IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

India rejects China’s UNSC move on Kashmir  

7th August, 2020 International Relations

Context: China prompted the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to discuss the Kashmir issue in a closed-door meeting.


  • India “firmly” rejected the Chinese initiative and reiterated Kashmir is a domestic issue.
  • Veteran diplomats demanding that the South Block launch a campaign to remove Kashmir from the agenda of the Council.
  • The Chinese move came on the first anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370, which led to the creation of the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh and ended the ‘special status’ for the region.
  • China attempted a similar move in January this year as well but it did not attract sufficient support from the UNSC members.
  • The frequency of the attempts by China to take up the Kashmir issue at the UNSC has prompted diplomats to highlight the unequal nature of the top organisation of the U.N. where the agenda is set by the permanent members (P5) of the UNSC.
  • In a tough response, the MEA said China had “no locus standi whatsoever on this matter and is advised not to comment on the internal affairs of other nations”.

Structure of UNSC:

  • The Security Council is made up of 15 member states; five (the United Kingdom, China, France, Russia, and the United States) are permanent members, and 10 are nonpermanent members elected by the General Assembly to serve for two-year terms.
  • Elections of nonpermanent members are staggered, with five brought onto the council each year; a retiring member is not eligible for immediate re-election.
  • Since 1963, the geographic distribution of the 10 non-permanent members has been mandated as: five from African and Asian states; one from Eastern European states, two from Latin American and Caribbean states, and two from Western European and other states.
  • The presidency of the Security Council rotates among council member states according to the alphabetical order of their names (as the names are written in English). Each council president holds office for one month.


Working of UNSC:

  • The Security Council responds to crises around the world on a case-by-case basis and it has a range of options at its disposal.
  • It takes many different factors into account when considering the establishment of new peace operation, including:
    • Whether there is a ceasefire in place and the parties have committed themselves to a peace process intended to reach a political settlement;
    • Whether a clear political goal exists and whether it can be reflected in the mandate;
    • Whether a precise mandate for a UN operation can be formulated;
    • Whether the safety and security of UN personnel can be reasonably ensured, including in particular whether reasonable guarantees can be obtained from the main parties or factions regarding the safety and security of UN personnel.
  • The Security Council establishes a peace operation by adopting a Security Council resolution. The resolution sets out that mission’s mandate and size.
  • The Security Council monitors the work of UN peace operations on an ongoing basis, including through periodic reports from the Secretary-General and by holding dedicated Security Council sessions to discuss the work of specific operations.
  • The Security Council can vote to extend, amend or end mission mandates as it deems appropriate.
  • Under Article 25 of the Charter, all UN members agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council. While other organs of the UN make recommendations to Member States, the Council alone has the power to take decisions which Member States are obligated to implement.