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India voted to UNSC high table

With 187 of 190 nations voting in its favour, India returned as a non-permanent member of the United Nations’ Security Council (UNSC) after 19 years on Tuesday. HT reports.

world Updated: Oct 13, 2010 02:50 IST
HT Correspondents

With 187 of 190 nations voting in its favour, India returned as a non-permanent member of the United Nations’ Security Council (UNSC) after 19 years on Tuesday.

Of the UN’s 192 members, one nation chose to abstain while another nation’s vote was found invalid.

In any case, India’s elevation to the UN high table had become almost certain after it emerged as the sole endorsed candidate from the Asia region, with 53 Asian countries supporting it.

India will occupy the seat from January 1, 2011 for two years. Till the end, however, despite having firmed up deals with numerous countries in advance, Indian diplomats at the Permanent Mission to the UN remained cautious.

It was a hangover from the country’s two previous setbacks — in 1996 and 2006. In 1996, an overconfident India, making a similar bid, found itself defeated by a wide margin by Japan. In 2006, India backed Shashi Tharoor for UN Secretary General, but Tharoor lost out to Ban Ki-moon.

Not surprisingly, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna kept ringing the country’s permanent representative to the UN, Hardeep Puri, almost every hour from New Delhi to ensure nothing was going wrong. He also rang about a dozen of his counterparts across the globe to reassure himself of their vote.

This year India was not expected to face a contest since the only other official contender, Kazakhstan, withdrew from the contest in December last year.

The UNSC has 15 members; five permanent and 10 non-permanent. The permanent ones are the United States, China, Russia, France and England.