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23 Jan, 2024 14:00

‘Absurd’ that India not a permanent UN Security Council member – Elon Musk

The world’s richest man has questioned the absence of its most populous country from its key governing body
‘Absurd’ that India not a permanent UN Security Council member – Elon Musk

Billionaire Elon Musk on Monday opined that it is “absurd” that India, now the most populous country on Earth, isn’t a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and suggested adjusting the intergovernmental organization to make room for new members.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), the platform he bought in 2022 for $44 billion, Musk called for a “revision of the UN bodies.” 

Musk was responding to another X post, by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who had raised the issue that there weren’t any African nations among the permanent members of the UNSC. “Institutions must reflect today’s world, not that of 80 years ago. September’s Summit of the Future will be an opportunity to consider global governance reforms and re-build trust,” Guterres wrote. 

“[The] problem is those with excess power don’t want to give it up” Musk responded, suggesting that India, and Africa “collectively,” should have permanent seats in UNSC.

New Delhi, which wrapped up a two-year stint as a non-permanent member of the UNSC in 2022, is one of the leading voices calling for reforms in the UN.

India’s Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar made a strong pitch for a “contemporary” UNSC during his address at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York last year. “The international order is diverse and we must cater for divergences, if not differences,” the diplomat underlined. “The days when a few nations set the agenda and expected others to fall in line are over.” 

According to Jaishankar, the Summit of the Future, which the UN will host next year, should provide a “serious opportunity” to “drive change, champion fairness and reform multilateralism,” including the expansion of the number of permanent Security Council members.

Among the five permanent members of the Council, the US, UK, France, and Russia have expressed support for India’s permanent membership; China has been the only country that has been silent about its neighbor’s candidacy. This is despite Beijing's argument that the reform of the Security Council “should uphold fairness and justice” and increase the representation and voice of developing countries, “allowing more small and medium-sized countries” to participate in the decision-making.

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