Buoyed by its election to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member, India tonight made a strong pitch for a permanent seat in the expanded world body, saying the "overwhelming" support reflected the expectations of the international community from it.
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said today's win was a "step forward" in the direction of India's aspirations for permanent membership but did not appear too insistent on the veto rights, saying this power has rarely been used by any country in recent years.
Hailing the victory at the UN with 187 of the 191 member countries voting in favour, he said India will function "responsibly" as the non-permanent member to garner further support for its inclusion in the Security Council as a permanent member.
Pointing out that India lives in a "troubled neighbourhood", Krishna said India's priorities as a non-permanent member would include peace and stability in the near and extended neighbourhood, counter-terrorism, prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-state actors and strengthening UN peacekeeping.
"The resounding endorsement of India's candidature at the United Nations serves as a reaffirmation, if any were needed, of the overwhelming support that India enjoys in the international community," the beaming minister told a press conference here soon after the results came from New York.
Noting that India has been integral to important processes that have induced changes in the global scene, he said "the overwhelming support we have received is recognition of India's contribution to these and other developments and, in turn, reflects the expectations of the international community from India.