On Saturday, during the first in-person bilateral meeting between Joe Biden and Narendra Modi at the White House, Biden had stressed over his support for India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and for a permanent membership in a reformed United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
According to the US-India joint leaders’ statement, Biden during his talk with Modi also praised and acknowledged India’s “strong leadership” during its UNSC Presidency in August 2021.
The statement said; “In this context, President Biden also reiterated US support for India’s permanent membership on a reformed UN Security Council and for other countries who are important champions of multilateral cooperation and aspire to permanent seats on the UN Security Council.”
President Biden’s support gives a boost to India’s push for the reform of the UN organisation
President Biden’s support to India came as a hint last month when state department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters that the US values “working with India at the United Nations, including in the context this month of the Security Council.” “We believe that a reformed Security Council that is representative, that is effective, and that is relevant is in the best interest of the United States and all of the UN member states,” Price added.
India’s history in the United Nation Security Council
India is a member of G4 – group of nations comprising Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan, who back each other in seeking a permanent seat on the Security Council and advocate in favour of the reformation of the UNSC. For the eighth time, India has entered the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a non-permanent member recently, for two years (2021-22).
India is one of the founding members of the UNSC and for seven times it has been elected as a non-permanent member of the Council, during the years- 1950-1951, 1967-1968, 1972-1973, 1977-1978, 1984-1985, 1991-1992 and 2011-2012.
The UNSC comprises of five permanent members and 10 non-permanent member countries, which are elected for a two-year term by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Russia, the UK, China, France and the United States are the five permanent members of the UNSC and these countries can veto any resolution or decision which would not be approved. The ‘veto power’ however, is restricted to P5 member states, only; non-permanent members of the UNSC do not enjoy this privilege. There has been growing demand from the Asian countries to increase the number of permanent members to reflect the contemporary global reality and diversity.
India and the Nuclear Suppliers Group
Prime Minister Modi and President Biden during their meet, strongly reaffirmed the American nation’s support for India’s entry to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). To serve as a barrier to India’s entry into the NSG, China has been insisting that only those countries that are a part of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) should be allowed to enter the organisation. Ever since India applied for the membership of the NSG in May 2016, it seemed to have triggered and threatened the Chinese authority. China maintains that there would be no discussion on India’s entry into the NSG.
India and Pakistan are among the first countries which didn’t sign the NPT, along with Israel and South Sudan. Followed by India’s application, Pakistan too had applied for the NSG membership back in 2016.
During their meet on Friday, Prime Minister Modi and President Biden further discussed about the extension of the Statement of Guiding Principles (SGP) on Triangular Cooperation for Global Development, to leverage the combined capacities of India and the US to address global development challenges around the world, particularly in the Indo-Pacific and Africa.
The world’s premier democracies further focused on renewal of their close relationship and creation of a new course to advance the US-India partnership based on a clear vision.
India, along with some other countries has been advocating for the need to expand and reform the ‘Permanent Five’ since a long time now. India’s need to be included in a reformed and expanded UN Security Council has always been emphasized; India’s acceptance as a permanent member of the UNSC will be a historic moment in itself. With Biden’s reassurance to PM Modi, India will soon be globally recognised as one of the world powers, which would be a legendary achievement for the Modi government, as no other ruling party in the centre could even come close to something as remarkable as this.