Russia ready to discuss UNSC seats for India, Brazil

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The coveted seat at the permanent table at the Council, comes with the most sought-after veto power…reports Asian Lite News

Moscow is ready to discuss expanding the UN Security Council by providing membership to India and Brazil but sees no reason to give permanent seats to Germany and Japan, Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov said on Monday.

“Russia is calling for the expansion of the UN Security Council based on a broad consensus. It requires increasing the proportionate share of African, Asian and Latin American nations for the UN Security Council to be able to reflect the aspirations of people around the world and be a more democratic body,” he stated at the 10th Global Peace Forum. “At the same time, I would like to be frank – we aren’t ready to support the accession of actors such as Germany and Japan,” the envoy pointed out.

“We don’t see any added value from their potential accession. Given the current balance on the council – or imbalance, I should say – the membership of the two above-mentioned candidates is unlikely to strengthen it, rather it will make the imbalance even more striking. On the other hand, we are open to the prospects of India and Brazil joining [the council],” the Russian ambassador stressed.

“We have been persistently calling for making the UN Security Council as representative as possible. Despite all the difficulties, the UN remains a unique organization. We hope to preserve and improve this platform,” Denisov emphasized.

The forum brings together over 300 former and current diplomats, government officials, researchers and experts in-person and online. This year’s event is dubbed “Preserving International Stability: Commonality, Comprehensiveness and Cooperation.” Tsinghua University has been holding the annual forum since 2012.

Veto power

The coveted seat at the permanent table at the Council, comes with the most sought-after veto power. Each of the permanent members is bestowed with the power to veto any decision that is put on the table even if it is passed by the rest of the members.

This power is unique and gives the permanent nations leverage in global politics quite akin to the first move advantage. In such a situation; a membership without a veto for all intents and purposes remains meaningless. It is not the first time that Russia has declared its support for the permanent membership of India and Brazil.

Russia, India, and Brazil are a part of the multilateral forum of BRICS. The BRICS has managed to not just survive but also flourish and grow despite the predictions prophesising otherwise. The BRICS finds its roots roughly in the RIC grouping; which is the forum containing Russia, India, and China. While the RIC is a geographically cohesive grouping, BRICS has members spanning across 3 continents with Brazil and South Africa as members of the forum.

The BRICS nations have managed to engage in south-south cooperation and grow as economies and as important players of global politics. With this background it makes sense for India and Brazil to be a part of the permanent members of the Council. While India’s bid has previously been supported by Russia; India has not found similar support from the rest of the permanent members.

The discord between India and China is multi-dimensional and should not be viewed as restricted to a border dispute. India and China are also two of the biggest powers in Asia and the Asia – Pacific. The changing dynamics of politics in the region and the exponential expansion of the Chinese sphere of influence make it beneficial for not just India but also the rest of the world that India becomes a member of the permanent members of the Security Council.

While QUAD and AUKUS are attempts at limiting Chinese expansion specifically in the Indian Ocean, a balancing force like India from the same region as that of China on the Security Council would greatly benefit global politics.

At the same time the Brazilian membership would make the council more representative. This was exactly the reason behind the original thought of expanding the Security Council in the first place. An addition of countries that represent different regions of the world and their troubles would be a more accurate representation of the changing world.

As the world is increasingly becoming multi-polar it would be beneficial if more nations become a part of the decision-making processes for greater representation and benevolent governance. It also helps in balancing the power dynamics of global politics and trade which has a massive tilt towards the global north. To even this biased playing field it is imperative that more players be allowed to play the metaphorical game. While the public declarations of support by Russia are welcome, the reality of India and Brazil becoming a permanent part of the UNSC still is a distant dream.

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