Did China and Russia secretly join hands to derail India's UNSC dream?
Even though it was a big diplomatic victory for India when the UN General Assembly recently adopted a negotiating text by consensus for the long-pending Security Council reforms, a report appeared on Friday claiming that both China and Russia had tried to scuttle the process.
New Delhi: Even though it was a big diplomatic victory for India when the UN General Assembly recently adopted a negotiating text by consensus for the long-pending Security Council reforms, a report appeared on Friday claiming that both China and Russia had tried to scuttle the process.
As per a report in 'The Times of India', a few days before the UNGA session, the Chinese and Russian diplomats tried to insert a couple of paragraphs into the text draft meant for pushing the UNSC reforms.
The report further said had the Chinese and Russian diplomats succeeded in their 'stealth operation', it would have diluted the entire negotiations on unnecessary technicalities which would have meant the UN would be negotiating UNSC reform for years and years without a decision in sight.
However, India, supported by a number of countries, got wind of the 'stealth operation' and vehemently opposed the move.
The group led by India even launched a protest at UNGA president, Sam Kutesa's residence over the weekend, forcing him to remove the offending paragraphs.
The Chinese, however, were not ready to give up without a bigger fight.
The Chinese diplomats approached a number of national capitals to get the text amended before it reached the floor on Monday – the day when it was finally adopted by the UNGA.
Some countries even agreed to support the Chinese, but Bejiing eventually failed to get the numbers that India had.
Interestingly, when all this was happening, the US strangely remained silent - either to see whether could win on its own, or because they are keeping their powder dry to kill the process later, or because they silently supported the Sino-Russian move.
Due to India's hard lobbying, it apparently became an India-China battle in those last frenzied moments in the UN.
However, seeing the Russians backing the Chinese, after supposedly supporting India's case for almost half a century, came as a big shocker for New Delhi.
This week, Russia sent its deputy foreign minister, Gennady Gatilov to meet Sujata Mehta in the MEA, after their performance in the UN.
A statement from the Russian embassy said, the two "exchanged opinions on the main aspects of intergovernmental negotiation process considering the current various options for the increase in the United Nations Security Council membership. The Russian Side reaffirmed the readiness to support the Indian candidature for the United Nations Security Council."
However, India this time has taken the Russian betrayal hard.
As per the report, China and Russia are now planing to take the battle forward and the two are now said to be working on the Jamaican government to remove Courtney Rattray - the main brain behind the UNSC reform text.
If they succeed, Rattray will not be able to head the negotiations on the text and it can be given to someone unfamiliar with the history of the text. If this happens, it would come as a big blow to India.
The UNGA decision to negotiate UNSC reform succeeded on two counts. First, after 23 years there is a text on which the UN can negotiate a reform agenda. Second, in a fair fight, the 13-country group led by China and including Pakistan and Italy called United for Consensus could not drum up enough support for stalling the process.