India, South Africa Could Complicate US Agenda In UN Security Council

The rise of the world’s middle powers was on display at the United Nations Tuesday as India, South Africa, and Germany were all elected to join the big guns on the United Nations Security Council for two years, starting in January.The arrival of the South Asian and African regional powers as two of the five new nonpermanent members elected to the Security Council Tuesday could bring new clout to the council – in developing nations, in particular. But adding India and South Africa to a council where Brazil already holds one of the 10 total nonpermanent seats could also pose new challenges to the council’s old guard, including the United States. Iran, for example, could find a new base of support in the troika of developing powers, all of which have resisted mounting US-led pressures on Iran over its nuclear program. Brazil voted against the latest round of UN sanctions against Iran in June, and India indicated at the time that it did not favor the resolution and considered sanctions “counterproductive.” Brazil, India, and South Africa "want to be among the big players, they want to be the ones who get permanent seats [on the Security Council] eventually," says Steve Groves, an expert in international institutions at the Heritage Foundation in Washington. The UN General Assembly elected five new nonpermanent members to join the five nonpermanent members that still have a year on their revolving terms. Together the 10 will join the council’s five permanent and veto-wielding members: The US, China, Russia, France, and Great Britain. India, South Africa, and Colombia ran unopposed for the two-year terms reserved for their regions, while Germany and Portugal were elected to two seats reserved for the “Western” regional group. Portugal won over Canada in what in the end was the election’s only hotly contested race. With the addition of India, the Security Council will include all of the world’s major emerging powers known as the BRICs: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. At