Explained: Why Does India Not Have Veto Power In The United Nations?

Why doesn’t India have the Veto Power in the United Nations, one topic that Indians talk a lot about from the past many decades. There are many theories and stories available on the internet that suggest different reasons for why India is not a permanent member of UNSC. Some stories suggest that India had its chance to become a permanent member of UNSC, but due to a political blunder, the country lost it. How much truth is in this story? And what is the actual reason behind it? Let’s discuss it in detail.

To know the reason why India doesn’t have veto power in the United Nations, we need to know what Veto Power is and how a country gets it. So, Veto Power is a kind of legal power that allows anyone to say no or stop an official action. In UNSC or the United Nations Security Council, five countries – USA, Russia, France, UK and China have the Veto Power, which means if any official action or decision has to be taken, and anyone of these countries says no, then the action or decision will be stopped. Which also means to pass any resolution, an affirmative vote of all these five countries with Veto Power is required.

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Now you know how powerful Veto Power is, so it is not hard to understand why India wants it. But why is the Veto Power given to the USA, Russia, France, UK and China only? The reason behind this is that all these five countries are the permanent members of UNSC. UNSC consists of 15 members (countries), 5 of which are permanent, which means they will always remain in the council. However, the remaining 10 slots are filled by different countries for a tenure of 2 years. India remained in the UNSC multiple times as a non-permanent member. The most recent tenure of India came to an end in 2022.

As India’s recent term in UNSC got over in 2022, this topic again took a rise. Now comes a question, why Indians are talking about making India a permanent member of UNSC so firmly? The reason behind it is that India is now the world’s most populous country and it also has the world’s fifth largest economy (around $3.4 Trillion), which is a strong enough reason for why India should have a permanent seat in the UNSC.

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Now let’s talk about the stories and theories. Did India actually get an easy chance to become a permanent member of UNSC? The answer is NO! India never got an official offer from the UNSC. Yes there are some solid proofs (Jawaharlal Nehru Letter To Editor) that confirms that then India’s PM Jawahar Lal Nehru denied the unofficial offer from the USA. The reason behind it is very simple and clear that the USA in those days was not having very good relations with China, and thus wanted India to replace China from its permanent UNSC seat.

If India would have accepted the offer, Russia would have said goodbye to UNSC as evicting China like that would have been unethical. So to avoid a geopolitical heat, PM Nehru denied the unofficial offer of the USA to make India a permanent member of UNSC. After this, there have been talks on making India a permanent member of UNSC multiple times, but China always used its Veto Power against India’s inclusion in the council.

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However, according to a new survey by think-tank Atlantic Council, there is a strong presumption that India can become a permanent UNSC member if new seats are added to the permanent section of the council in the next few years. The survey said India has a 26% chance of getting a UNSC permanent seat followed by Japan (11%) and Brazil (9%). What do you think, will India ever get a permanent seat or not?

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