THANKS to the changing global realities, world powers, too, have begun feeling strongly that the United Nations must undergo appropriate reforms as part of which countries like India must be invited to join the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). French envoy to the world body, Mr. Francoise Delattre, voiced this need by stressing that India, Germany, Brazil and Japan were ‘absolutely needed’ as permanent members of the UNSC. Mr. Delattre said, that was a strategic priority of France.
For the past fifteen years-plus, India has been harping upon the need for reforms in the United Nations so as to expand the global platform to accommodate emerging countries in the larger decision-making exercise involving the world. From time to time, other member-nations, too, favoured reforms, but did not push for those in right earnest. In 2010, even China agreed to give a serious thought to India’s membership of the UNSC. During her visit to China, first by a President of India in ten years then, Mrs. Pratibha Patil had raised the issue with her Chinese counterpart Mr. Wu Jintao. During those parleys, the Indian delegation had suggested a golden mean of a non-permanent membership of the UNSC for India. The purpose was to ensure at least a toe-hold on the high platform.
The Chinese leadership had agreed to give the idea a serious thought. Likewise, India has raised with other nations like the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France the issue of expansion of the UNSC membership. France always showed an active interest in furthering the Indian cause, which is reflected well in Mr. Delattre’s assertion of his country’s strategic priority to have India, Germany, Brazil and Japan on the Security Council.
This is certainly a major step forward by any standard. The strategic priorities of France favouring India are obvious. In the past five years, India and France are drawing closer to each other in various strategic partnerships in economy, defence, scientific research, space and agriculture. Expanding that front, France took a lead in moving a Direct Resolution for proscription of terror mastermind Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, and succeeded in enlisting the support of the US and the UK in the effort. And now has come the expression of an absolute need to have India on board the UNSC. Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has played a critical role in pushing India’s cause in the past five years. His personal chemistry with leaderships of countries like France, US, UK, Germany, Japan and Brazil has positioned him as a global leader of substance. It is obvious that he has been able to push India deeper into consideration of all these countries. It was Mr. Modi whose nod to Paris Pact paved the way for its passage three years ago.
That and other developments make India’s claim to permanent membership of the UNSC stronger. The choice of the proposed members by France is significant. All the four countries have demonstrated their growing prowesses in multiple domains in the past few years. India and Germany have played a very critical role in various global issues including the Paris Pact and strategic tackling of the menace of terrorism. In its part of the world, Brazil also has expanded its economic and strategic footprint to compel major UN member-nations to look at its contribution favourably. As for Japan, its recent enhancement in strategic strengths has become a matter of global appreciation. For France, these changing realities are compelling enough to press for their permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council, a true measure of intended reforms of the world body. Signs are available to sense some positive movement in this regard at various levels among powerful nations. The French initiative is one of those.