New Delhi: India's bid for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council has received a boost in what's guaranteed to be a long and arduous process. The decision-making body, vested with huge power, has 15 members, of which five, including China, Russia and the US, are permanent.
To kickstart a change to add more permanent members, a draft resolution has to be considered by the nearly 200 member countries of the UN. Russia, the US and China have refused to contribute to the text of the reform needed to initiate the discussion which will cover questions like how many more permanent members should be allowed, and whether they should have the right to veto.
Despite their resistance, UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa has achieved a breakthrough of sorts by circulating a draft that will form the basis for the negotiations.
Once the draft is agreed on, it will be put to vote at the General Assembly, where a two-thirds vote is needed to clear it. Technically, a permanent member of the security council like China can veto it, but officials say that could be isolating since more than 100 countries have already indicated their support for the reform.
Russia, which has also supported India's candidacy as permanent member, has said the "prerogatives of the current Permanent Members of the Security Council, including the use of the veto, should remain intact under any variant of the Council reform". It has also warned against "artificial deadlines".
India has maintained that the process to expand the powerful UN body must be driven by deadlines. Ahead of the UN's 70th anniversary in October, the PM has, on foreign trips and in bilaterals with the heads of other countries, strongly lobbied for support for a permanent seat for India.