An opportunity for India to revive Multilateralism

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Source- The Hindu

Syllabus- GS 2- Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.

Context- It’s an opportune time for India to push for institutional changes and reformed multilateralism in the global system.

How India can revive Multilateralism?

  1. Leadership opportunity – Since US and West have adopted nationalistic leaning, India should step into the leadership role by advocating the multilateral approach of tackling the pandemic, climate change and terrorism.
  • In 2021, India will join the UN Security Council (non-permanent seat) and chair the BRICS Summit, and in 2022 will host the G-20 summit, which is a great opportunity for agenda-setting.
  1. Increase India’s share in UN Budget- India also needs to invest in the UN with increased financial contribution in line with its share of the world economy and by placing its people in key multilateral positions.
  • India’s share in the UN budget stands at 0.7 per cent. The shares of China, Japan and the US are at 8, 10 and 22 per cent respectively. Raising India’s contribution to at least one per cent might convince its partners that India is serious about pursuing a more vigorous multilateralism.
  1. Window opens for India– Three defeats in election to key UN bodies and the negative reaction to its threat of veto to forestall a discussion on the pandemic in the UNSC clearly point to a disenchantment with China in the globe and is a thumbs down for them.
  2. India beat China to win a four-year term on UN’s Commission on the status of Women [CWS].
  3. India also won a seat each, through endorsements, to two other ECOSOC bodies-
  • The Committee for Programme and Coordination [CPC].
  • The Commission on Population and Development [CPD].
  1. Shift from Non Alignment to Multi Alignment– Multi-alignment is the very essence of India’s foreign policy and the economic policy of India today. This presents an opportunity for India to become a global mediator and help in developing a framework on global Issues.

Way forward-

  • India needs to support reform not only to expand the permanent members’ category of the Security Council but also to revitalize the role of the General Assembly.
  • India, Germany, Japan and Brazil [G-4] have sought to refocus the UN on UNSC reform, they must remain focused and determines even if these changes do not happen easily.
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