French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain on December 31 welcomed India’s eighth tenure at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for two years starting from January 1, 2021. In a statement shattered on Twitter, Lenain not only said that “France welcomes India” but also vouched for India to get a “permanent seat” in the agency. French Ambassador to India also expressed eagerness to work alongside India to counter the challenges including terrorism.
France welcomes India as it joins #UNSC for the next 2 years. We are eager to work side by side to uphold international law, fight terrorism and defend #multilateralism. To this end, we also need a UNSC reform that gives India a permanent seat! pic.twitter.com/v1j6rGAkqb— Emmanuel Lenain (@FranceinIndia) January 1, 2021
UNSC is composed of 15 members with five permanent states or P-5 that are China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Meanwhile, the remaining 10 are non-permanent members that are elected for a two-year term by the UN General Assembly. Just recently, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava shared the glimpses from the past when India took part in the conferences.
India’s first tenure at UNSC dated back to 1950-51 when India presided over the adoptions of Resolutions, calling for the cessation of hostilities during Korean War and assistance for Korea, as the president of the UNSC. It was followed by a tenure in 1967-68 when India co-sponsored Resolution 238 and extended the mandate of United Nations Mission Cyprus which was also the “first-ever’ UNSC resolution drafted by India. The nation was again part of the conference in 1972-73 when it urged for the admission of Bangladesh to the UN. However, that resolution failed because a permanent member used the veto. Then in 1977-78, India became an eminent voice for Africa and spoke against Apartheid.
In 1978, then External Affairs Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee spoke in the UNSC backing Namibia’s independence. Followed by 1984-85, India was yet again a “leading voice” for resolution of Middle East conflicts including Palestine and Lebanon. In India’s 1991-92 tenure, then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao participated in the first-ever summit-level meeting of the UN Security Council and spoke on the agency's role in the maintenance of global peace as well as security.
India was also part of the UN in 2011-12 when it became a significant voice for the developing nations, peacekeeping and counter-terrorism, Africa. Further, MEA also noted that the first statement on Syria was also during India’s presidency at the UNSC. Now after a gap of some years, the nation is set to return to the council for 2021-22. MEA spokesperson shared the milestones India achieved in the UNSC in a short video shared on Twitter.