a non-permanent member of the Council for seven times, most recently in 2011-2012.
  • India was the endorsed candidate of the Asia-Pacific Group of UN member countries and faced no competition in the elections.
  • India Prime Minister said that India was deeply grateful for the overwhelming support shown by the global community for India’s membership of the UN Security Council. He said that India will work with all member countries to promote global peace, security, resilience and equity.
  • India noted that the strong support by almost the entire UN membership for India’s election demonstrates the goodwill India enjoys in the UN and the confidence of the international community in India’s capability to contribute to the work of the Council.
  • India said it will act as a voice of reason and moderation and a firm believer in respect for international law and peaceful settlement of disputes.

Others elected

  • Along with India, Ireland, Mexico and Norway also won the Security Council elections.
  • Neither Kenya nor Djibouti — both competing for a seat representing the Africa region — achieved enough votes to gain a place on the council. A second round of voting will be done to determine the winner.

Focus Areas for India during its stint

  • Finding innovative and inclusive solutions to the Covid-19 crisis
  • Reforming multilateral forums and organizations
  • India noted that the UN system needs reform urgently, and all its bodies, including the Security Council and World Health Organization, need to change to reflect contemporary realities.
  • Enhancing counter-terror cooperation
  • During its last stint in the body in 2011-12, India had chaired the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee and brought in the concept of zero tolerance for terror.
  • During the coming term, India will work to enhance the global action against terrorism, their supporters and sympathisers and safe havens. To achieve this, India will seek the streamlining of the process of sanctioning of the terrorists and terrorist entities.
  • India will also work for the finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism it had proposed in 1996.


India will follow the Five-S approach of

  • Samman (Respect)
  • Samvad (Dialogue)
  • Sahyog (Cooperation)
  • Shanti (Peace)
  • To create conditions for universal Samriddhi (Prosperity)

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