You don’t have to be amongst the tens of millions of people who have died or been maimed in international armed conflicts since World War II to know that the United Nations Security Council is not working. It is also no secret to UN bosses such as Ban Ki-moon, or member state representatives such as Nikki Haley, whom spoke their minds just before leaving office, had admitted that the UN, in its mission of keeping peace and security, has been “failing us” and the world is “more dangerous”.

While the creation of the UN was a major advance in world governance evolution, the birth defect of its SC organ was well known at the founding San Francisco Conference. What was India’s role in that creation?
Researchers at the Center for United Nations Constitutional Research, a Brussels think tank, specializing on UN Charter and its reform, recently revealed their findings and had (re)discovered India’s role.
Dr. ShahrYar Sharei, the director of the CUNCR, presented that, based on the 1945 UNCIO documents, India put an expiration date of 10 years on the SC and the veto, as a condition for a crucial yes vote to establish the SC. Ramaswami Mudaliar, speaking on behalf of India and as a spokesman for the majority states in San Francisco who were against the veto agreed earlier at Yalta by Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill at the council, said:
“That while they were prepared to agree to the Yalta formula over the next ten years, … we felt that if this unanimity rule [veto] were not to be applied at the end of ten years to any proposal regarding the amendment of the Charter, we could with complete trust and confidence in the five great powers, agree to the complete Yalta formula during the intervening period of ten years.
As a great compromise, Mudaliar and the anti-veto majority got Article 109(3) enshrined to the Charter of the UN which required its renewal after 10 years. In 1955 a resolution to hold a “general conference” to review and renew the Charter was adopted at the UN, but never met. Up to this day, the UN has never had a Charter review and change process. Perhaps, this explains why the elusive UN reform trying to bypass this process has not worked, and why India, with over a billion people, is still kept out of a permanent seat at the Security Council. Perhaps the key to UN transformation and genuine world peace and security lies in upholding the San Francisco Promise of a new United Nations.
Author: Shahr-Yar Mahmoud Sharei, Executive Director, Center for United Nations Constitutional Research (CUNCR), Brussels
  1. On India’s role: United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO), Volumes I, III, and XI, UN-DPI, 1945.
    See also, Sharei, ShahrYar Mahmoud. 2020. Reconstructing Article 109(3) of the UN Charter: Towards Constitutionalisation of the United Nations and International Law. Brussels: Center for United Nations Constitutional Research. 167.
  2. Guardian, 7 September 2015.