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The Need for Greater Representation at UNSC

In order to preserve world peace and security, the UN Security Council (UNSC) is essential. But the organization's existing structure, which was put in place in 1945, no longer accurately reflects global geopolitical realities. The recent requests made by Yang Yi, China's foreign policy head, emphasise the pressing need for reforms to the UNSC, which have been echoed for years.

The Security Council was created when the UN was founded to represent the post-World War II power structures, with the victorious nations being granted permanent membership and veto power. Although this structure could have been adequate at the time, it is no longer compatible with the reality of the modern world.

The General Assembly is now the exclusive forum for the great majority of UN members, who have little power to influence decisions. The case for change is strengthened by China's insistence on redressing historical injustices against Africa. Numerous African countries continue to confront disproportionate difficulties and have low representation in significant international organisations. The UNSC can start to correct these historical inequalities by expanding the representation and voice of developing nations, particularly those from Africa.

The UNSC needs to undergo revisions as a result of significant changes in the global power relations too. The dominance of the West has been challenged by the emergence of developing economies and regional powers like the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). These nations boast strong economies, expanding populations, and growing influence in world affairs.

For example, India recently overtook China as the world's most populous nation. India's lack of permanent UNSC membership, along with that of the other BRICS nations, is bizarre. The legitimacy and efficiency of the Council are compromised by the exclusion of such powerful nations. Reforms should take into account how the balance of power is shifting and make sure that the views of these new forces are heard clearly.

The push for reform from China is an important development. China understands the need to fight for the inclusion and fair representation of nations from the Global South as a developing superpower with growing global influence. This shows the political maturity of Beijing and a break from the conventional power structures that have long governed international institutions.

The relevance and future efficacy of the UN may be in danger if the UNSC does not implement serious reforms. Due to the organization's incapacity to successfully address urgent global concerns like war, climate change, and pandemics, its reputation has already taken a hit. The UN must embrace democratic principles that guarantee widespread representation and decision-making in order to sustain its legitimacy in the face of the changing international environment.

Substantive reforms may encounter resistance from certain powers, who now hold a sizeable amount of influence over the UNSC. They might favour keeping things as they are or making flimsy modifications that benefit them. However, it is impossible to ignore the calls for reform coming from nations like China, India, Brazil, and the African Union. Together with other countries from the Global South, these countries have the strength and will to press for real change.


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