• As we are all aware, India, Japan and other countries who are potentially eligible for permanent membership in the UNSC are being denied becoming so despite their active participation.

  • Though India had turned it down in 1955 because of the foreign policies of Nehru and his advisors, can the UN & US do something now in 2015?

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    Why they would want to do it?
    – Anixx
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 10:32
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    Because India was destroyed during the second battle of Earth. ...Wait, different UNSC. Commented Jun 19, 2015 at 12:35
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    It's pretty debated how serious the Soviet offer was in the first place (to offer India a 6th perma seat). As for the US offer, that was at the expense of China. Which eventually invaded India anyway, but you can see why India would have had reservations about annoying China. (Also unclear if the Soviets would have agreed to the substitution.) Commented Apr 19 at 5:25
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    It will depend who are the winners of the next world war.
    – Steve
    Commented Apr 19 at 6:57
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    Voting to close this Q - it's a common (and false) propaganda in India by Nehru haters to claim that "US (or some other world powers) offered India the P5 post but Nehru refused it". There was never any such serious offer made to India.
    – sfxedit
    Commented Apr 19 at 16:20

2 Answers 2


I am not sure Nehru's politics had that much to do with it. Current permanent members have very few reasons to add a new one and even talking seriously about India joining would open a huge can of worms.

What about Japan as you mentioned? What about Germany (not nuclear – but Japan isn't either – but a large European state that certainly wants to see itself on a par with the UK and France) or Brazil (large state too and vocal about the need to broaden representation)?

If you add those four, it will be even more difficult to get anything approved at all. And then you have to contend with the opposition of the “next in line”, countries like Spain, Pakistan, Mexico, etc. that might not be quite as large or powerful but have reasons to be skeptical towards their neighbours and their ambitions.

Importantly, the UN Security Council was never intended as a sort of fair representation of anything nor is it a reward for some sort of political significance. It exists for one reason only: Without it, the current permanent members (which include what were at the time the two superpowers and two large colonial empires) would never have gotten on board.

By contrast, India is in the UN (quite happy to participate in its peacekeeping missions, incidentally) and not going to leave anytime soon. So it has very little leverage.

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    I object. Barack Obama, Tony Abbott and many other leaders support India's permanent recognition to UNSC. What do they think? Do you know India is the second largest supplier of manpower to UNSC. Read this and this. Finally, India has been continuously elected 7 for UNSC.
    – anshabhi
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 12:53
  • You may have more
    – anshabhi
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 12:54
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    @anshabhi I already alluded to India's contribution to UN peacekeeping missions in my last paragraph but that's actually a very good example of the reasons why India is in a weak position. You don't get something like a seat to the security council as a reward because you are a good world citizen, you get it when you have leverage and India has very little when it obviously has no intent to pull its troops and actually profits from these missions financially. Note that I certainly do not mean to justify this situation but the question is not whether it's fair, it's why nothing happens.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 14:26
  • Of all the players, the US is probably the one that has least to lose in this but even Obama's support is half-hearted at best. The US knows it's a can of worms and isn't pushing very strongly for any reform. If you read your own source carefully, you should notice that the “in the context of a variety of other important reforms to the operations of the United Nations” quote gives away the fact that it's not a priority or something the US realistically sees happening any time soon. And Tony Abbott simply does not count. That's how diplomacy works…
    – Relaxed
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 14:27

It's because the UN is dominated by Western powers and the people pushing for this are countries in the Global South who have a completely different agenda and interests than the Western powers who are the most dominant (by looking at their representation at other UN bodies like the IMF).

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with UNSC Reform co-chairs Albanai and Marschik in Beijing. Wang affirmed China's commitment to UN principles and advocated for reform to increase representation and participation, emphasising the importance of international consensus. Albanai and Marschik expressed appreciation for China's support and pledged collaboration in advancing reform efforts


You can see that the people who keep pushing for this are Global South countries and their allies and because of this, it's unlikely to get any traction until the Global South amass enough power within the UN.

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    I am not sure western countries still dominate the UN. They have leverage through funding, are overrepresented in the higher levels of management but they don't control the general assembly or day-to-day operations. In the first 30 years, 3 out of 4 secretary generals were Europeans. Since then, Gutteres has been the only European and with the war in Gaza, he has found himself increasingly at odds with the Western positions (e.g. on UNRWA). So the balance of power has already shifted.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Apr 20 at 7:53
  • The thing is that there is no mechanism for the global south to “amass enough power” to change the UN security council, that's the whole point of its structure. There is no objective reason for France and Britain to still have a veto but they are in a position to block any attempt at changing that (and the US probably would as well for the sake of avoiding looking even more isolated than they are now).
    – Relaxed
    Commented Apr 20 at 7:54

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