As India begins its presidency of the G-20, there is a certain reluctance on its part to try to end the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This position is because of the fear of failure, especially because of the position India has taken not to condemn Russia.
Why has UNSC proved to be a failure?
During the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UNSC’s credibility hit rock bottom.
Any reform of the UNSC, particularly the expansion of its permanent membership, will be strongly resisted. The permanent members and a large majority of the General Assembly will resist because it does not benefit anyone except those who aspire to be permanent members.
Among the proposals made in the last three decades, there is none that can command the votes of the five permanent members as well as two-thirds of the members of the General Assembly.
Why G20 can be an alternative to UNSC?
G-20 addresses major issues related to the global economy, such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation and development.
Its composition is such that it looks like it is an expanded Security Council. It is representative of all the significant countries of the 21st century. It is balanced between developed and developing countries.
The present permanent members and declared aspirants have been included while Africa and Latin America have also been represented. The EU represents a very important segment of the global power structure. A consensus decision of G-20 should be universally acceptable.
How will the G20 be transformed?
- A gradual transformation of the G-20 from an economic body to a political body can be initiated on the basis of the Bali Declaration.
- Bali declaration constitutes the consensus in the group on the Russia-Ukraine war. If the G-20 emerges as a peacemaker in Europe, it will attain legitimacy as a group to promote international peace and security.
- Veto power: No one can prevent its meetings by use of the veto.
- Russia will have to reason out its behavior rather than threaten the use of the veto to intimidate the international community.
How can India contribute to strengthening the G20?
- India is best suited to promote this alternative as India was the author of several landmark resolutions of the UNSC on the question of Palestine. India was a part of efforts made to prevent the expulsion of Egypt from the Non-Aligned Movement at the Havana summit when the Arabs turned against Egypt.
- Considering that the Bali declaration which was virtually drafted by India, India has been recognised as a potential honest broker who may be able to end the devastating war.
- India should Highlight the Bali Declaration and to present a road map during the preparatory process for the G-20 and persuade the sherpas to take it on its agenda.