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BRIC, IBSA boost India’s UN seat
New Delhi, Apr 18 (IANS)
Published on 18 Apr. 2010 11:53 PM IST
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The stalled drive for expansion of the UN Security Council has gathered momentum with the IBSA and BRIC summits and South Africa backing the G4 initiative, say Indian officials who feel that it will be “a matter of time before it’s taken to its logical conclusion”.
“The initiative to expand the Security Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories has gathered momentum. It’s a matter of time before it’s taken to its logical conclusion,” said senior officials at the end of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) and Brazil-Russia-India-China (BRIC) summits held in Brasilia Thursday.
Officials cited the endorsement of South Africa for a non-permanent seat for 2011-2012 in the UN Security Council by the 53-nation African Union at its February summit in Addis Ababa as a major step forward in the evolution of the AU consensus on UN reforms.
They also cited South Africa’s support to a letter to the UN chair for inter-governmental negotiations for expanding the Security Council, backed by 140 nations, as an indication that the long-stalled drive for the UN reforms is finally moving.
There is no conflict between the AU and G4 nations - of India, Brazil, Germany and Japan - on UN reforms, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma told journalists aboard the prime minister’s special aircraft Saturday while returning from Brasilia.
The G4 has now been joined by South Africa, albeit not formally as a group, said Sharma.
According to India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Hardeep Singh Puri, “there is clear and discernible momentum but it has to be progressed.”
“Things are likely to come to fruition in 2011-2012,” he said.
Five years ago, the G4 drive for the expansion of the council petered out after the AU failed to evolve a consensus on nominating its candidates for the UN seat from Africa. There were also some differences over the quantum of new additions to the UN Security Council in both permanent and non-permanent categories. “That’s why South Africa’s backing is so significant,” an official said.
Putting their collective economic weight behind the BRIC initiative, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev joined in at the BRIC summit to back a greater role for India and Brazil in having a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.
“We reiterate the importance we attach to the status of India and Brazil in international affairs, and understand and support their aspirations to play a greater role in the United Nations,” said the joint statement.
Similarly, the IBSA summit held on the same day in Brasilia backed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s call for democratization of international decision-making bodies, including the UN.
“There is an urgent need for reform of the UN, including the Security Council, by making it more democratic and representative,” Manmohan Singh had told Brazilian President Lula da Silva and South African President Jacob Zuma.
During bilateral talks with Manmohan Singh, President Lula reiterated the support of Brazil to India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat of the UNSC for 2011-12.
Manmohan Singh underlined this new mood of optimism about expansion of the Security Council and India’s place in a restructured world order when he told journalists at the end of his eight-day trip to the US and Brazil that “the world has taken a benign view of India and wants it to succeed.”

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