Home Global Village US sets condition for India’s UNSC seat

US sets condition for India’s UNSC seat

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US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, seemingly enticed India with a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. She said that the key to India becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council is “not to touch the veto”. She also identified Russia and China as the two global powers against changes in the current structure of the Security Council.

“This reform of the UN Security Council is much more about the veto. The permanent five (members of the Security Council) have the ability to veto. Russia, China, the UK, the US and France and none of them want to give that up,” Ms. Haley said in an address to an event organized by US India Friendship Council.

“America’s overriding interests in Afghanistan and throughout South Asia are to eliminate terrorist safe havens that threaten us. And to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists, we will use all the elements of our national power economic diplomatic and military to pursue these goals,” was her statement.

The ambassador also said that India could help the US keep an eye on Pakistan as President Donald Trump has “taken a tougher approach to Islamabad harboring terrorists”. Noting that Trump recently announced a new strategy for combating terrorism in Afghanistan and South Asia, Haley said one of the pillars of that strategy is the development of America’s strategic partnership with India.

“America’s overriding interests in Afghanistan and throughout South Asia are to eliminate terrorist safe havens that threaten us. And to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists, we will use all the elements of our national power economic diplomatic and military to pursue these goals,” was her statement.

Read more: The US-Sino Great Game: Washington embraces Indian position on CPEC

US DESIGNS

Nikki Haley alongside Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana holds the distinction of being top-level US officials of Indian descent. Born to Sikh parents, she converted to Methodism after marrying her husband Michael Haley and describes herself as a Christian. Her religious conversion, as well as her ethnicity, did not stop her from becoming the first female governor of South Carolina.

To stave off China, the US seeks to use India as a local Sherriff of the region, therefore, it has been quite generous with India lately through nuclear deals and calls for greater inclusion of India. It also sees India as a suitable counterweight to an increasingly independent Pakistan.

It remains to be seen whether the remarks of Nikki Haley are mere statements of a US official of Indian heritage or an indicator of US designs for the region. In September 2017, a resolution supporting India’s bid for the UNSC seat was presented in the US House of representatives. However, before President Obama, the US was severely against UNSC reforms. The case of India has been dogged by factors such as the Kashmir conflict, no signature of the NPT and great power wrangling.

The shift of the US from opposing to allowing more members in the UNSC probably stems from the perception of the US’s place in global affairs. After the departure of George W Bush, the US has started to see itself no more as the lone power and perceives challenges from a new multipolar order lead by China and Russia. To stave off China, the US seeks to use India as a local Sherriff of the region, therefore, it has been quite generous with India lately through nuclear deals and calls for greater inclusion of India. It also sees India as a suitable counterweight to an increasingly independent Pakistan.

Read more: A master plan to balkanize Pakistan – Part I

NO VETO

However, the US is also following pragmatism. While it supports a permanent membership of India in the UNSC, it also seeks assurances to curtail the use of Veto. The Veto has been a rather problematic point for the US in current history.  While it greatly used Veto primarily to safeguard Israel in the global arena, it got a taste of its own medicine when Russia and China utilized it in various instances such as Syria and Iran.

While what Nikki Haley’s remarks would achieve remains to be seen but it can be assured that the US is considering India as the most useful state in the coming Multipolar era.

Therefore it will be wary of any other power using the power of Veto as a checkmate for US endeavors in the UN. This has been reciprocated by India as well. New Delhi has offered to forgo veto power initially as a bargaining chip to get the permanent seat. “The issue of veto is important, but we should not allow it to have a veto over the process of Council reform itself,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, said in March.

Read more: Pakistan looks for realignment as Indo-US alliance strengthens

While what Nikki Haley’s remarks would achieve remains to be seen but it can be assured that the US is considering India as the most useful state in the coming Multipolar era.


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