India has been elected to the United Nations Security Council with an overwhelming majority of 184 votes running on a platform of fighting terrorism and promoting the ethos of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" – the world is one family.
The elections on Wednesday, 17 June, took place against the backdrop of the conflict in Ladakh with China, whom India will join on the council in January.
Deeply grateful for the overwhelming support shown by the global community for India's membership of the @UN Security Council. India will work with all member countries to promote global peace, security, resilience and equity.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 18, 2020
New Delhi won the Asia-Pacific seat on the highest decision-making body of the UN, with China and Pakistan having also supported India’s candidature.
Though India ran unopposed from Asia, eight countries apparently did not vote for India in the secret ballot in which 192 of the 193 member nations participated.
After the vote, India's Permanent Representative TS Tirumurti said in a video statement, "We are confident (that) in the COVID and post-COVID world, India will continue provide leadership and a new orientation for a reformed multilateral system."
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) June 18, 2020
"Our election to the United Nations Security Council is a testament to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi's vision and his inspiring global leadership," he added.
India will serve its eighth two-year term as a non-permanent member without veto powers, even as it pursues on a parallel track UN reforms aimed at getting a permanent seat.
India will replace Indonesia, whose term concludes at the end of the year, on the Council and join Vietnam as one of the two non-permanent Asian members.
Along with India, Mexico, Norway and Ireland were also elected on Wednesday.
The ten non-permanent Security Council seats are distributed among five regional groups, and elections are held every year for the five that fall vacant on alternate years.
Neither Kenya nor Djibouti received a two-thirds majority and a runoff is to be held later.
India’s ‘5S’ Approach
In a last-minute pitch, Tirumurti said in a video message, "India's presence in the Security Council will help bring to the world our ethos that the world is one family –Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam."
In a campaign document unveiled by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in New Delhi, India laid out a "5S" approach of samman (Respect), samvad (Dialogue), sahyog (Cooperation) shanti (Peace) and samriddi (Prosperity) for its service on the Council.
The document setting out India's agenda said that a reformed multilateralism is a must for the post-COVID-19 era.
Besides fighting terrorism, a priority for India that the document listed was streamlining UN peacekeeping to "ensure greater clarity, direction, and professionalism."
"India will become a member of the Security Council at a critical juncture," Tirumurti had said.
In elections held simultaneously, Volkan Bozkir, a Turkish diplomat and politician who ran unopposed, was chosen as the president of the next session of the General Assembly that starts in September.
Eighteen countries that ran unopposed for as many seats on the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) were also elected.
India's last term on the Security Council was in 2011-12. Afghanistan had initially expressed interest in running for the 2021-22 term but did not pursue it, leaving the field for India.
(Published in an arrangement with IANS. This story has been edited for length and clarity.)
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