India confident about UNSC reform in next 2 years

After Kazakhstan`s withdrawal from the electoral race earlier this year, India remained the only candidate from Asia for a non-permanent seat on the Council, leaving its election a mere formality.

Updated: Sep 19, 2010, 12:13 PM IST

United Nations: India, the sole runner from Asia in the October polls for a two-year term in the UN Security Council, is confident about the reform of the world body`s top organ for its expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories in the next two years.

After Kazakhstan`s withdrawal from the electoral race earlier this year, India remained the only candidate from Asia for a non-permanent seat on the Council, leaving its election a mere formality. The last time India had a seat on the Council was in 1992.

Even before the formal elections in October, a top Indian diplomat noted that several countries had been approaching New Delhi on critical international issues and the change was reflected in the increased number of bilateral meetings requested with Foreign Minister SM Krishna, who arrives here on Tuesday for the annual UN General Assembly session.

"There is a process of co-opting that happens with prospective members in the anticipation of their election" to the UNSC, Hardeep Singh Puri, India`s envoy to the UN, told a news agency.

"This is a very special year," he said. "We`re going to be on the Council after a gap of 19 years and India is ready to take on the responsibility."

Puri and his team have been canvassing for the spot for the past three years. To win, a country needs two-thirds of the General Assembly vote, which adds up to about 128 counties saying yes to its presence in the Security Council.

At the same time, India is pushing hard for UN Security Council reforms to expand the number of permanent and non-permanent seats.

India, Brazil, Japan and Germany are all seeking a permanent seat on the Council, which is viewed as a relic of the post World War II power dynamics.

Puri expressed confidence that this change could happen in the next two years during which India would already be on the Council.

"It is widely expected that Council reform will take place during the (present) 65th session," he said, noting that such a development would put India on a "firmer and
long-term" footing.

There are four mental hospitals in the state with capacity of 5,755 beds and over one lakh patients were treated last year.

According to the report, specialist doctors working in Government hospitals are reeling under work burden as average 74 percent of positions are vacant.

Altogether 90 percent posts of dermatologists, 85 percent posts of Gynaecologists, 82 percent Psychiatrists are vacant, it said.

The amount given for medicines is also less as district hospitals get Rs 60 per bed per day while required is Rs 150. The Primary Health Care Centres need Rs three lakh per
year and amount granted is less than half Rs 1.20 lakh, the report said.

For non-medical services like food, contract labourers, power supply and water, the demand was of Rs 83.27 crore and only Rs 21.38 crore were sanctioned, it said.

However, Health Minister Suresh Shetty seemed optimistic and said, "Chief Minister Ashok Chavan was positive over the demands about more funds and asked to give a priority list for the works."

The CM also asked the Secretaries from Planning and Finance Departments to sanction funds announced for the regions through supplementary demands, he added.

PTI