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How India is flexing its muscles at the UN

Last updated on: January 11, 2011 10:46 IST

How India is flexing its muscles at the UN

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India's entry into the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member has kicked off a flurry of consultations with the world powers over issues related to the powerful world body, including its reforms, under which New Delhi is seeking permanent membership.

Officials from Russia and the United Kingdom, dealing with UN matters, would be visiting Delhi later in January for discussions with their Indian counterparts on various aspects of the UN, including reforms, sources said. The officials from Russia would be in Delhi on January 18 while those from Britain will be here on January 31. Talks with France are also in the offing, they said.


Image: The United Nations Security Council
Photographs: Reuters
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China hasn't supported India's bid for UNSC

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These follow the confabulations that took place between India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Puri and the United States officials handling UN matters in December, the sources said.

These are to be followed up by a meeting between Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her US counterpart, dates for which are being finalised, they said.

China too had expressed an interest sometime ago in having discussions with India over UN related issues, but the proposal is yet to concretise, the sources said. China is the only permanent member of the Security Council which has not expressed clear support to India's aspiration to be a permanent member of the world body.


Image: The United Nations building
Photographs: Reuters
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Washington sees India as a major global power

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The discussions with permanent members of the Security Council include issues related to peacekeeping and reforms, under which expansion of the Security Council is being pushed for. India, which entered the Security Council as a non-permanent member for two years from January, is seeking a permanent seat in the powerful world body as part of the reforms.

India's aspirations got a boost when US President Barack Obama expressed support to the bid during his visit to India in November. During the subsequent meeting between Puri and US officials in December, the latter said Washington sees India as a major global power and wants it to have its rightful place in international affairs, the sources said.


Image: US President Barack Obama with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Photographs: Reuters
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Negotiations about UN reforms going on

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The discussions give an opportunity to the two sides to understand better each other's positions and sensitivities, besides enabling consolidation of support for India, they said.

The momentum in the confabulations is being witnessed at a time when significant progress is being witnessed in the text-based negotiations related to the UN reforms, with the points of divergence being narrowed down.

To give further fillip to the momentum, foreign ministers of India and three other countries of the G-4 -- Japan, Germany and Brazil -- are expected to meet in New York February, the sources said.


Image: The United Nations Security Council
Photographs: Reuters
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