Online Quiz Test

UN Reforms

GS 2 Agreements Involving India &/or Affecting India’s Interests

In News

  • Conflicts such as those in Sudan, Syria, and Myanmar are essentially unchecked by the United Nations, according to critics.

UN Reforms:

Demand of reform:

Reform of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) encompasses five key issues: 

  • Categories of membership;
  • The issue of the veto held by the five permanent members;
  • Regional representation;
  • The scale and working methods of an expanded Council; and
  • The relationship between the Security Council and the General Assembly.


Changing world order

  • Only once in the 77-year annals of the United Nations has the composition of the Security Council been altered.
  • Thus, in 1963, when the General Assembly resolved to increase the size of the Council from 11 to 15 members by adding four non-permanent seats.
  • Since that time, the world has evolved. The geopolitical relationships in the world have changed, as have the economic responsibilities of countries.

Equitable World Order

  •  In order to uphold the principles of democracy on a global scale, a more equitable world is necessary.


  •  Developing nations, such as African nations, must become stakeholders in multilateral institutions and participate in decision-making.’

Mitigation of New Threats

  •  The multilateral system must become more resilient and adaptable in light of rising protectionism, a rise in terrorist attacks, and the threat of climate change.


Agreement of members

  • Any Security Council reform would require the approval of at least two-thirds of UN member states in a resolution by the General Assembly and ratification by two-thirds of Member States.All permanent members of the UN Security Council with veto power must also concur.


  • To make this body more representative, legitimate, and effective, the Security Council must be expanded in both permanent and nonpermanent categories, and its working methods must be reformed.


Unchecked conflicts

  • It has been criticized that conflicts such as those in Sudan, Syria, and Myanmar are largely unchecked by the United Nations.
  • Certain nations and non-state actors profit from the conflict economy. They launder money, sell arms, provide fuel, and exploit natural resources.
  • In the past, the United Nations has played a significant role in international diplomacy pertaining to the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and the Middle East.

Unable to discharge basic functions

  • Since one of the permanent members of the Security Council has attacked its neighbor, the Security Council cannot fulfill its fundamental function.
  • The Security Council should be the body to take action against the aggression. However, due to the veto, the Security Council is unable to act.
  • The most recent example is Russia:
  • In February 2022, Russia, a permanent member of the United Nations with veto power, assaulted Ukraine.
  • Russia has vetoed United Nations Security Council resolutions on Ukraine and voted against a United Nations General Assembly resolution urging nations not to recognize the four regions of Ukraine that Russia claims.


Lack of Political Will

  • Although a consensus exists regarding the need for systemic change, different nations have diverse perceptions of this necessity.

Coffee Club

  • Over the past six years, an informal group of 40 or so member states, mostly middle-sized states opposed to larger regional powers acquiring permanent seats, has been instrumental in delaying reforms to the United Nations Security Council.

Chinese Opposition

  •  China’s permanent membership prevents India from becoming a permanent member.

Operationalization of the reforms

  • The difficulty also lies in the implementation of these reforms.
  • The United Nations is structured so that the decision-making process is dispersed among numerous countries and constituencies with frequently competing and contradictory views and interests.
  • Russia and China did not attend the previous United Nations meeting on reforms.

Way ahead

  • Some of the UN’s specialized agencies, such as Unicef and UNHCR, perform admirably under difficult conditions when no one else will.
  • They require further fortification.
  • India has suggested that reforms to the United Nations should be “broad-based and comprehensive” and not limited to its secretariat alone.

·         Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan make up the G4 nations, which support each other’s bids for permanent positions on the United Nations Security Council.In contrast to the G7, whose primary objective is the economy and long-term political motives, the G4’s primary objective is the permanent member seats on the Security Council.Since the inception of the United Nations, each of these four nations has been among the elected nonpermanent members of the Security Council.

What makes India a potential candidate for UNSC membership?

Role in international affairs

  •  The recent disruption of the global supply chain, the pandemic, climate change, renewable energy, and the nascent food issue, as well as the security situation in certain regions of the globe, all require India to play a larger role in international affairs and cooperation.
  • Justified Demand: India makes a number of claims to justify its demand.

Population and democracy:

  •  India has the second-largest population and is the largest liberal democracy in the globe.


·        As of 2020, it is the fifth largest economy in the world and the third largest in terms of purchasing power parity.

Peacekeeping troops

·        India has contributed more than 180,000 troops, the most of any country, participated in more than 43 missions, and 156 Indian peacekeepers have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in United Nations missions.


Daily Mains Question

[Q] In the past, the United Nations played a crucial role in international diplomacy, but in recent years, it has primarily neglected minor conflicts. Examine.