Burns favours India`s inclusion in UNSC

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 - 20:30

New Delhi: Strongly favouring expansion of
the UN Security Council to include India, former US diplomat
Nicholas Burns on Tuesday said the challenges confronting the world
cannot be solved by the global body if emerging countries were
kept out of their solutions.
Burns, former US Under Secretary of State for Political
Affairs, said UNSC`s expansion was indispensable if the world
body needs to represent the realities of the present day.

"I cannot imagine a UNSC without India as a permanent
member... How can we think about solving global problems
without India, Japan, an African country and one of the Latin
American countries as permanent members of the UN," he said.

A Professor of Practice of Diplomacy and International
Policy at the Kennedy School, Burns said to deal with
challenges like economic crisis, climate change and terrorism,
better international cooperation was required and India, China
and Brazil "all have to be part of any solution".

He said the proposed institution of G-2 to reflect a
US-China axis did not appear to make sense.

"In that context I am glad to see the institution of G-8
slowly transforming into the G-20, and I feel the institution
of G-2 does not seem to work in the present world," he said
while speaking at an interactive session here on `India and
the crisis in South Asia`.

Contending that focus of the US foreign policy has
shifted from Europe to South Asia, Burns said the region
becomes important in face of challenges like confronting the
problems in Iraq and Afghanistan and dealing with Iran.

Burns said "Indo-US relationship is one of the most
positive aspects of America`s relationship with South Asia and
building it is a high priority for the US. I certainly see it
is not possible to contain China, but it is important to
engage it and both India and the US realise that".

Burns, who was on the forefront of Indo-US negotiations
on the civilian nuclear deal, said he was "optimistic" the two
governments will go forward to implement it fully.

"Obama, Biden and Clinton all as senators had voted in
favour of the nuclear deal in 2008. I am optimistic that the
two governments will find a way to fully implement the
agreement," he said.
Burns said a failure to do so will be a "great blow" to
the relationship and "I don`t think both the governments will
like to see that".

The former diplomat is in India to prepare for starting
an India programme at the Kennedy School and meet
representatives of Indian Universities.

He said emphasis of Bush administration`s policy was to
"de-hyphenate" America`s relations with India and Pakistan.

Burns said Islamabad must play a constructive role in
tackling terror groups on its soil that have caused harm not
only to Pakistan but also to India.

Burns said America wants China`s rise to be peaceful
and constructive, which he noted is possible only when
democratic countries in South Asia like India, South Korea and
Japan and the US work together and are strong.

"China`s rise if it takes place in that context will be
constructive and peaceful," he said, adding that China should
also learn to be a responsible power on the global stage.

On climate change, he said "I don`t see an agreement in
Copenhagen on climate without India, China and US agreeing".

Pointing out differences between India and the US on
Iran, climate change and on the issue of trade talks, he
insisted that both countries needed to work more productively.

"We recognise India has had relations with Iran dating
back to thousands of years and several of our Asian allies
have trade relations with that country, but we all have shared
interest in containing its nuclear ambitions," Burns said.

Lauding India`s role in Afghanistan as "very, very
positive and constructive", he said New Delhi has helped the
country develop into a democratic society.

Bureau Report



First Published: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 - 20:30

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