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India makes hectic efforts to win support for UNSC bid

Source: PTI
November 28, 2010 15:12 IST
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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 told PTI.
    
This was followed by a visit by 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.
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