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UNSC: US to consider India carefully

The new Council 'needs to reflect the realities of the present day', US said.

india Updated: May 18, 2006 10:57 IST

Linking India's candidature to the United Nations Security Council to reforms in the world body, the United States has said it will consider the issue "very carefully".

"India's candidature to the United Nations Security Council is something that the United States has to consider very carefully but the membership issue is less of a question pertaining to India than how Washington would want to go about in its discussions with other nations on the eventual composition of the Council," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Richard Boucher said.

Asserting that his country has thought about it "very carefully", Boucher in reply to a question at the Asia Pacific sub-committee of the House International Relations Committee, said, "We have thought about this. We have thought about this very carefully. The thinking about India takes place within a broader context, first of UN reform, where we want to see many aspects of the United Nations reformed-- and the US priority is to see many of those things done first."

He also said, "We are going to take up the issue of Security Council reform at some point. There's not really any kind of consensus now. I think our judgment and the best way to approach this is not to have the United States take out a position for particular countries in advance, but rather to maintain a certain flexibility as we go in."

"We have in the past-- I think the only country we've ever said we thought should be a member is Japan because of their very high level of contributions and the kind of responsibility they've taken in UN matters," Boucher said.

The senior US official said that US has recognised that the new Security Council "needs to reflect the realities of the present day, not just those of the 1940s."

"We have recognised that there are countries, like India, with whom we share significant values, significant approaches to foreign relations, and where we have a rapidly expanding and important relationship. And those countries, particularly India, do play a very important role in the world," he said.

Boucher was replying to a question by sub-committee chairman James Leach who said, that New Delhi's candidature was a "natural issue, something in the interest of India, something that would be very compatible with the interests of the United States."

"And yet our position, as I understand it, still is that we're unprepared to take a position at this time. I am stumped by our lack of preparation, frankly, and find it awkward and philosophically, logically, geo-strategically incompatible with good judgment," Leach said.

First Published: May 18, 2006 09:58 IST