FRUSTRATED THAT its bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council is not heading anywhere, India has decided to bid for a non-permanent seat on 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 will shortly be announced, a senior official told Hindustan Times.
Officials declined to elaborate on the need to bid for a non-permanent seat on the council, but categorically said that this bid did not mean any dilution of the bid for a permanent seat at the UN’s high table. 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,” he said. “The reform process goes on,” he said, but “the sooner a country announces its bid, the stronger its chances of election (for a non-permanent seat).”
Non-permanent seats are decided on a rotational basis, for a two-year tenure. Since 1951, India has been a non-permanent member of the UNSC six times. The last term ended in December 1992.
India’s Permanent Representative to the UN—Nirupam Sen—in a statement at the UN on December 12, 2006, reflected India’s growing frustration at the UN reform process.
“The UNSC is not a solution but a part of the problem,” he said in an address to the UN. “It has become a fetter holding back change; a fetter on addressing the problems of the 21st century; a fetter on the forces of peace and progress.”
The country’s Permanent Mission at the UN, headed by Sen has begun circulating documents, to begin the process of lobbying for the seat. “A lot of spadework has to be done,” an official said.
The UN has not been lucky for India of late. The country’s candidate for the post of UN Secretary General, Shashi Tharoor, had to withdraw his candidature after the US and other members of the UNSC refused to support him against Korea’s Ban Ki Moon, who assumed charge as head of the UNO this year.