UNSC should reflect 21st century realities: Krishna

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

NEW DELHI - Pressing for a permanent seat for India in the UN Security Council, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna Tuesday said the global body’s high table should reflect the 21st century world order realities and there was a “very pressing” need for reforms.

“The 1945 UN charter and treaty is still binding even in the 21st century, which, according to India, is a situation that needs introspection. There is a large number of nations that have become independent in the last 60 years and this needs to be reflected in the UN. Not only India, there are other countries too that qualify for a permanent seat,” Krishna told a group of journalists from eastern European nations, who met him here.

“The yearning for reforms is perhaps very urgent and very pressing, and the member-nations (of the UN) are inching towards that,” he said during the interaction.

Noting that India had all the necessary qualities to be a member of the UNSC, Krishna said the country represented a billion plus population of the world and the global body needed to be representative of the world population. He also lamented that the whole African continent had gone unrepresented in the UN high table.

Apart from the large population, India’s acceptance among the member-nations to be on the UNSC as a non-permanent member in the recently held elections was reason enough for it to be a permanent member. He also pointed out that 187 of 190 member-states had voted in its favour in the polls for 2011-12. “Is this not a credible justification for India to be a permanent member of the UNSC,” Krishna asked.

The minister said India had already contributed in “its own humble way” to the UN’s efforts at peace, stability and development the world over, by looking at issues before the UN from both its own and the global perspective.

“India will be objective, responsible and its efforts will be to strengthen peace, development and stability globally” in its present role as a non-permanent member of the UNSC, he added.

Pointing out that even during the Cold War days India had not taken sides, Krishna said its neutrality had led to both the blocs “mistaking” it for long, but India had always had a sobering effect on both of them.

Asked if India was ready to play a greater military role globally now as it aspired to be a permanent UNSC member, Krishna said the country has, as a matter of policy, never sent its troops anywhere outside its territory for combat, except for peacekeeping under the UN flag.

India’s bid for the UNSC permanent seat has the open support of four of the five permanent members, except China. In recent times, the US, Britain, France and Russia have all backed India’s candidature, whenever the reforms of the UNSC take place.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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