India enters UNSC, Priority to enhance Counter Terrorism

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India was elected as a non-permanent member of the powerful United Nation Security Council(UNSC) for a two-year term on June 17, 2020 (Wednesday). 184 votes in the 192-members voted in favour of India. MEA says the priority of India in UNSC will be to enhance Counter Terrorism.

Along with India in UNSC, Ireland, Mexico and Norway also won the elections held on Wednesday.

There were five vacant seats in the UNSC, out of which four were filled by the first round of voting on Wednesday. Along with India, Kenya, Ireland, Mexico and Norway obtained the requisite two-thirds majority in the General Assembly.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was “deeply grateful” for the overwhelming support from the international community.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted after the election on Thursday morning.

The Member States elect India to the non-permanent seat of the Security Council for the term 2021-22 with overwhelming support. India gets 184 out of the 192 valid votes polled, India’s Permanent Mission to the U.N. tweeted.

India will sit in the most powerful UN organ, for two years beginning on January 1, along with the five permanent members China, France, Russia, UK and the US as well as non-permanent members Estonia, Niger, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam.

India was a candidate for a non-permanent seat from the Asia-Pacific category for the 2021-22 term. Its victory was a given since it was the sole candidate vying for the lone seat from the grouping.

Previously, India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the Council for the years 1950-1951, 1967-1968, 1972-1973, 1977-1978, 1984-1985, 1991-1992 and most recently in 2011-2012.

The UN General Assembly on Wednesday conducted elections for President of the 75th session of the Assembly, five non-permanent members of the Security Council and members of the Economic and Social Council under special voting arrangements put in place here due to COVID-19 related restrictions.

Turkish diplomat and politician Volkan Bozkir was elected as President of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. He was the endorsed candidate from among the Western European and other States.

The elections began at 9am Wednesday and unlike previous years, when the sprawling General Assembly hall would be packed with UN envoys, diplomats and staff during the ballot, this year presence in the UNGA hall was sparse due to COVID-19 related restrictions.

UN diplomats, staff and other personnel arrived at the General Assembly hall wearing masks and immediately left the venue after casting their ballots.

In adherence to social distancing guidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 193 UN Member States were allotted different time slots to cast their votes in the General Assembly Hall for the crucial elections.

Eight time slots were allocated to Member States to cast their ballots starting at 9 AM, in adherence to social distancing guidelines. The voting continued well in the afternoon, with an additional 30 minute time slot for voters who were unable to visit the GA hall during the specific time slot communicated to them. The time slot for India to cast its ballot was 11:30 am-12noon.

President of the UN General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad-Bande oversaw the proceedings in the General Assembly Hall and the tellers also observed the whole process.

For the two vacant seats from among the African and Asia-Pacific States, Djibouti, India and Kenya were the three candidates. For the one vacant seat from among the Latin American and Caribbean States, one endorsed candidate was Mexico. For the two vacant seats from among the Western European and other States, Canada, Ireland and Norway were the three candidates.

The 15-member Security Council has five permanent members – the US, the UK, France, Russia and China – and 10 non-permanent.

The 10 non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis – five for African and Asian states; one for the Eastern European States; two for the Latin American and Caribbean States; and two for Western European and other States.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti had said that India’s presence in the Security Council will help bring to the world its ethos of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, as he underscoring that the United Nations as well as multilateralism need to change to reflect contemporary realities and remain credible as the world organization marks its 75th anniversary this year.

“India’s journey with the United Nations is quite a remarkable one. As a founding member of the United Nations, India’s contribution to implementing the goals of the United Nations Charter and to the evolution of UN specialised agencies and programmes has been substantial. In many ways, quite extraordinary,” Tirumurti had said in a video message ahead of the elections.
“I’m confident that at a time when we are poised to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations and later the 75th anniversary of India’s independence in 2022, India’s presence in the Security Council will help bring to the world our ethos that the world is one family – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” he had said.

India has been at the forefront of the years-long efforts to reform the Security Council, saying it rightly deserves a place as a permanent member of the Council, which in its current form does not represent the geo-political realities of the 21st Century.

Written By Radhika Bansal, She is doing her Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University, Noida. She is interested in covering political and humanitarian issues.

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