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