Monday, October 11, 2010

India set for non-permanent seat at United Nations Security Council

After a 19-year gap, India looks all set to get a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a non-permanent member. New Delhi hopes that this will eventually lead to larger UN reform and the big one: A permanent seat.The UNSC is the UN's main decision making body with 15 members. That includes five permanent members with veto power: The US, China, France, Russia and Britain. In Tuesday's vote five of 10 non-permanent seats have to be filled.Each seat on the council is reserved for a region - like Asia, Western Europe, Latin America. And with no other challenger from the Asia region after Kazakhistan pulled out earlier this year, India is a shoo-in.Indian diplomats led personally by Foreign Minister SM Krishna have been lobbying hard for the past three years. To win India needs two-thirds of the General Assembly vote, which adds up to 128.
India's last stint on the Security Council was in 1992.The UNSC's main responsibility is peacekeeping and international security, but reform and a push for a permanent seat for India will be big on India's agenda when US President Barack Obama visits next month.