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JT Round 2. pinke v westcoast: India on the Security Council

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posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 11:44 AM
The topic for this debate is "India should be made a permanent member of the UN Security Council.”

pinke will be arguing the "Pro" position and begin the debate.
westcoast will be arguing the "Con" position.

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posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 12:17 PM
Holiday is over ... back to the debating. Sorry for the delay, but when others have time off I'm usually very busy. Thank you to Vagabond and ATS as usual, a dash of luck to my opponent and lets bring in the new year:

The United Nations was first formed with bold ideals; to ensure that the world would never be plunged into war on the same scale and magnitude as the world wars ever again. It is a wonder how such an organization thought it could achieve these goals without representation by all Nuclear powers.

The Nuclear power I’m of course referring to is India. India’s attempts to join the council have repeatedly been rejected beyond reason. During this debate I will be asserting that this is an error by the United Nations.
The relevancy of the United Nations in this day and age is at stake on multiple levels, however, for the most part, this will not be the subject of this debate. I will only be arguing that the United Nations Security Council should accept India as a member. It may in fact be one of the first steps the organization can take to transparency and relevance in this day and age.

The council’s current permanent membership is a black and white vintage photograph of how our planet used to be after the events of 1945 in desperate need of updating. The five nations only bond in the past was a common enemy – not a method of encouraging enduring security. I will also add that these nations have been self appointed. There is no accountability or democratic system for the use of their vetoing powers – powers which allow the five permanent nations and only these nations to veto in the council. While the council is certainly due for reform part of this reform ultimately must be the inclusion of India.

Some facts about India and the UN:

- India is the only nuclear power who is not a permanent member of the security council
- India is the third largest contributor of troops to the United Nations
- India maintains the world’s third largest armed force
- India has the world’s second largest population making it the world’s largest liberal democracy


I will now ask my opponent the first question of the debate … Do you believe that an organization such as the United Nations can be relevant and influential without the input and membership of India?

posted on Jan, 4 2011 @ 03:31 PM
Alright then, back to normal. Well, I guess that depends on what you consider normal, but it is nice to continue on with our debate! Thanks again to the mods and I’ll offer some of that same luck to you Pinke, this should be very educational.

By that, I mean that prior to reading up on the debate material I have to admit that I had no idea what the debate topic was even about. India? Security Council? Permanent vs. what? Okay, so I am not that politically inclined but I can read and have a general level of intelligence so it didn’t take me long to paint a broad enough picture to see where this is going.

I want to start by defining some of the basic components we will be discussing. Just in case some of the readers might be a bit like myself and have no clue really what this is all about.

Pinke has done a great job hitting on some of the key aspects of India as a country so I won’t get any further into that at this time. Let’s save that for later. I think the most important elements are to understand what the United Nations is, the Security Council and the current structure.

I could try and explain it myself in laymen’s terms but since I am allowed three external links in my opening post I have decided to take full advantage of them. I will start from the top.

The United Nations:

The United Nations Organization (UNO) or simply the United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace. The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. It contains multiple subsidiary organizations to carry out its missions.

Source 1

To round that definition out, there are 192 member states and what they call six principal organs: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Secretariat, the International Court of Justice and the United Nations Trusteeship Council.

Obviously, we are going to concentrate on the Security Council, which brings me to my next definition:

United Nations Security Council:

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action. Its powers are exercised through United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

Source 2

Further information that is handy to know is that it’s first session was way back in 1946 and it exists in continuous session, traveling to different places around the world. There are fifteen members, five of those permanent with veto powers. The five permanent members are; China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States.

The Security Council follows the:

United Nations Charter, Chapter V:

Article 23

1. The Security Council shall consist of fifteen Members of the United Nations. The Republic of China, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America shall be permanent members of the Security Council. The General Assembly shall elect ten other Members of the United Nations to be non-permanent members of the Security Council, due regard being specially paid, in the first instance to the contribution of Members of the United Nations to the maintenance of international peace and security and to the other purposes of the Organization, and also to equitable geographical distribution.

Source 3

The link will take you to the full charter that goes into greater detail if you are interested in learning more.

So now that I have given the background and just what it is we are debating, it is time for me to address the question at hand:

"India should be made a permanent member of the UN Security Council.”

I am arguing the con side of this debate, which it quickly became apparent I am on the lighter side of the teeter-totter. I already know more about this topic in one hour of reading than ever before, which is of course one of the reasons we enjoy a good debate. We often learn something.

On the surface it may seem a simple request. However, the United Nations and its associated Organs are an organization long steeped in tradition and treading lightly. Change comes very slowly and cautiously for good reason. It is not a matter of saying, “Okay, come on in!” India has had representation on the Security Council for several two-year sessions. They currently have a member for the January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2012 session, Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri. The difference between their current status and being a permanent member is having veto power.

In order to change the current arrangement, the charter itself would have to be amended. To do that 2/3 of the 192 general assembly members would have to approve it. In addition to that, all of the five permanent members of the Security Council would also have to approve it. No small feat. As with any political body there are always political aspects involved and I will delve into some of that later on.

Pinke made the comment that India has been rejected many times beyond reason. I suppose it depends on how you look at it. It is not just a matter of petitioning. It is a huge undertaking and the majority of the world leaders must agree. Aside from all of that, a permanent seat was actually offered to India back in 1955 but India’s Prime Minister declined so it was instead given to China (Taiwan). I think that in that climate, memories run deep and to come back later and say “Oops, should have said yes!”, is not smiled upon. Besides that, things have obviously changed since 1955 and the world powers and politics are quite different now in some aspects.

Pinkes’ reasons so far for allowing India to be a permanent member of the Security Council seems to be that they are a nuclear power and one of the larger contributors to the UN’s military power and the world’s second largest population.

I would argue that they shouldn’t be a permanent member for those very same reasons. The whole original idea behind the United Nations was to achieve world peace; to do this through opening dialogue between all the different countries in the world and to give them a platform to achieve it. There are already plenty of ‘big dogs’ on the playing field. If we only allow the super powers to have all the veto power, if the impression is given that your vote only counts if you are a ‘nuclear’ super-power and have the biggest army, it goes completely against the original charter.

My answer to Pinkes’ first Socratic question:

Do you believe that an organization such as the United Nations can be relevant and influential without the input and membership of India?

The short answer is yes. But that is a bit misleading. It gives the impression that India wouldn’t have influence or input unless they are a permanent member, and that isn’t accurate. We are not talking about an all or nothing scenario. They are already a member; they just don’t have veto power. To be a bit broader in my answer, I do agree that the United Nations and the Security Council benefit from India’s membership and while they would still be relevant and influential without them, their input would certainly be missed and it would be a great loss.

My first Socratic question to you:

Since you think that India should be made a permanent member of the United Nations Security council and to do so means changing the charter, how do you think the charter should be changed to allow them permanent membership?

posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 12:26 PM

First Reply - Game On!

Westcoast explains that joining the UN Security Council as a permanent member is no small task, and would require a large number of the member nations to agree to it. Investigating this claim … India recently receive 187 of the 190 votes in the 192 member general assembly. One country was no present, one did not cast its vote in the three rounds, and one of the votes against India was cast as a mistake. (

Whilst this is a vote as a non-permanent member it speaks volumes for the respect India has gained from the United Nations membership. So who is preventing India from taking its rightful place amongst the permanent nations?
As Westcoast states, India were indeed offered a position back in 1955 which was rejected, and perhaps this was a mistake. However, this once again highlights the permanent nations desire to maintain power and the status quo and inability to accept history and move on. We shall use the actions of America as an important case study.

The G-4 proposal was a push by Germany , Brazil, Japan, and India to be included as permanent members of the security council. George W. Bush was quite open in his opposition of this and with clear self motivated reason.
Japan supported the Iraqi invasion at this time and would have been of great benefit to George Bush if they had been promoted in United Nations standing. Germany, however, did not fit this criteria having refused to provide support to the United States military effort. How can this be seen as anything other than America’s selfish protection of their own power within the United Nations Security Council? (

In fact, US officials even stated they may agree to the council being expanded if the new members came without the coveted veto power. One has to ask, what would the point of this ultimately be? It is certainly not in the interests of peace keeping. The United States has a known history of defying the United Nations – a fact for which they cannot be held accountable.

Vietnam, Lebanon, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Iraq … all without United Nations Security Council support. In fact, one of the few times America received support was for Korea and only due to the USSR boy cotting council meetings in 1950 (

The constant vetoing and jockeying by the current permanent members needs to stop if the United Nations wants to function as it was ever intended. My debating opponent is in fact correct, the United Nations does need to open up the floor to more nations, and this is the very heart of the issue. This will also answer my opponents Socratic question.

Where is the accountability? Where is the transparency? Why such an out dated and obfuscated recruitment system? Why are permanent members not democratically chosen for their terms? Why do we still cling to this in effective and poorly formed alliance created during WWII to make the decisions of the UN?

I believe it is time for a change. Would anyone currently believe that America would receive more votes than India if it came to a democratic decision on who should stand in the council as a permanent member? Would Russia still hold their spot which for the past fifty years has been used to prevent America from its political goals? Perhaps it is time to open the floor for a more democratic process; a transparent and accountable process.

In this environment I believe India would excel with the massive confidence member nations have in it as a country. I feel this is a point my opponent must concede.

Socractic Question: Does American deserve to be a permanent member based on its actions more so than India?

And just to add thoughts on this here are some of the US vetos at the UN Security Council:
- 1980 Calls for the cessation of all nuclear test explosions.
- 1972 Condemns Israel for killing hundreds of people in Syria and Lebanon in air raids.
- 1979 Calls for an end to all military and nuclear collaboration with the apartheid South Africa.
- 1987 Opposition to the development of new weapons of mass destruction.
- 1987 Opposition to the build up of weapons in space.
- 1981 Declares that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development, etc are human rights.

I will also add some more layers to this debate by stating that the financial situation of the United Nations is dire; further proving that the organization is in need of new blood in its membership. According to the 2009 UN budget ( six members account for approximately 64% of the financial contributions to the United Nations. Of course, America is at the top of this list – eager to ensure its continued interests and maintaining the image of correct action. However, perhaps the United Nations would do better to replace America with the much better liked India.

The contributions made to the United nations are voluntary, and many remain uncollected. As such it could be stated that such contributions are made as a demonstration of confidence by member nations. The means, according to recent reports, there is US1.061 billion of doubt in the United Nations coffers ( Whilst some of these payments will be due to poor developing nations being unable to pay one has to wonder if we saw a change in the permanent members of the United Nations perhaps we might see renewed dedication to the original cause they were supposed to be championing.

There is a case for reform. There is a case for India to be a permanent member of the Security Council. There is certainly a case for the position to be taken away from the United States of America, and perhaps others so that this reform can actually begin to take place.

posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 03:13 PM

First Response:

I am glad that you brought up the G4 and our own Countries stand in this, I was looking to expand upon it at some point so I will do so with this response.

I don’t blame you for quoting the recent vote numbers because they are impressive, but it is very important to understand there is a huge difference between this vote and the one India is seeking. While this will be the sixth term that India has served in the two-year spot and is obviously a deserving member as reflected in the vote, to make them a permanent member is something altogether different and rife with political nuances.

Now, if it were a matter of voting in only India as a permanent member to the UNSC, they would have a better chance but unfortunately for them they have helped to create and continue to align themselves with the G4.

The G4 is an alliance among Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan for the purpose of supporting each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.

There has been discontent among the present permanent members regarding the inclusion of controversial nations or countries not supported by them

Source 1

So now rather than just having to overcome those opposed to India the UN has to contend with four different countries and all the many controversies and defiance that this creates. On top of that, the G4 also insists that two African nations be represented, but Africa can’t even decide which two it should be. There is so much division caused by this movement, that another organization has been formed by UN members called:

Uniting for Consensus:

Uniting for Consensus (UfC) is a movement (nicknamed the Coffee Club) that developed in the 1990s in opposition to the possible expansion of the United Nations Security Council. Recently revived by Italy, it now has about 40 members[citation needed] aiming to counter the G4 nations' bids for permanent seats. The leaders are Italy, Pakistan, Mexico, Argentina and South Korea.[2]

Do you see where this is heading now? It is completely dividing the United Nations and forcing countries to take sides. So much so that:

A UN General Assembly in September 2005 marked the 60th anniversary of the UN and the members were to decide on a number of necessary reforms—including the enlarged SC. However the unwillingness to find a negotiable position stopped even the most urgent reforms meant the September 2005 General Assembly was a setback for the UN

Source 2

The G4 and the opposing parties have caused so much conflict that it has now created a set-back to advancement of the UN itself.

I see that you left out your response to my first Socratic question as to how you would suggest the charter be reformed to allow India to be a permanent member. This is unfortunate because I would like to see how you think it might work. India is Insisting, actually demanding that not only themselves be made permanent members but three other countries, two of them quite controversial. (Japan and Germany) Instead, you have suggested that the United States isn’t a worthy member and should be dropped so India can take its place.

I find that idea rather ironic, given that India’s greatest chance right now lies in the hands of the United States and its latest endorsement of India. I’m sure you heard about Obama’s recent ‘trip’ to India? There was a lot of speculation as to the real reason why he was there, and some believe it was all centered on his speech to the Indian Parliament, where he very publicly endorsed India’s plight to be made a permanent member of the UNSC: but there were a few stipulations.

(see linked picture at bottom of post-for some reason it turns the rest of the text black)

Expressing ‘bahut dhanyavaad’ to the people of India for their warm reception, US President Barack Obama announced his country’s support to India for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council but added that it will come with conditions like speaking out against Myanmar and imposing sanctions on Iran

Source 3

I suggest you go over the linked article; it is a very interesting read.

I have to admit that when I was researching this topic, as soon as I opened the article and saw the picture of Obama, I knew I smelled a rat. You see, India is the needed ‘swing vote’ for the US in the UNSC. You might think that since I am an American I would see this as a good thing, but unfortunately I am coming to find that what our Government does is not always in the general public’s best interest. Especially when it comes to world economics.

This is all about manipulation and that is not what the United Nations or the Security Council is supposed to be about. I will agree that there needs to be reform to bring things back around to how they should be at this day and age, but this is not the way to do it.

You stated that you feel I must concede that India would excel because of the massive confidence of member nations. I actually do not agree with you. Until India breaks away from the G4, or at least stops demanding and tries to negotiate they will continue to lack the universal support that you seem to think already exists. Yes, there is obviously some support but there is also a whole lot of opposition. If there weren’t, the ‘Uniting For Consensus’ would not exist, and there would not have been a text titled ‘Reform of the Security Council’ authored by around 15 members to speak out against the G4.

Your question to me:

Socratic Question: Does American deserve to be a permanent member based on its actions more so than India?

I believe that America must remain a permanent member if for no other reason than the instability and unrest it would cause were they to be removed. Do they deserve it more? Well, I am by no means a historian but I know that the US has led many reforms and agreements that have had worldwide impacts. So I would say most definately yes. They are seen as a leader for peace in the UN, whereas India recently has caused segregation. While I may not agree with a lot of the things my country is doing right now, no one can deny our importance to the United Nations. It would be catastrophic to the peace-keeping movement to lose America’s democratic input.

I will repeat my first Socratic question to you; since I am quite sure you did not intend to leave the answer out:

Socratic question 1:

Since you think that India should be made a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and to do so means changing the charter, how do you think the charter should be changed to allow them permanent membership?

Socratic question 2:

Do you think it was appropriate for President Obama to publicly support India as a permanent member of the UNSC, and why or why not?

Socratic question 3:

How do you feel about the members of the G4? Since India is demanding that all or none be admitted as permanent members and is insisting on 11 permanent members and 13 temporary, than why do feel the other G4 countries should or should not be accepted?

posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 02:27 PM
Hi all,

Realize am taking my time right now. Start of the year is pretty bad for us. 24 hour extension or since I'm so over time my opponent can make a post and I'll just deal.

Just not the greatest of schedules right now.

posted on Jan, 8 2011 @ 02:58 PM
reply to post by Pinke

Don't worry about it. It is busy for me too. Take the 24 and I'll wait until tomorrow at least to give you a chance. I don't want to earn any points that way!!

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 12:42 PM
My opponent has brought up the fact that India was part of the G4 movement giving the impression that this would somehow prevent India being eligible to become a permanent member of the Security Council.

However, one needs to investigate the members who oppose the expansion of the council and why they are in fact opposing. Many of these oppositions are based on old rivalries from back in world war II, and very few of the opposing nations have anything in common but their opposition.

For example, Pakistan opposes India, whilst South Korea opposes Japan due to events which occurred in World War 2. Italy and the Netherlands still have issues with Germany since the World War ... The group 'Uniting for Consensus' are simply members a rag tag group protecting their own interest and show no threat to the United Nations as a group.

The powers that be are unwilling to make changes that might make the Security Council more effective in favor of their own selfish interests.The opposition of expansion is in favor of keeping up old rivalries. This is not part of a democratic process ... This is groups of countries agreeing to oppose individual countries in return for political favors. These countries such as the United States only want reform of the United Nations to occur if it is under their own rules.

My opponent also states that including India would also involve including the G-4 and African nations. My opponent highlights the controversies involved in including more than one country ... however, the G4 is not that particularly demanding. In fact, the G4 members have agreed to accept inclusion without veto powers! ( for-in-the-charter_7304/united-nations-security-council_14045.html)

My opponents reaction is simply highlighting the fears of the permanent five members in including new members. That new members might encourage change, that they might support the stripping of veto powers, and diminish the power of those members. I'll also point out that the G4 is currently no more successful than Japan has left the group and is now making its own proposal. Groups such as the G4 only exist because of the United Nations poor ability to enact reform so countries group together to add weight to their proposals.

My opponent further stats that India's attempt to become a permanent member has held back the United Nations itself. To my opponent I ask ...

Socratic Question: The rivalry of the United States and the Soviet Union has held back the United Nations constantly. Is this not evidence that the system of permanent members is not working regardless of India's bid?

My opponent's statement that members of the general assembly oppose India's inclusion in the Security Council is not a complete truth. The G4 is ultimately made irrelevant to this debate since it's creation was out of the frustration of the United Nations inability to agree on reform.

My opponent states that there are 'around' 15 members who spoke out against the G4. Assuming in my opponents favor we could perhaps state that a generous 30 members oppose India's membership. This is still not 'completely dividing' the United Nations by any standard. In fact, resolutions have been accepted with less votes. There are 192 members in the United Nations, and a two thirds majority (128) is required to accept a proposal. India's proposal would be accepted and is desired if the permanent five allowed it to happen.

I see that you left out your response to my first Socratic question as to how you would suggest the charter be reformed to allow India to be a permanent member. [sic[ India is Insisting, actually demanding that not only themselves be made permanent members but three other countries, two of them quite controversial. (Japan and Germany)

My opponent is assuming that any member nation who is encouraging expansion is tyrannically applied to this idea. However, as previously stated, Japan is no longer in the G4. Japan and Germany's opponents are also based around old World War rivalries. Rivalries the five are happy to use to maintain their power role.

I did in fact answer your question. The Charter is in fact a relatively simple document to reform, and going through all the precise changes to it would be outside of the topic of this debate. However, I would point out we're not even currently following the current Charter which states that all countries should settle international disputes by peaceful means, and shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in matters inconsistent with the purposes of the UN. There is also a statement that members of the United Nations which persistently violate the principles contained in the present charter may be expelled by the general assembly ... unfortunately there's a further line in this part of the charter which states ... upon the recommendation of the Security Council. (United Nations Charter) Articles 108 and 109 of the Charter also unfortunately give the permanent members the ability to veto any change to the charter.

Because this line is in place the permanent members rule with impunity! They can in fact prevent their own ejection from the council. This is perhaps where I would start to revise the charter. How can a non democratic organization be responsible for world security? To resolve this issue the council needs both expanded and reformed. Perhaps this would include the removal of the veto vote from the charter, perhaps it would include regular demographic election of veto powered members to maintain the agility of the council ... There are so many options, but the one option that can't be accepted is not reforming or expanding at all.

I believe that America must remain a permanent member if for no other reason than the instability and unrest it would cause were they to be removed... [sic] ... I know that the US has led many reforms and agreements that have had worldwide impacts ... [sic] ... They are seen as a leader for peace in the UN, whereas India recently has caused segregation.

My opponent has stated that the US is a leader for peace ... I find this an awkward statement, and again a highlight of the issue with the United Nations as an organization.

America has defied the United Nations security council a painful number of times. I will say again: Vietnam, Lebanon, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Iraq. All forceful maneuvers by the U.S without United Nations endorsement.

Furthermore, I will point out that the United States has used its veto power more than any other nation in the permanent five. The United States does nothing more than guard its own interests and protect its own political allies to the detriment of progress within the Security Council. In fact there have been resolutions with a lone veto cast by the U.S which simply hold up the council. (

Political science writers would disagree with the majority of the proposals made by the permanent 5. Banerjee in his writing stated that ....

When the great powers do utilize the council for collective action, it is usually with regard to a relatively narrow set of issues. A cynic might call them "wastebasket issues." (Banerjee, 2007)

Examples are the Council's supervision of democratization of Namibia. None of the permanent five had any political interest in this issue and therefore there was no veto. However, what happens when a country has an interest in the political issue at hand? Well, try getting a proposal on Israel past the US.

Washington used its veto 32 times to shield Israel from critical draft resolutions between 1972 and 1997. This constituted nearly half of the total of 69 U.S. vetoes cast since the founding of the U.N.

Perhaps if India did become a permanent member we may have more chance for reform. Perhaps if the permanent five began considering encouraging a demographic movement rather than watching their own political goals.

Do you think it was appropriate for President Obama to publicly support India as a permanent member of the UNSC, and why or why not?

I do not see this question as relevant to India's inclusion in the Security Council. Several members of the permanent 5 have supported India whenever it suited them. This is the exact problem.

How do you feel about the members of the G4? Since India is demanding that all or none be admitted as permanent members and is insisting on 11 permanent members and 13 temporary, than why do feel the other G4 countries should or should not be accepted?

The term 'demanded' is a little strong considering the G4 have stated that the new seats would come without veto power with the possibility fifteens after the reform of granting veto rights to new permanent members. This seems like a very logical option of reform which is being rejected merely under the grounds of power jockeying. What type of democratic process allows a handful of members to prevent the progress of many?
( for-in-the-charter_7304/united-nations-security-council_14045.html)

Perhaps when over 10 - 20% of our voters during an election disagree we should hold up the election process? Perhaps we should elect 5 -10% of the electorate as having special powers to stop progress? We would never enact such a democratic process today as a security council so why are we doing this now? The United Nations needs reform. This reform is several fold ...

- Expansion of the permanent members of the council
- Transparency and accountability for permanent members (not just general assembly)
- A true demographic process on some level

The specifics of this are beyond the scope of this debate, but this reform should involve the inclusion of India and a wake up call to the United States.

Book References:

Reinventing the United Nations, PHI Learning Private Limited, New Delhi, 2007

posted on Jan, 10 2011 @ 02:39 PM

Second Response-

The G4 is ultimately made irrelevant to this debate since its creation was out of the frustration of the United Nations inability to agree on reform.

I want to begin my second response by discussing this statement made by Pinke. While the question as to whether India should be a permanent member might seem like a simple yes/no answer on the surface, once you start digging it is painfully obvious that this is not so. The G4 is one of the main reasons that reform of the UNSC did not happen in 2005 and is a key element of India’s bid to a permanent seat. For these reasons I feel that it is highly relevant to this debate and must be addressed in order to flesh out the various elements surrounding India’s inclusion.

Having said that; I agree that we could easily get off track if we begin going down the various roads regarding the members of the G4 and all the political intricacies and opposition surrounding them. For that reason, I will only focus on India other than to directly respond to comments or questions raised in Pinke’s response.

I wish that I could read through the information you linked regarding G4 accepting inclusion without veto powers and about Japan breaking away from the G4. Both links provided go to a 404 message. I spent nearly two hours trying to find anything current and have been only somewhat successful. The most current article I found about this was July 2010. This is essentially what it says:

The G-4 Brazil, Germany, India and Japan hold the view that the new permanent members should have the same responsibilities and obligations as the current permanent. However, the new permanent members will hold off wielding the Veto power for fifteen years after the reforms come into place…Speaking at the ongoing discussion on the reforms this week, Puri said that this compromise would "ensure that the veto does not veto Council reform."

Source 1

So first off, as of July 2010 both India and Japan are still claiming to be part of the G4 and asking for all G4 members to be given permanent seats on the UNSC. In addition, they also want them to have the same veto powers but are willing to withhold that power for 15 years to give the UNSC time to change the charter.

A more recent article from September 2010 states:

India, Brazil, Germany and Japan (collectively known as G4 nations) have reiterated the need for urgent reform of the Security Council, including expansion of permanent and non-permanent membership, to make it more responsive to 21st century realities.

Source 2

Finally, the most recent from November, 2010 highlights the reaction to President Obama’s support of India:

With India having got the US's coveted backing for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, two major aspirants to the high table are fuming. Both Germany and Japan went public with their annoyance at their claims being overlooked and made their displeasure known to the US....With Obamas announcement on Monday, the US has shifted its own stance to accommodate India. But that doesn't mean the G4 to which India has tacked its own aspirations is in the clear yet....Security Council reform is not only about putting India into the body. The issues at stake are what should be the ideal size of a new UNSC; whether the new members would have veto rights, the number of permanent and non-permanent members, its relations with the UN General Assembly, whether there should be regional representation.

Source 3

While there may have been some discussion at some point about Japan breaking away from the G4, as of November 2010 I believe they are still officially a member. Not that it is necessarily important to our debate, but I think that it is relevant to determine that the G4 is still very much a key part of India’s bid to be a permanent member of the UNSC, which makes it a much more complicated question.

My opponent stated:

Many of these oppositions are based on old rivalries from back in World War II, and very few of the opposing nations have anything in common but their opposition.

I quote this because I think it not only refers to the opposition of some of the G4 countries, but the original five holding permanent seats on the UNSC.

World War II ended in 1945 which led to the creation of the United Nations. The cold war then lasted for another 46 years after that and explains a lot of the behavior within the UNSC.

Over 70 million people died during WWII, and while it is in the past and we have been struggling to move beyond it ever since, it really hasn’t been that long. I think that it will take more than 65 years to heal the wounds that those 70 million deaths caused, at least to the point that the involved countries will not have to prove themselves more than others.

You claimed that the United States has used it veto power on the Security Council the most. In reality, using your own reference you will see that the Soviet Union has. Perhaps you meant to say that since 1972 the United States has cast the most veto’s, half of those to protect Israel. Then it all comes down to your own personal beliefs as to whether that is right or wrong and again, I think it would be getting off topic.

I bring this up because I think it is important to the reasons that change is slow in the UNSC. While you said that opposition to the G4 is:

Simply members a rag tag group protecting their own interest and show no threat to the United Nations as a group.

And that change doesn’t happen due to:

The powers that be are unwilling to make changes that might make the Security Council more effective in favor of their own selfish interests.The opposition of expansion is in favor of keeping up old rivalries. This is not part of a democratic process ...

I challenge that it is because the scars are still raw from past wars and conflicts and the founding countries of the United Nations and the Security Council have worked hard to build the very fragile camaraderie they have with each other. While I think there is a lot of self-interest in any kind of political relationship, I also believe that the UN is still there to look out for the best interest and safety of the world. Any change to the charter has the potential of upsetting that balance and therefore must be entered into slowly and carefully. Perhaps it has been a bit too slow, but I think it is fair to say that the G4 has made that change even slower and more convoluted.

Your Socratic question to me:

The rivalry of the United States and the Soviet Union has held back the United Nations constantly. Is this not evidence that the system of permanent members is not working regardless of India's bid?

I think it ironic that you would bring up the rivalry of the United States and the Soviet Union as evidence that the system is not working. First, to answer your question; while I believe it to be evidence that there is still a lot of world-wide conflict and fear (not just between the US and Soviet Union), it does not mean that you might as well throw India into the mix because it doesn’t matter. Could it be working better? Certainly. But I don't think it can be said it isn't working at all, or that the US and Soviet Union are the reason. In a democracy, it involves give and take, bickering and working things out...sometimes painfully slow.

I say ironic because the type of conflict you are referencing, is being promoted by India and it’s plight with the G4. You said:

What type of democratic process allows a handful of members to prevent the progress of many?

Exactly. Except I don’t understand how you can make that comment and yet support India’s inclusion. The methods that India has used have not been democratic and the kind of manipulation that you seem to be decrying, India is playing right into with the United States and its power struggle in the UNSC.

Simply put, India would be an ace in the pocket of the United States. I admit it’s a brilliant move politically speaking on the part of the US, and India shows that it is indeed stepping up its political game. Another reason why I think the caution that is being shown by the UNSC members is warranted.

My Socratic questions to you:

Question number one:

Do you think that any members of the UNSC should have veto powers? Why or why not?

Question number two:

How do you think that India would bring balance, fairness and progression to the UNSC?

posted on Jan, 14 2011 @ 12:33 PM
It has been four days, so I am going to go ahead and move forward. My apologies to Pinke, but I think we just need to get this done. Moving into the weekend, it is going to be harder for me to commit to this debate and I don't think we should drag it out for another week.

Third Response

Although I think we have both done a good job of highlighting the many layers of this topic, we have also shown that it would be very easy to go down all the different roads that the political implications build. It is difficult, in my opinion, to make this a yes or no answer.

My last two socratic questions were an attempt on my part to shift some of the debate topic back onto India as a nation and what it would or would not bring to the UN as a permanent member of the UNSC. I would still like to give Pinke an opportunity to do this, so I will bring those two questions forward to this response, and invite Pinke to flesh that out in their closing arguement.

My personal opinion on India itself is somewhat limited. From what I have read in my research, there is no doubt that is has contributed a lot to the UN, and has gained recognition in it's continued re-election to the UNSC. I have to address the Countries short comings though. To be a permanent member in any Organ of the UN, means to set a standard. It is reserved for those countries that have met certain ideals set forth by the UN as an example to the rest of the world. While India may have met some of these, it fails horribly in others.

"It is a tragic irony to think in India, a country now wealthy enough that roughly half of the people own phones," so many people "cannot afford the basic necessity and dignity of a toilet," said U.N. University director Zafar Adeel.

Source 1

This is based on a study by the United Nations done in 2008. The quote is from one of the Directors for sanitation and health for the UN. According to the article, only a third of the population had access to proper sanitation.

Now I realize that India is an ancient society and their faith and beliefs run deep and dictate how they act and perceive a lot of things, such as worshiping cows. I don't want to make broad comments at the risk of being biased against said beliefs. However, I think some of it does need to be brought up. I will just give a few examples. The Ganges river is a place where it is common to bathe in the morning, at the same time that bodies are burned on the shore, rotting corpses float nearby in the water and sacred cows both bathe, defecate and also float by rotting. Now you could say this is just a way of life there, but in light of the above article and in looking at pictures, etc. I think this goes beyond that.

Again, I don't want to make this about the countries culture, but a lot of people argue that India is still a third-world-country. That it is not progressing in ways that it should be in order to be an example to the rest of the world. That the UN would publish a report that seems to support this perception is disturbing to say the least.

I see the glaring segregation in their society between the filthy rich and then the rest of the population living in such horrific conditions, and then I see that picture of President Obama with their parliment. It raises concerns with me of what is being promoted. Do we not care how a County is run so long as it is willing to supply money and military, at the rest of its populations expense?

We can apply this same logic to the United States and it's current political theme with our society. Oh...but then I would digress very, very badly.

I am going to keep this third response very short, as I do not have anything to counter this round. Instead, I am using this as an opportunity to simply offer some other perspectives on the topic and what I think are some very valid concerns regarding India as a UN nation.

posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 07:34 PM
It seems my opponent has unfortunately had to deal with real-life matters during the debate and hasn't been able to respond. Now that the stall in the debate itself has been dealt with and is moving forward, I guess I need to go ahead and post a closing statement. I hope all is well with Pinke.

Closing Statement

Due to the circumstances, I will keep this brief. I don't have any questions to answer or comments to counter and respond to, so I will simply sum up my argument.

As I said previously, this is not a simple question with a simple answer. The more you dig, the bigger the question becomes and the implications grow. I feel right now that the real reason this is in the media light is due to Obama's comments and use of India as a pawn on the UN council. Of course, that is not enough of a reason to say no. But I would like to point out that it's also a poor reason to say yes. It highlights some of the political games going on with the security council and I think, makes a good argument why the council is set up the way it is.

Looking at India as a nation, I don't think it is an exaggeration to say they could still be seen as a third-world country. The facts my opponent pointed out as to India's massive contributions with military and money to the UN while such a huge percentage of their population lives in horrid conditions, is distressing.

The fact that India has aligned themselves with the G4, as a condition of acceptance to the Security council is what seems to me a maneuver to manipulate the UN. It has been enough of an issue with a large number of UN member countries to cause a great amount of conflict in the UN itself. In light of this, and the social/economic conditions of the country lead me to support the argument that India should not be made a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council at this time.

posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 08:33 PM
This debate is closed and awaiting judgment.

posted on Feb, 3 2011 @ 09:19 PM

Decision to: westcoast

Comments: I felt westcoast argued with logical-passion backed by relevant research (except for the Wiki links, my personal bias disclosure) and provided not only a snapshot of the global eccentricities surrounding this topic, but also remained on target while doing so by keeping an eye towards and the debate centered primarily on India, itself, with less venture into placing the focus on other member nations and their issues. I felt westcoast
addressed socratic questions directly and was consistently on point with those answers while also defending the stance assigned in this debate.

I felt pinke also argued with passion backed by relevant research, but was less strong in the area of topical application of that research. Reading the debate, I felt confused at times as to the direction and argument pinke was presenting for India as it seemed that India was lost in the discussion which seemed more centered on
other nations and their activities. While I felt I came away with a good concept of the global/member issues of the inner-workings of the UNSC, I did not have a better understanding of the why's or the how's India's inclusion as a perm. member would be of benefit or ultimately, why India should be included.

This one goes to Pinke -- excellent research.

(personal opinion: the contrarian position really is difficult to achieve. Props to Westcoast for attempting it and making a strong-ish rally in spite of personal beliefs.)

Judgment is for westcoast.

Both debaters opened strongly, and the debate started out very promising. However, Pinke's missed posts guaranteed the win for westcoast. The debate was fairly even up through the third posts from each debater, with a slight edge to Pinke. But westcoast did a good job of answering Pinke's points in his third post, and the fact that this post and his fourth post went unanswered leaves his argument clearly the stronger.

Congratulations to westcoast, who will move on to the next round.

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