Hollow G-4 Policy?
In the sharpest possible criticism of Prime Minister Modi’s G-4 policy as a way of pursuing India’s desire to become a permanent member of the UNSC, former Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha has said Mr. Modi made a mistake in continuing with the UPA’s strategy of relying on the G-4. Instead the Prime Minister should have sought to convince the world by taking an active, assertive and high-profile role on international political and security issues and in particular the fight against ISIS.
In an interview to the India Today TV programme Nothing But The Truth, the former Foreign Minister has said that the G-4 approach of “begging” is “demeaning”. More importantly, high profile G-4 summits will only act to unite the opposition against expansion of the Security Council as well as permanent membership for the G-4 countries thus regressing India’s chances rather than enhancing them. In the interview, Mr. Sinha says that India and the G-4 countries have negligible chances in the foreseeable future. He suggests that the government and the media have created a hype and an illusion of India’s prospects which is totally unrealistic.
Mr. Sinha says that the government has either not understood the text accepted by the General Assembly in September or is misleading the country when it claims this is a significant document. Mr. Sinha points out that not only is this not a negotiating document but simply a compilation of the views of differing countries, which often contradict each other, but, in addition, critical countries like America, Russia and China have not provided inputs for this document. More importantly, Mr. Sinha points out that in side letters these three countries have taken stands that go back on bilateral commitments that at least two of them (America and Russia) have made to India. Mr. Sinha is particularly critical of Russia. He says India has been “let down” and betrayed by Russia.
Mr. Sinha points out that even though there is no likelihood of a foreseeable expansion of the Security Council, if and when that happens the new permanent members will not be given veto powers and will therefore be given second class status. It would be demeaning of India to accept this.
Mr. Sinha says given the range of issues—on which America has differences with India, these include ISIS, climate change, WTO, Syria, Iran, Palestine, Afghanistan and Taliban – it’s unlikely that America will be fulsome in its support for India to join the UNSC because then it would have to sort out these differences not just bilaterally but also at the UNSC.