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Sarkozy favours a permanent UNSC seat for India

March 30, 2010 15:35 IST

French President Nicholas Sarkozy made a strong pitch for India's inclusion as a permanent member of the UN Security Council on Tuesday, which he said needs to be expanded to make it more inclusive.

Speaking at the prestigious Columbia University, Sarkozy said emerging voices like India, Africa and the Arab world need to find a place in the UNSC, as he slammed the present structure of the world body.

"Did you know that India... in 30 years time... the world's most populous nation, doesn't have a permanent seat on the Security Council?" said the French president, hosted by Columbia University as part of the World Leaders Forum.

Setting aside his prepared speech to "speak from the heart," Sarkozy said this Security Council and its membership was decided at the end of the World War II way back in 1945 questioning why no African or Arab country had a permanent seat on the UNSC, despite representing over a billion people together.

"Did you know that there isn't a single Arab country that represents hundreds of millions of people that has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council," he added. Sarkozy said emerging economies of the world could not be expected to be part of solving world problems, if they did not have a seat on the Security Council.

"How could you expect Brazil or India or Africa for that matter to endorse part of the responsibility vis-a-vis the world's major difficulties and conflict if they are not even listened to... would you like to be in their shoes?" he asked.

"Would you like to be told when it comes for paying up... step up but when it comes to speaking up step down... who can go along with that... nobody," he added. Sarkozy said it was the responsibility of the US and Europe to ensure the participation of the nations that would be big powers in the coming decades, contending that membership of the General Assembly was not enough.The US and Europe together have to demand that world governance be reformed in order to make room for continents and countries of tomorrow who are entitled to have their views listened to," Sarkozy said. He also referred to Japan's claim to a permamenet UNSC seat, and questioned the policy of keeping the world's second most powerful economy out of the UN's central body."Why is that the case, simply because sixty years ago they lost the war... is that reasonable I ask you".

The French President met UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon on Monday during which they discussed a host of issues including Security Council reform and the follow-up to the Copenhagen Climate Change meeting.

Sarkozy and his super model wife, Carla Sarkozy, will join President Barack Obama and First Lady Michele Obama for a private dinner in the White House later on Tuesday.

Betwa Sharma in New York
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