India joins powerful UNSC as key global player

India has joined the UN Security Council as its non-permanent member for a two-year term after a gap of 19 years.

New York: India has joined the UN Security
Council as its non-permanent member for a two-year term after
a gap of 19 years, hoping that the seat at the high table will
not only cement its place as a key global player, but also
pave the way for becoming a Permanent member of the powerful
wing of the world body.

Beginning January 1, India along with Germany,
Portugal, South Africa and Columbia became the five
non-permanent members of this 15-member body.

India’s approach to key global issues would be keenly
watched not only by the members of the United Nations
especially the third world countries, but also from the P5,
in particular the US who would like New Delhi to align itself
with and support Washington’s move on burning issues like
Iran.

As India celebrates the support of US President Barack
Obama for its quest to become a permanent Council member,
India`s ambassador to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, said New
Delhi is ready to serve in the powerful structure with a fresh
outlook on several international issues, especially human
rights.

"Over the last year we have been repositioning
ourselves on issues...I can anticipate that we will be much
more upfront and even demanding on human rights issues," Puri
said.

"That reflects the changing priorities in India," he
said to a news agency earlier.

"I don`t see us having any problem in terms of where
our interest lies and where the interest of the permanent
members lie including the West...in fact I think we are on the
same page with them on most of these issues," he underlined.

The top diplomat further stressed that while India
is part of G-77 and the Non-Aligned world, this affiliation
would not prevent it from taking actions and positions that
contributed to the "larger public good."

"If this means going against positions that some
groups take then we will have no hesitation," he said.

Puri, however, dismissed reports that India`s changing
position had to do with appeasing the US and other Western
countries in order to secure a permanent seat on the Security
Council.

"India takes position in a manner in which India
deems appropriate and we think it is the right thing to do and
it is in our interest...I don`t subscribe to the fact that we
will take positions because we are extra accommodative," he
underlined.

India`s two year term as a non-permanent member ends
in December 2012.

The seats for the 10 non-permanent members are filled
from regional groupings for two-year terms. The five existing
non-permanent members are Bosnia, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and
Nigeria.

The ten non-permanent members of the UNSC are elected
for a two year term. The five permanent members of the
Security Council are the US, France, China, Russia and
Britain.

Except for China, the rest of the Permanent Members
have endorsed India for a permanent seat in the expanded
Security Council.

The new Security Council beginning January 1, for the
first term brings together the key global players on this
global high table.

India, Germany, and Brazil, who are key aspirants to
become a permanent member of the UNSC, are now part of this
group, while Japan has just completed its two year stint.

The issue of the troubled peace process in Nepal is
scheduled to be taken up by the Council this month.

The head of the United Nations Mission in Nepal, Karin
Landgren, is scheduled to brief the UNSC on the current
situation in Nepal and its mission ends this month.

Among other issues being discussed this month include
Haiti, Somalia, and consultations on Central African Republic.

PTI

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