The United States is playing a hardball game in supporting India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the expanded United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
To overcome this non-commitment and improve the US position of “India being a natural choice” for the seat, India hopes the Obama-Singh joint statement after the summit-level meeting in New Delhi will reflect India’s “responsible role”.
“Of course we would like to hear US supporting our candidature for a permanent seat during the Obama visit. But so far, they remain non-committal on the issue, so our effort is on the US recognising India’s responsible and positive role in international affairs as well as in the UN”, government sources said.
But US position on the UNSC reforms — that Washington is against an expansion based on “region or religion” — can be cited as going against Islamabad’s view. Among other things, Islamabad’s view includes having a permanent member from among the Arab nations.
However, New Delhi feels India has been an active and responsible member of the UN. The US recoginsing this position in the joint statement will be a “meaningful step forward” than the traditional US position of India being a natural choice, which doesn’t mean much in substantial terms.
The US had supported Japan’s bid for a permanent seat. But, of late, Washington’s pitch for a “limited expansion of the UNSC” is based on its position of adding African members to the council to address the imbalance of power.
Among the five permanent members, UK and France had supported India. Russian position is that it will support India provided there is a two-third majority for UNSC expansion.
While China may be more opposed to Japan getting a seat than India, that position has resulted in Beijing being cold to G-4 countries’ joint efforts to reform the UNSC.