Modi criticizes ‘out of date’ UN
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for the United Nations to be reformed to “reflect the realities of the present.” India has long eyed a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, and its demands are now shared by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“Why is the UN, which was started with the idea of establishing peace, not successful in preventing conflicts today?” Modi addressed G7 leaders in Hiroshima on Sunday. “The institutions created in the last century are not in line with the system of the 21st century,” he continued, adding that “they do not reflect the realities of the present.”
“That is why it is necessary that reforms should be implemented in big institutions like the UN,” he stated. “They will also have to become the voice of the Global South. Otherwise, we will only keep talking about ending the conflicts. The UN and the Security Council will remain just a talk shop.”
The Security Council consists of 15 members, ten of which serve two-year terms on the body and cannot veto resolutions. Formed in 1945, the Security Council can enforce sanctions, authorize military action, and refer cases for the International Criminal Court – but only with the unanimous consent of the five permanent members.
These five nations – the US, UK, China, France, and Russia – were the first five states to acquire nuclear weapons, and the veto system and its resulting deadlock was largely engineered to prevent them from engaging in nuclear war with one another.
India has since acquired its own atomic weapons, and along with Brazil, Germany, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, and South Africa, is considered a leading candidate to join an expanded Security Council as a permanent member.
Russia has advocated for a more diverse Security Council for years, with Moscow’s permanent representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, telling the council last year that it “can be democratized only through increasing the representation of African, Asian, and Latin American states.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres echoed Modi’s calls for reform on Sunday, telling reporters that he supports reforming the Security Council to better reflect the “realities of today’s world.”