Security Council bid: India suggests compromise on veto powers

New York, July 9 (Calcutta Tube) Giving a push to reforms of the UN Security Council, India has suggested a compromise solution to the contentious issue of veto powers of the new permanent members of the council.

India has suggested that the new permanent members will withhold their veto powers till the issue of their veto powers is resolved.

India’s compromise formula comes amid reports of Pakistan, which is opposed to India’s entry into this exclusive club, stepping up lobbying to block the expansion of the Security Council.

‘The new permanent members shall not exercise the right of veto until the question of the extension of the right of veto to new permanent members has been decided upon in the framework of the review mandated 15 years after the entry into force of the Council reform,’ said Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s permanent representative to the UN.

As the process of reform of the council gathers momentum, Puri stressed that this compromise would ‘ensure that the veto does not veto Council reform.’

Puri expressed confidence that current negotiations will lead to tangible action in 2010 and could probably yield results in 2011.

The G-4 countries – Brazil, Germany, India and Japan – have pitched for the same responsibilities and obligations as the current permanent members – the US, Britain, Russia, France and China.

Last month, India demanded an increase in both permanent and non-permanent seats in the UN Security Council to make it more efficient and democratic.

The Uniting for Consensus group comprising around 40 nations, led by Pakistan and Italy, is trying to block attempts by G-4 to expand the number of permanent seats in the Council.

India, Japan, Germany, South Africa and Brazil are seeking permanent seats in the UN Security Council.

Three permanent members of the UN Security Council – Britain, Russia and France – have supported India’s bid for the coveted permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council.

The US has backed Japan’s claim, but has yet to come out unambiguously in support of New Delhi’s candidacy. China has expressed support for India’s bigger role on the international stage, but has kept its options open.

The reform of the UN Security Council has acquired renewed momentum with around 144 countries signing a request to start text-based negotiations. Zahir Tanin, Afghanistan’s permanent representative to the UN, also chairperson of the process, has asked member states to submit proposals that can be worked into a negotiating text, which will form the basis for future discussions.

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