Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar have been candid about the inability of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to make any perceptible difference in any resolution of the major tensions of the present. In the case of Ukraine, the UNSC has been reduced to theatre, with countries (mainly from both sides of the North Atlantic) eloquently speaking about what they assert are serial misdeeds by Russian forces against Ukrainian civilians. The media in these countries seem to have bought into this story in its entirety, as they are engaged primarily in repeating what has been told to them on Ukraine by their governments, who in turn base their conclusions on what gets conveyed to them by the Kiev regime. In the interests of freedom of speech and sanctity of facts, those powers active in flooding Ukraine with weapons have banned Russian media outlets, barring the few that reflect their own views. As Henry Ford said to intending buyers of the Model T, they were welcome to purchase a car of any colour, so long as that colour was black. As black as what they claim are the misdeeds of the Russian Federation as described in detail by those on the other side of that conflict. These days, even those news channels that have been vociferous since 24 February 2022 in endorsing the ways by which NATO is waging its proxy war against the Russian Federation have given scant coverage to the impassioned speeches of the representatives from both sides of the North Atlantic, as they repeat their verbal fusillades against Russia in words that have been spoken several times before. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in his latest appearance before the UNSC has called for the body to pass a resolution condemning “energy terrorism”. In other words, the systematic degradation of energy infrastructure in Ukraine by the Russian military. Whether history books are searched for the bomber campaign against cities in Germany during World War II or the methodical elimination of energy systems in Iraq in 2003, such a tactic has not been uncommon in efforts at fatally weakening the resilience of a country and the will of the people to fight. In what must come as an immense boost to morale among the devastated people of Ukraine, the European Parliament has labelled Russia a state sponsor of terrorism. Despite such a finding, not a single European government has snapped diplomatic relations with Russia.
The structure of the UNSC makes the body valueless in the search for solutions in issues where any veto-wielding member has a significant interest. China has joined Russia in blocking resolution after resolution condemning Russia, much to the dismay of those permanent members whose leaders have been queuing up to beg CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping to put his weight behind moves to get Vladimir Putin to withdraw his troops from Ukraine, in effect concede defeat in the Special Military Operation aka war. Were Xi to oblige, the Sino-Russian alliance that has proved of such value to China would be severely tested. Not surprisingly, and this despite the wooing of the Chinese leader by President Biden and Chancellor Scholz among others, with Prime Minister Sunak likely to soon make a similar pilgrimage to Beijing, in the UNSC, China has joined with Russia in vetoing the many resolutions sought by Zelenskyy and his backers. What is taking place in the UNSC merely underlines the fact that in an era of Cold War, given the veto power given to opposing sides, that body is paralysed. Although no world leader is prepared to admit to the truth, the world has entered an era of Cold War with China and the US as the primary protagonists. Given this, the UNSC has once again found itself unable to be more than a stage where theatrical denunciations by opposing sides of the other have become so routine that they are ignored even within the UN building. As for India, the time may have come for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to push for a vote within the UNGA and later in the Security Council on the matter of admitting India, even as a Permanent Member without a veto. The odds that China would refrain from using its veto to block India are slim, perhaps non-existent. What the exercise would do is to demonstrate to both the people of India as well as the broader international community just who the well-wishers of India are. That in itself makes such an effort worthwhile.