Global Campaign Needed To Back UN Security Council Expansion: India

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Global Campaign Needed To Back UN Security Council Expansion: India

India is seeking permanent membership of the UNSC as a matter that affects India deeply in areas ranging from terrorism to development, said Asoke Kumar Mukerji.


United Nations:  With negotiations on expanding and reforming the UN Security Council (UNSC) entering a crucial phase next year, India's Permanent Representative Asoke Kumar Mukerji suggested yesterday that an international campaign should be launched to mobilise support for it from the Indian diaspora, civil society organisations and businesses around the world.

The backing of UN member nations will be needed to make the final push for reforms and have it voted, he said. For this India should tap into the various constituencies that can influence their governments and lawmakers, he said.

Mr Mukerji, who retires at the end of this year, steered lobbying efforts at the UN to break a decades-old logjam in the reform process by having a negotiating text adopted unanimously by the General Assembly overcoming sustained opposition from a small, but determined groups of countries.

Apart from tapping into the support of the Indian diaspora, Mr Mukerji said that identified civil society organisations are another constituency that should be rallied to the cause.

"We should take a leaf out of the Paris playbook," he said, referring to the recent climate change conference in the French capital where civil society groups backed the demands of India and other developing countries for fair treatment and preserving their right to development.

Without the text, which lays out the framework for negotiations, the UN reform discussion could not proceed in a meaningful way and Council expansion opponents used it block the reform process.

With the negotiating text in place, the negotiations are scheduled resume on February 3, according to Luxembourg Permanent Representative Sylvie Lucas, the chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiation (IGN) on Council reform.

In a letter circulated by Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft, she said she wants the negotiating text to "spark constructive and substantive engagement towards seeking convergences.

The February 3 meeting, she wrote, would start by taking up the "key issue of the relationship between the Council and the General Assembly.

India is not seeking permanent membership of the Council as a "badge of honour but as a matter that affects India deeply in areas ranging from terrorism to development, he said.

Unless India is a member of the Council it could not affect the way it operates and the priorities it sets, he said. In dealing with terrorism, for example, the Council focuses only on certain regions at a cost to India and it does not apply sanctions against terrorists and their supporters uniformly, he said.


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