Several social media users, including the Facebook account of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of West Bengal have falsely claimed that India will be President of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the first time.
This claim is false, since BOOM found documentary evidence of ten prior instances where India was the president of the UNSC.
Even though this is not be the first time that India will preside over the UNSC, it will be the first time that a sitting Indian prime minister will preside over the council. The Ministry of External Affairs confirmed that PM Modi will preside over a debate on maritime security on August 9, which will make him the first prime minister to preside over a UNSC debate. This information was also tweeted by former Indian Ambassador to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin.
These claims can be seen below.
|Original (Hindi)||Translation (English)|
आज से दुनियां की कमान भारत के हाथों में, भारत बना UNO (UNSC) का अध्यक्ष
तुर्की, पाक समेत कई देश बौखलाए, United Nations की अध्यक्षता भारत पहली बार करेगा
From today, the command of the world is in India's hands; India has become the president of the UNO (UNSC).
Countries like Turkey, Pakistan are baffled, India will become the president of the United Nations for the first time
The facebook page of BJP's West Bengal unit also made similar claims.
What is the composition of the UNSC?
The UNSC is the most powerful decision making organ of the United Nations (UN). It is comprised of 15 member nations. One of these 15 countries assumes the rotating presidency of UNSC each calendar month in alphabetical order of their names, with the responsibility of presiding of its meetings and representing the UNSC as an organ of the UN. For the ongoing month of August 2021, India is presiding over the UNSC.
Of the 15 nations, five nations - the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, the Russian Federation and the People's Republic of the China - are permanent members.
The remaining 10 are non-permanent members representing geographic regions from around the world. Each non-permanent member has a seat for 2 calendar years.
India assumed a non-permanent seat on the UNSC in January this year, and it will go on till December next year.
How are members of the UNSC represented?
A member state of the UNSC is represented through accredited officials during its proceedings. However, a head of state/government or an external affairs minister of a UNSC member state is entitled to represent their country during its proceedings instead of their respective officials without accreditation. This can be read here.
What is the presidency of the UNSC?
Every calendar month, a member of the UNSC presides over its proceedings and represents it as an organ of the UN. The order of the president of the UNSC is alphabetical, and it is revolving around its members. This can be read here.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will preside over the UNSC as it is India's turn this month. In 1992, the then Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao did attend the UNSC and speak for India, but he did not preside over its proceedings.
How many times has India presided over the UNSC?
The annual reports produced by the UNSC every year since 1946, state the country presiding over the UNSC and the accredited official representing the country at the forum during the coverage period of the report.
India has 10 instances of being president of the UNSC according to these documents.
For example, here is the report from 1949 - 1950, where India was president in June 1950, represented by Sir Benegal N Rau.
The remaining nine instances showing India's presidency at the UNSC are:
- March 1951, again by Sir Benegal N. Rau, (read here page 95)
- September 1967 by Mr. Gopalaswami Parthasarathi (read here, page 122)
- December 1972, by Mr. Samar Sen (read here, page 153)
- October 1977, by Mr. Rikhi Jaipal (read here, page 50)
- February 1985, by Mr. Natarajan Krishnan (read here, page 121)
- October 1991 and December 1992 by Mr. Chinamaya Rajainath Gharekhan (read here, page 318 for 1991 and here, page 463 for 1992)
- August 2011 and November 2012 by Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri (read here, page 263 for 2011 and here, page 267 for 2012)
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