The aversion towards risk-taking at the top echelons of the political establishment may take a toll on India’s desire for a permanent seat around the horseshoe table.
The dream seems to be slipping into a coma with New Delhi dithering over a decision to bring a resolution to vote in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
While India’s term as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC) ends in December, the effort put into behind-the-scenes discussions, and create the stage to introduce a resolution for a probable vote on the UNSC reforms, could come to a naught with the current session of the General Assembly drawing to a close.
While the session lasts till end of August, the actual period left for any substantive work is much less.
“Most of the permanent representative and senior officials go on vacation in August. So, the decision to go or not to go for a vote has to be taken in July. The window of opportunity is extremely narrow,” said a senior MEA official.
Once a new General Assembly session starts, there will be a new president and senior officials looking after the inter-governmental negotiations on the UNSC reforms, which will require the process of ‘familiarisation’ to begin anew.
The G4, comprising of India, Brazil, Japan and Germany, is the group of nations aspiring for the permanent seat.
The ‘risk’ is that it is always difficult to predict with certainty that the resolution will get the requisite two-third majority.
“We have more than 80 written supports for the short resolution, with oral commitments from other countries, including a big chunk of African group. So we certainly have the numbers, but will everybody vote as expected?... ultimately, we have to call their bluff,” the official said.
To mitigate the risk, Indian diplomats have been cultivating the L69 group of countries to introduce the resolution, instead of the G4, so as to deflect some of the opposition.
The L69 is a group developing countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America, currently coordinated by Jamaica.