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India for comprehensive UNSC reform

Seeking comprehensive reform of the UNSC, India has said it wanted expansion in both permanent and non-permanent seats of the world body`s top organ.

United Nations: Seeking comprehensive reform
of the UN Security Council, India has said it wanted expansion
in both permanent and non-permanent seats of the world body`s
top organ, insisting that its stance reflects that of the
overwhelming majority of the international community.

"India`s clear position is that comprehensive reform of
the Security Council implies expansion in both the permanent
and non-permanent categories of membership," Hardeep Singh
Puri, India`s ambassador to the UN, said at a closed-door
meeting here.
"In this regard, India`s stance reflects that of the
overwhelming majority of the international community," he

India along with Japan, Germany and Brazil, collectively
called the G-4, is pushing for a permanent seat in the

Discussions on the issue this year were kicked off with
the Chairperson of the Security Council reform process Zahir
Tanin, who is also Afghanistan`s permanent representative to
the UN, asking member states to submit proposals that can be
worked into a negotiating text, which will be the basis for
future parleys.

In 2009, member states of the UN abandoned the `Open
Ended Working Group` (OEWG) that had dragged on for 15 years
without yielding any substantive results.

In March last year, the old talks were replaced by the
new "inter-governmental negotiations."
Opponents of the expansion of seats in UNSC fear that
more members will further cripple the Council, which is often
divided and fails to reach effective decisions on peace and
security matters.

These countries also argue that assigning more powerful
nations permanent positions in the Security Council will not
break the power dynamics of the past.

The Uniting for Consensus (UFC) group of about 40
nations, led by Pakistan and Italy, is trying to block
attempts by G-4 to expand the number of permanent seats in the

The G-4 favours addition of another six permanent seats
and four non-permanent ones in the UNSC whose current strength
in 15.

It wants two each of the new permanent members to be from
Asia and Africa, and one each from Latin America and Europe.

Most countries in the UN General Assembly also favour
expansion in both categories.
Last month, a top US official had said India would play a
"central part" in the UN Security Council reform process, but
stopped short of publicly endorsing the country`s bid for a
permanent seat.

"We`re open to expansion of permanent membership of the
Council and we believe that India`s going to have a central
part to play in the consideration that`s going to come of that
reform of the UN Security Council," William Burns, Under
Secretary of State for Political Affairs, had said.

This year, India is also running for a non-permanent seat
in the Council for which elections will be held in October.
Puri and his team have been canvassing for the spot for the
past three years.

Earlier this year, Kazakhstan withdrew from the electoral
race leaving India with a clean slate for the 2010-11 term.

To win, India needs two-thirds of the General Assembly
votes, which add up to about 128 counties saying "yes" to its
presence in the UN Security Council.



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