India to back Ban Ki-Moon`s if he seeks second term

India will support UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon if he decides to seek second term in 2012, according to a senior diplomat attached to the Indian Mission in the United Nations.

Updated: Dec 11, 2010, 15:54 PM IST

United Nations: India will support UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon if he decides to seek second term in 2012, according to a senior diplomat attached to the Indian Mission in the United Nations.

"If he (Ban) is available and running we will endorse him for a second term," the diplomat said, adding he did not want to comment and dismissed as speculative that former UN Under Secretary General and sitting Lok Sabha member Shashi Tharoor might contest for the election.

Tharoor lost to Ban in the last election in 2007. South Korean Ban took office on January 1, 2007. His first term of five years ends on December 31, 2011, and the term of the Secretary-General can be renewed one time. In October 2011, member states will either extend Ban`s tenure or appoint someone new.

"I am not sure whether only the five permanent members would be involved in the exercise and if so the 10 non-permanent members need to organise themselves in the
decision making process. Is there any other candidate than Ban and I don`t think there is," the Indian diplomat said.

On the role to be played by India as a non-permanent member of the UNSC, the senior diplomat said India`s strategic vision is to take the position very seriously.

"Security Council should deal with those issues that really constitute a threat to international peace and security. The tendency of the council to resort to permissive
interpretations on what constitutes a threat to international peace and security," he said.

In the final analysis, members can`t countenance a situation where the work that should be done in the General Assembly or ECOSOC ends up only being done at the Security
Council.

"We need a very fine balancing between the role of Security Council and what the general assembly is doing," he said.

"Security Council has encroached upon the work because General Assembly is a willing accomplice. On the selection of Secretary General, the work was originally entrusted with
General Assembly but it allowed the powers be usurped by Security Council."

"It`s only the five permanent and 10 non permanent member countries enjoy the position of being on the high table at the UN. They are not going to voluntarily renounce the
special privileges that they enjoy," he said. "I find it unbelievable that Security Council members themselves do not take the Council very seriously."

On UN reforms and the expansion of Security Council, the senior diplomat said the heads of states of US, UK, France and Russia have endorsed India`s place in the expanded UNSC.

"It`s our expectation that China will also use formulations that are encouraging of that process when its Prime Minister visits India next week. China has said time and
again that developing countries play a more prominent role in the International relations including the Security Council," he added.

Also, India is cognisant that the permanent seat does not come from mere endorsements alone but by traction from the floor and there could be some opposition from Pakistan.

When India lost last time to Japan it not only traumatised as a government and it took 19 years to come back to the council, but thinkers and strategic experts too got
traumatised. They alternated between two assumptions that either India will never make it to the permanent seat or it`s not worth the trouble.

He said reforms to the United Nations will happen in next six months. "If I say this retired Foreign Service officers in India will say diplomats at the Indian Permanent
Mission at UN had gone bonkers and may mock at us," he added.

PTI