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'India should contest for non-permanent UN seat'

A top UN official suggested that India should contest for a non-permanent seat of the world body instead of permanent place.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 22:59 IST

A top United Nations official on Friday suggested that India should contest for a non-permanent seat of the world body instead of a permanent place.

"India should run for an elected non-permanent seat," UN Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information Shashi Tharoor said in New Delhi on the sidelines of a conference on "Democracy and Development -- A UN view".

He was replying to a query on India's chances of getting a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

Addressing the conference organised by CII, Tharoor praised the Indian democratic system, saying, "Indian democracy has been the most prestigious heritage."

"India is the highest donor in terms of funding to the United Nations Democracy Fund, which was established last year to encourage the growth of democracy across the globe," Tharoor said.

He said there have been aberrations such as the Emergency period, but the leaders who were responsible for it later expressed regrets.

Tharoor said India with its multi-lingualism and cultural diversity has managed an impressive economic growth and has also provided spiritual leadership to the world in the form of Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi.

"Regime change is not on United Nations vocabulary," the top UN official said while replying to a question about the developments in Iraq.

He said "International community cannot impose democracy on unwilling or unready. It has to come from inside. It cannot be imposed."

First Published: Apr 07, 2006 22:59 IST