‘India to be on UNSC as non-permanent member’

India`s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Hardeep Singh Puri has said he is hopeful that New Delhi will soon be part of UN Security Council as its non-permanent member after a gap of 19 years.

Updated: May 11, 2010, 10:58 AM IST

Chicago: India`s Permanent Representative
to the United Nations, Hardeep Singh Puri has said he is
hopeful that New Delhi will soon be part of UN Security
Council as its non-permanent member after a gap of 19 years.

"There is every expectation that come January 1, 2011,
we will be on the Security Council for a two-year term as a
non-permanent member. This is after 19 years we will be
entering the Council," Puri said.

Puri, who was in the city to attend an India Business
conference organised by the Kellogg School of Management, said
India`s candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the Security
Council has already been endorsed by the Asian Group in the UN
General Assembly.

"This has to be formalised in October by the General
Assembly".

Regarding India joining the UNSC as a permanent
member, Puri said he is "hopeful that before we finish our
non-permanent seat tenure, there will be an expansion in both
the permanent and non-permanent categories and India will be
part of it".

After about 15 years, the open-ended working group in
March last year gave way to a negotiating phase.

In December 2009, 140 countries signed a letter to the
Chairman of the negotiating process asking for text-based
negotiations, in response to which the Chairman of the
negotiating group is going to produce a text soon, Puri said.

"Based on that text, negotiations will start for
expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories.
So we expect that process to see the light of the day maximum
in another one year," he added.

Given India`s growing economic and political strength,
Puri said: "It would make absolutely no sense to expand the
membership of the Security Council and not have India in it."

Nineteen countries including Nepal, Sri Lanka,
Afghanistan and Bangladesh have favoured giving Indian a spot
on the Security Council table starting January 2011.

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

There are 15 members in the Security Council,
consisting of 5 veto-wielding permanent members (China,
France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States) and 10
elected non-permanent members with two-year terms.

PTI