India’s campaign to secure a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council received a major boost on Friday as 53 nations from the Asia region endorsed its candidature.
According to an official statement from India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, 19 countries, including Pakistan, “spoke in favour of the proposal to endorse New Delhi’s candidature for the two-tear term in the Security Council starting January 1, 2011.”
If India does secure the seat, it will be the first time in 19 years that it will occupy a seat on the Council.
The UNSC has 15 members, including five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members, of which two are from Asia. Each member of the Council has a vote, while only the five permanent members can veto a resolution.
India is currently running unopposed after the withdrawal of the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan from the fray. Even if India goes to the election without an opponent it will still need to secure two-thirds of the votes of the 192 member countries of the United Nations General Assembly that comprise the electoral college.
India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Hardeep Singh Puri, recently said he was “personally” optimistic about India’s prospects in the October 2010 election, as he said it was “unlikely” that another country would be a late entrant in the contest.
“We still have to win the election, we have to get the required number of votes which I think is doable,” he said.
The 19 nations speaking in favour of the proposal to endorse India’s candidature at the monthly meeting of the Asian group included all of India’s neighbours barring China, as well as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.