IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


18th January, 2023 International Relations

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Context: The ISIL and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council (UNSC) has placed Abdul Rehman Makki, a fundraiser and key planner of the Pakistan-based terrorist outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), on its sanctions list.


  • The move was made possible after China withdrew the “technical hold” that it had imposed last June, when the U.S. and India — then a non-permanent member at the UNSC — tried unsuccessfully to get Makki on the global terror blacklist.
  • Beijing has now argued that the blacklisting is in fact a “recognition” of Pakistan’s record of fighting terrorism.
  • Abdul Rehman Makki and other LeT/JuD operatives have been involved in raising funds, recruiting and radicalising youth to violence and planning attacks in India, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The JuD or Jamaat-ud-Dawa is the parent body of the LeT.
  • During India’s two-year tenure at the UNSC, New Delhi put forth five names for designation under the Sanctions Committee — Abdul Rehman Makki (LeT), Abdul Rauf Asghar (Jaish-e-Mohammed), Sajid Mir, Shahid Mahmood, and Talha Saeed (all LeT).

India at UNSC:

  • Under India’s December presidency of UNSC, there are two signature events at the ministerial level, scheduled for December 14 (Reformed Multilateralism) and 15 (Counter-Terrorism).
  • India began its eighth term as a non-permanent member of the UNSC and will remain as such for a period of two years.
  • India's bid for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council has support from four of the five P5 nations, namely the US, the UK, France and Russia.
  • China is the only permanent member which is yet to officially back India's bid.

Composition of UN Security Council:

The UN Security Council is composed of:

  • 15 members, including five permanent member states - China, France, Russian Federation, the United States, and the United Kingdom - and
  • 10 non-permanent member states elected by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
  • Each non-permanent member gets the opportunity to work as the UNSC president.
  • Ten non-permanent members are elected to the UNSC every year for a two-year term. India's current term began on January 1 of this year and will last until December 31, 2023.
  • The 10 non-permanent seats are distributed among the regions of the world: five seats for African and Asian countries(three are for Africa and two for Asia), one for Eastern European countries, two for Latin American and Caribbean countries, and the remaining two for Western European and other countries.
  • The Africa and Asia Pacific group takes turns every two years to put up an Arab candidate.

Powers of the UNSC President:

  • The presidency derives responsibility from the Provisional Rules of Procedure of the United Nations Security Council as well as UNSC's practice.
  • The holder of the presidency is considered to be the 'face' and spokesperson of the UNSC.

Responsibilities of the UNSC president include:

  • Calling meetings of the UN Security Council
  • Appealing to parties in a conflict to "exercise restraint"
  • Reading statements of the UN Security Council to the press
  • Approving provisional agenda (proposed by the secretary-general)
  • Presiding at UNSC meetings and deciding questions relating to policy and overseeing any crisis

Veto power of UNSC member states:

  • The UN defines 'veto' as a "special voting power", which provides that "if any one of the five permanent members cast a negative vote in (UNSC), the resolution or decision would not be approved".
  • However, the "veto power" is restricted to P5 member states of the UN Security Council. Non-permanent members of the UNSC do not enjoy this privilege.
  • Article 27 of the UN Charter says each member of the UNSC shall have one vote and that decisions on "procedural matters" shall require no more than the affirmative vote of nine out of the 15 members.
  • Decisions on any other matter need not only an affirmative vote of nine members but also the concurring votes of the permanent members.

UN Sanctions:

  • Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations allows the UN Security Council to adopt coercive measures to maintain or restore international peace and security.
  • Those measures range from economic or other sanctions that do not entail the use of armed forces to international military intervention.
  • The imposition of mandatory sanctions is aimed at exerting pressure on a State or entity to attain the goals set by the Security Council without resorting to the use of force.
  • The Council has used mandatory sanctions as a coercive instrument where peace has been threatened and diplomatic efforts have failed
  • Sanctions have included broad economic and trade sanctions or more selective measures, such as arms embargos, travel prohibitions, financial or diplomatic restrictions, or both.
  • Article 25 of the UN Charter provides that the Members of the Organization “agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.”

Sanctions Committees:

  • Article 29 of the Charter sets out that the Security Council may establish subsidiary bodies as needed for the performance of its functions. This is also reflected in Rule 28 of the Council’s Provisional Rules of Procedure.
  • As a result, the Council has established different Committees to follow up on the various sanctions regimes imposed through Council Resolutions