India is firming up plans to push hard for a permanent seat in the expanded United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The move comes after the US backed its bid in an unexpected diplomatic victory during President Barack Obama’s visit to India.
External Affairs Minister SM Krishna is planning a weeklong trip to Africa early next year to garner wider support from the countries in that continent.
The African Union countries have a slightly different position on UNSC expansion from that of G-4 (India, Germany, Japan and Brazil).
Unlike G-4, AU roots for a veto for new UNSC members from the very beginning. While G-4 envisages two new members from Africa in the UNSC, the grouping wants three. New Delhi is readying to reach out to individual countries in Africa with greater vigour.
New Delhi is also hoping that the India-Russia-China foreign ministers’ meet would come up with positive signs on UN reforms as well as India’s bid for a permanent seat. While the stated position of the Chinese is that it “understands” India’s desire for a permanent seat, Russia said it would support India if there is a two-third majority in the UN for a UNSC expansion.
The external affairs ministry has also convened a meeting of officials, including India’s permanent representative to UN Hardeep Puri, next week to discuss this. The sources said all such issues, including the need for more human resources to the divisions handling them, will be taken up at the meet.
Before the Obama visit, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao had written to all the division heads as well as missions urging them to coordinate efforts on UNSC reforms and India’s bid for a permanent seat.
Obama’s supportive words were an unexpected shot in the arm for India’s bid for a permanent seat.