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India, UK press for expanded UNSC

British Prime Minister Tony Blair backed New Delhi's bid saying the current make up was outdated.

india Updated: Sep 14, 2005 14:05 IST
Reuters
Reuters
PTI

India said on Wednesday it had not given up hope of securing a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council despite opposition from some countries to expansion.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in India for an EU-India summit, backed New Delhi's bid saying the current make up was outdated.

India, along with Japan, Brazil and Germany, known as the G4, are all lobbying for a permanent place on the council, which decides on matters of war and peace, sanctions and peacekeepers.

"It's a fact that some countries are not in favour of the G4 resolution that we sponsored," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said.

"But I've also been assured that opposition to the G4 resolution does not necessarily imply opposition to India's claims and India's place on the expanded Security Council," Singh said. "We haven't given up and I sincerely hope we can still sort out this issue."

Blair, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, said the bloc was split over the council's expansion. "There isn't a common European Union position, obviously the UK's position has been strongly supportive of India," he said.

"It seems to be very clear if we want effective multilateral institutions then those effective multilateral institutions have got to take account of the world as it is today and not the world as it was," he added.

Blair said the current make-up of the council "clearly does not correspond to modern realities" and reform was necessary at some stage, even if consensus was not possible at the moment.

The council currently has 10 non-permanent seats, rotating for two-year terms, and five permanent members with veto power -- the United States, Russia, Britain, China and France.

To begin the council expansion, the 191-member General Assembly must approve any change by a two-thirds vote, with each member casting one vote.

The last step in the process is a UN Charter change, which must be approved by national legislatures, and here the current five permanent members have veto power.

First Published: Sep 14, 2005 11:50 IST