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India pushes for expansion of permanent seats in UNSC

india Updated: Jun 03, 2010 11:49 IST
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India, which is seeking a permanent berth in the UN Security Council, has said that expansion of only non-permanent seats does not constitute reform of the world body and demanded that membership be increased in both categories.

In a closed-door meeting at the UN headquarters convened to discuss the negotiating text for the Security Council reform, India also pointed out that a vast majority of countries were in favour of expanding the current size of the world body's top organ from 15 to the mid-20s.

"There cannot be any reform without expansion in both the categories of membership," Hardeep Singh Puri, India's envoy to the UN, said last night.

"Equally, expansion only in the non-permanent category or any of its other variants does not constitute reform and is merely the perpetuation of the current inefficiency by the same ineffective means in vogue since 1963," he said.

India along with Japan, Germany, South Africa and Brazil is seeking permanent membership of the Security Council.

Puri's remarks came a day after a top US official said India would play a "central part" in the Security Council reform process but stopped short of publicly endorsing the country's bid for a permanent seat.

"We're open to expansion of permanent membership of the Council and we believe that India's going to have a central part to play in the consideration that's going to come of that reform of the UN Security Council," Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns said.

During the inaugural discussions on the UN reform, Zahir Tanin, Afghanistan's permanent representative to the UN, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the process asked member states to submit proposals that can be worked into a negotiating text, which will be the basis for future discussions.

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