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Roving Periscope: India not on Top Table in the UNSC is “absurd”, says Elon Musk

Roving Periscope: India not on Top Table in the UNSC is “absurd”, says Elon Musk

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Virendra Pandit

 

New Delhi: A week after External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar likened the five permanent members (P-5) of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)—the US, UK, Russia, France, and China—as the “five Choudharies of the System,” the world’s richest man Elon Musk has said India not having a permanent seat on the high table is “absurd.”

India has so far been a non-permanent member of the UNSC for eight terms (16 years). It is a member of the G-4, a group of nations—Brazil, Germany, and Japan, besides India– that back each other to seek permanent membership of the UNSC. They also advocate reforms in the UNSC.

Now, Tesla CEO and Twitter owner Elon Musk insisted on the revision of United Nations bodies and called India, the most populous country and the world’s largest democracy, as not a permanent member of the UNSC is ‘absurd’.

The US-based entrepreneur, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2023 and has been trying to push his Tesla electric vehicles into India, highlighted the problem in the revision of the UN bodies on Sunday and said the countries with excess power don’t want to give it up, adding that Africa collectively should also have a permanent membership in the UNSC.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, Musk said, “At some point, there needs to be a revision of the UN bodies. The problem is that those with excess power don’t want to give it up. India not having a permanent seat on the Security Council, despite being the most populous country on Earth, is absurd. Africa collectively should also have a permanent seat in it.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had also made an impassioned plea for the UN to reflect today’s world.

“How can we accept that Africa still lacks a single Permanent Member in the Security Council? Institutions must reflect today’s world, not that of 80 years ago. September’s Summit of the Future will be an opportunity to consider global governance reforms & rebuild trust, Guterres said in a post on Sunday.

Earlier, emphasizing growing global support for India’s permanent membership at the USC, Dr. S Jaishankar said that sometimes things are not given generously and one has to seize it.

“With each passing year, the feeling in the world is that India should be there, and I can feel that support…The world does not give things easily and generously; sometimes you have to take them,” he said on a question regarding a permanent seat for India at the UNSC.

In September 2023, the EAM expressed concern that the United Nations’ reluctance to reform its structure would render the organization “anachronistic,” prompting people to seek solutions elsewhere.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi noted, “When the UN was established, the world at that time was completely different from today. At that time there were 51 founding members in the UN. Today the number of countries included in the UN is around 200. Despite this, the permanent members of the UNSC are still the same.”

 

 

 

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