Why Are India, Japan, and Ukraine Not Permanent UNSC Members? Explained
Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has questioned the permanent membership of the Security Council (UNSC). He enquired about the rationale behind the UN Security Council's exclusion of India, Japan, and Ukraine as permanent members. “The day will come when this will be resolved. There was a lot of talking about reforming the UN. How did it all end? No result,” Zelenskyy said.
Zelenskyy has raised an important issue. India and Japan have one of the strongest militaries in the world. Then why are these powerful countries with massive economies excluded from permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council?
What is the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)?
The Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. The UNSC is responsible for maintaining world peace and security. It has the authority to impose international sanctions, launch military operations, and form peacekeeping missions.
There are 15 members of the UNSC. Out of 15, 5 are permanent members, and 10 are non-permanent.
The permanent members are the most powerful military nations in the world. Each permanent member has veto power, a negative vote; that is, they can reject the adoption of a proposal even if it has received the required majority of votes for approval.
The UN General Assembly elects the 10 non-permanent members. They are elected for a two-year term, and five are replaced yearly.
Who Are The Permanent UNSC Members?
There are 5 permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. They are:
- The United States
- The United Kingdom
Who Are The Non-Permanent UNSC Members?
There are 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council. They are:
- United Arab Emirates
As evident from the above data, India is a non-permanent member of the UNSC. Japan and Ukraine are neither permanent nor non-permanent members.
Why Is India Not A Permanent Member Of The Security Council?
The US and the then-Soviet Union in 1950 and 1955, respectively—offered India the chance to join the UNSC. However, the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, declined the offer, thinking that the People’s Republic of China should be given a proper seat on the council as India’s neighbor and ally.
Since then, Indian political leaders have regretted the decision to deny the permanent seat at the UNSC. Over the last few decades, the world has gone through a paradigm shift. India has slowly emerged as one of the biggest economies in the world with tremendous military strength.
Given its population, economy, military strength, and rising international stature, India demands, rightfully, a permanent seat at the U.N. Security Council.
At present, four of the UN Security Council's five permanent members have endorsed India's bid for a permanent seat.
Why Is Japan Not A Permanent Member Of The Security Council?
The Security Council was created after the aftermath of World War II. Its five permanent members are WWII victors. Japan was a part of the Axis group who were defeated in the second world war.
Moreover, Japan’s efforts in international peacekeeping and providing humanitarian aid in times of crisis are small in scale and proved to be futile in the past. Japan has to contribute more to global peace and security before it could be granted a permanent seat at the UNSC.
Why Is Ukraine Not A Permanent Member Of The Security Council?
Russia is the reason why Ukraine is not a permanent member of the UNSC. The Russo-Ukrainian war was started by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on the belief that Ukraine's strength and prosperity could pose a threat to Russia's regime.
As long as Russia is a permanent member of the UNSC, Ukraine's entry into the Security Council will be challenged.
The second World War ended decades ago. The UN Security Council is outdated and needs some serious reforms. The inclusion of other significant countries as permanent members of the Council will help in securing international peace and security for long.