Elon Musk Throws Weight Behind India’s UNSC Bid, Calls Current Structure “Absurd”

January 23, 2024, New Delhi – Elon Musk, the richest person in the world, has added his voice to the chorus demanding reforms at the United Nations and supports India’s bid for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
On a Sunday social media post, Musk said, “India not having a permanent seat on the Security Council, despite being the most populous country on the planet, is absurd.” He further stated that Africa in general should also have permanent representation.
Today, the UNSC has 5 permanent members – Russia, the UK, China, France and the United States. Veto powers are held by these members about the major resolutions. The Council also has 10 non-permanent members that are elected for two years.

India has fought for many years to be a permanent member of the UNSC which is tasked with maintaining international peace and security. With the second largest population in the world, India has emphasized that it deserves its fair share as the largest democracy in the world with a population of over 1.4 billion people. Based on the data obtained from the UN, Africa comprises more than 1.3 billion of the world’s population but has not any permanent members on the Council.
Musk said, “The problem is that those with excess power don’t want to give it up,” most likely indicating the resistance by current permanent members to give up their power by increasing the number of members.
The statement is made by the billionaire tech mogul as the momentum of the reform for the 75-year-old world body builds. António Guterres, the current UN Secretary-General, has recently advocated for a change in global governance and institutions to match the modern world.Many previous attempts since the 1990s to increase the permanent membership of the UNSC have lost momentum due to resistance from its current members.

Nevertheless, UN member states will deliberate reforms at the upcoming Summit of the Future scheduled for September 22-23. The summit seeks to sign a covenant on actions for transformation and may even create a UN Special Envoy for Future Generations.
Although any serious reform of the structure of the UNSC requires unanimous approval from all permanent members, increased demands for change from the UN’s 193 member countries and prominent figures such as Musk could create impetus for change.
There is a growing likelihood that demands for reforming the UN Security Council to take into account 21st-century realities will increase in the near future, given that India is expected to become the world’s most populous country by 2027 and African countries demanding representation.

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