Obama`s support gives impetus to India`s UNSC bid

US President Barack Obama`s expression of support has lent an impetus to India`s efforts to secure a permanent seat in UN Security Council.

New Delhi: US President Barack Obama`s
expression of support has lent an impetus to India`s efforts
to secure a permanent seat in UN Security Council, with hectic
discussions having been initiated with a number of countries
like France, Japan, Russia and Germany.

A push to India`s bid for permanent seat is also being
given at the United Nations Headquarters by the country`s
Permanent Mission.

Close on the heels of Obama`s announcement, France`s
Head of UN Division in the Foreign Ministry Sylvie Berman
visited Delhi recently and met Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao
and some other senior officials of the External Affairs
Ministry to discuss the issue of reforms, sources said.

This was followed by a visit of Japanese Deputy Vice
Foreign Minister. The Head of Russian Foreign Ministry`s UN
Division and German officials are expected here soon.

"An impetus to the efforts to secure permanent seat has
been lent by Obama`s announcement. It has given a boost," a
source noted in the context of hectic parleys.

The focus of the discussions is overall reform of the UN,
including that of the Security Council, in permanent and
non-permanent categories, the sources said.

India is set to assume the non-permanent membership of
the Security Council in January for two years and this aspect
also came up for discussion in terms of the issues that the
powerful world body is going to be faced with.

The immediate global issues, on which India will have to
take position as non-permanent member of the UNSC, relate to
referendum in Sudan expected in January, the UN report on the
assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri
and Nepal where the political system is deadlocked.

Notwithstanding Obama`s announcement of support, India is
keen to strive for the permanent seat under the format of G-4
which also includes Brazil, Germany and Japan.

Significantly, three members of the G-4 -- India, Brazil
and Germany -- will together be in the UNSC from next January
as non-permanent members, providing them an opportunity to
push their agenda further.

For the UN reforms, five rounds of inter-governmental
negotiations have taken place since 2009 and made some
progress.

The negotiations are taking place on five key aspects --
categories of membership, question of veto, regional
representation, size of enlarged Security Council, and working
methods of the council and its relationship with 192-member
Assembly.

The G-4 has been pushing for inclusion of six new
permanent members -- two each from Asia and Africa and one
each from Europe and Latin America -- and four non-permanent
members to raise the strength of the Security Council from 15
members to 25.

PTI

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