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India in lesser UNSC race now

india Updated: Jan 16, 2007 10:56 IST
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Its bid for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) not going anywhere, India has decided to bid for a non-permanent seat at the Council, for the period 2011-2012. Elections will be held in October 2010, but the lobbying process has informally begun for the seat, which will be from the Asian quota.

The formal bid would shortly be announced, a senior official told HT. Officials declined to divulge details of the need to bid for a non-permanent seat, but categorically said this bid did not mean any dilution of the bid for a permanent UNSC seat.

According to a senior official at the Ministry of External Affairs, India felt the need to be part of the Council’s consultative process and this was one way forward. “The two bids are not linked,” the official said.

India’s Permanent Mission at the UN, headed by Nirupam Sen, has already begun circulating documents to various diplomatic missions, to begin the lobbying process.

India has joined forces with Brazil, Germany and Japan to reform the UN, and staked a claim, as part of the G-4, to a permanent seat at the UNSC. “The reform process goes on,” an official said, but “the sooner a country announces its bid, the stronger its chances of election (for a non-permanent seat).”

Former Under Secretary General to the UN, Chinmaya R Gharekhan said there is no contradiction between the two bids. “An aspirant for a permanent seat can certainly bid for a non-permanent seat on the Council. We should have done this quite some time ago,” Gharekhan said.

Non-permanent seats are decided on a rotational basis, for a two-year tenure. India has been a non-permanent member of the UNSC six times.

Email Nilova Roy Chaudhury: nilova@hindustantimes.com

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