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India for Council expansion as part of UN reforms

The MEA questions the credibility of the 15-member UN Security Council where Africa, Latin America and India are not represented.

world Updated: Jun 16, 2007 15:50 IST

Questioning the credibility of the 15-member UN Security Council as Africa, Latin America and India do not find representation in it, New Delhi on Saturday said that the expansion of the body must be an integral part of wide-ranging reforms of the United Nations.

This will ensure that the organisation and its major bodies reflect the current realities and not those existing at the end of the Second World War, Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma has said.

Talking to reporters in New York, he questioned the legitimacy of the 15-member Security Council in which Africa and Latin America and biggest democracy of the world "India" are not represented. What credibility such a body can enjoy? he asked.

India, along with Japan, Germany and Brazil, is working to correct this imbalance and make the most powerful forum of the United Nations, which takes decisions on security questions and issues mandates applicable to all member states- transparent and representative of all membership by ensuring that views of all regions and groupings are heard when major actions are contemplated.

India, Japan, Germany and Brazil, who are strong contenders for permanent seats on an expanded Council, have been working to change the make up of the Council so that its decisions enjoy greater legitimacy.

The expansion of the Security Council should be seen in the context of overall reforms of the United Nations which would make it more effective and efficient and give strong legitimacy to its decisions at a time when the organisation is being asked to play increasing role in conflict prevention and resolution, he stressed.

Sharma, who was talking to reporters shortly after the General Assembly declared October two as International Day of Non-Violence in recognition of relevance of Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of peace and brotherhood in the present day, spoke of the great relevance of his message in the current ridden world.

That the Mahatma's message enjoys worldwide support is clear from the fact that the resolution, initiated by India, was adopted unanimously, he said.

Mahatma Gandhi's message, he said, was universal as it emphasised not only non-violence but also the need to create condition in which every human being could live in dignity. His philosophy envisages a world without suffering, without conflict and without hunger.

In short, the message encompassed equity, dignity and freedom for all, he stressed.

Sharma also interacted with the Indian community at a reception organized by the Consulate General. Addressing them, he urged them to help spread the Mahatma's message of peace, love and brotherhood.

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