Russia, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, has reiterated its support to India for its bid for permanent seat in the world body.
During a meeting of the BRICS foreign ministers here on the sidelines of the 67th session of the General Assembly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov "categorically stated that he supported India's permanent membership of the Security Council," Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said.
Mathai was briefing reporters yesterday after attending the BRICS meeting.
Russia had voiced support for India's bid for permanent membership of the 15-nation body when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had visited Moscow last December.
Mathi said during a meeting of the G4 countries, Brazil, Germany, India and Japan took stock of the progress made so far on the issue of Security Council reform and the nations "decided to unanimously inject greater political momentum and work together to give an impetus to the reform process."
Participating in the current session of the General Assembly, India would work on consolidating the progress achieved so far in the process of UNSC reform with a view towards its early realisation.
"India hopes to proactively engage with members in the intergovernmental negotiations on Security Council reform and to strive for an early expansion of the Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories of its membership," Mathai said.
Another key area of focus for India at the UN would be piracy, particularly combating the menace off the coast of Somalia.
Mathai said India attaches "high priority" to combating piracy off the coast of Somalia while continuing with its anti-piracy operations in the gulf of Aden.
"We will urge the international community to address the serious problem of seafarers being taken hostage by pirates and the consequent humanitarian problems being faced by them and their families. We are the largest victims of hostage taking by pirates," he said.
As chair of the contact group on piracy off the coast of Somalia, India would highlight its concerns as well as seek to achieve progress at the UN in the global fight against piracy.
During his presidency of the Security Council in November, India would hold a thematic debate on piracy as well as a meeting on the working methods of the Security Council, Mathai said.