India elected to UN Security Council for eighth time
India on Wednesday sailed through the elections for non-permanent members to the UN Security Council, bagging 184 of the 192 votes to represent Asia-Pacific on the high table in 2021 and 2022.
This is the eighth time that India has been elected to the non-permanent membership of the UNSC since Independence; the first being in 1950-51 soon after Independence when the country was still trying to find its feet but punched way above its weight on the global stage because of the non-violent freedom struggle against colonialism that triggered similar movements.
India was elected unopposed as there was no other candidate from Asia-Pacific after Afghanistan withdrew in India’s favour in 2013.
Briefing mediapersons, secretary (west) in the external affairs ministry, Vikas Swarup, refused to be drawn into speculating on the eight votes that did not come India’s way despite the fact that both China and Pakistan had supported its candidacy.
“It was a secret ballot; it is not possible for us to speculate on who didn’t vote. We had complete endorsement of the Asia-Pacific region. We needed two-thirds majority of votes to win which was 128 votes. We won 184, which is one of the best performances ever by India,’’ Swarup said.
Pakistan is understood to have not voted for India. While congratulating Ireland, Norway and Mexico on their election, Pakistan said India’s election “raises fundamental questions’’; accusing India of being in violation of Security Council resolutions on Jammu & Kashmir and also bringing up the religion-specific Citizenship Amendment Act.
Asked to comment on Pakistan’s remarks, Swarup said Islamabad had made it a standard norm to politicise matters by bringing bilateral issues in multilateral fora. “Our foreign policy has a much broader canvas.’’