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'India has to do more to get UNSC permanent seat'

The distinction still eludes India owing to its limited role in international issues, says a senior UN official.

india Updated: Aug 05, 2007 20:05 IST


A permanent seat in the UN Security Council has eluded India despite its relentless efforts as it has not adopted a broader role in settling international issues, a senior official of the world body has said.

"India is not doing enough to become a permanent member of the Security Council. Instead of demanding for it, India should play a more participatory role in world affairs," Vijay Nambiar, Chief of Staff to the UN Secretary General, said in Mumbai.

Acknowledging the country's large contribution of troops for UN peacekeeping efforts, he said: "However, India's role has to go beyond providing peacekeepers.

Nations backing India's UNSC bid

Britain: India will play a lead role in the 21st century and the UK supports India in its bid to become a permanent member of UN Security Council.

Australia: It's not appropriate to exclude India as a permanent member of the Security Council.

Israel: India should get its rightful place in the expanded United Nations Security Council. There are many flaws in the UN system and these flaws needed to be removed and Security Council expanded to provide more representative character to it.

Libya: India has a right to have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

Belarus: Depriving a nuclear power like India of the right of veto or other attributes of a permanent member as enjoyed by other permanent five will be an insult to the nation.

Cyprus: We believe India deserves a seat in the UNSC. We recognise India's contribution in international affairs.

Chile also supports India's candidature for a permanent seat in the expanded UN Security Council.

"It has to see a broader role for itself by being actively involved in discussions and settlement of major economic and political concerns including human rights and environment-related issues."

Nambiar, who was earlier India's permanent representative to the UN, said: "India has to take an active part around the world. It should not be interested only in its own immediate national interests.

"It should be willing to work out a larger commitment for serving global interests."

It was not for the UN to have expectations from its members states, he said, adding that India has to live up to its own image of being a progessive nation.

<b1>"At the Stockholm Conference in 1972, Indira Gandhi had spurred a whole new dimension to deliberations on the environment when she spoke of poverty as the greatest polluter and set the tone for a global challenge of competing ideas and options on the preservation of our planet," Nambiar said.

This competition has survived the changes of time. Equally important, it infused a scientific and technical debate with an economic and political urgency that is no less than the one relevant to human rights, he said.

"We have not seen a similar action on India's part in approaching the climate change debate today," he pointed out.

Nambiar was previously special advisor to former UN secretary general Kofi Annan with the rank of under-secretary general and India's permanent representative to the UN during May 2002-June 2004.

<b2>He also served as India's ambassador to Pakistan (2000- 01), China (1996-2000), Malaysia (1993-96) and Afghanistan (1990-92).

"Having been privileged to be associated with the courage of India's initiatives in bilateral relationships, particularly with China and Pakistan, I would argue for a bolder, less risk-averse approach at the multilateral level as well," Nambiar said.

"India cannot afford to forget the real leadership role it has called upon to assume at the UN, both by virtue of being a founder member even before independence and being the major Asian presence for 25 years in the absence of China, which had yet to be admitted."

First Published: Aug 05, 2007 13:47 IST