15 May, 2021

At The Un, Money Talks

New Delhi needs to rethink its foreign policy after its disastrous bid for a Security Council berth

At The Un, Money Talks

THERE were champagne parties, dinners and all-expense-paid trips for envoys galore. In the weeks preceding the October 21 vote to fill in five of the 10 non-permanent slots in the UN Security Council (SC), lobbying reached dizzying heights in New York. And it seemed to have paid off.

At the debt-stricken UN, money spoke louder than anything else: India lost the Asian non-permanent seat to Japan. Though Tokyo’s victory caused little surprise to anyone, least of all to New Delhi, the other big debacle of the day fazed not just the loser but even experts and officials. Before the vote, Australia was almost certain of gaining entry into the SC. Riding on the crest of success after its initiative in bringing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) to the General Assembly for a consensus vote, Canberra was considered a certain entrant by many.

On the other hand, India—the main dissident on the CTBT—was as uncertain as Australia was confident of gaining a non-permanent seat. It enjoyed widespread support from other Third World states,...

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