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Aus backs India's bid for UNSC seat

world Updated: Apr 06, 2008 16:54 IST

PTI
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Australia on Sunday said it will push for India to become a permanent member of the United nations Security Council which should be expanded to reflect the "modern world".

"We think the permanent membership should be changed to reflect the modern reality, having on the permanent membership Japan, for example, and India, for example," Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says told ABC TV.

"That much more reflects the modern world than the current institution," he said.

The Minister said the UN should no longer reflect the situation of the 1940s and 50s, and Australia, which is seeking a temporary seat in the powerful body, wanted it to tackle issues like climate change, millennium development goals and international trade.

Smith said Australia will push for India and Japan to become permanent members, the AAP reported.

Smith said Kevin Rudd government's quest for non-permanent membership of the council came from a desire to modernise the UN and play a bigger role in world affairs.

The United States, Britain, France, Russia and China have been the Security Council's permanent members since its formation after World War II.

Smith said Australia should be making a greater contribution at an international level. "I don't think we punch above our weight. I think we can do and have to do more.... We are a significant country. We are a robust parliamentary democracy, (a) well-developed prosperous economy."

The foreign minister said it was worth spending tens of millions of dollars seeking a council seat, adding that the government would not compromise itself in the process. "We're not going to be opening a (diplomatic) post here or there just to buy a vote."