India wins UNSC seat after two decades


Staff member
New Delhi October 13:

India became a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) winning the seat unchallenged from Asia region, and pledging to work for peace and counter-terrorism.

In the elections held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Tuesday, India received 187 of the total 190 votes, the highest among the countries standing for election to the Security Council as non-permanent members. This represents over 98pc of the total membership of the UN and is well ahead of the required 128 votes.

India will take over the Asian seat in the Security Council vacated by Japan at the end of this year. It will re-enter the Security Council after an interregnum of nearly two decades. External Affairs Minister S M Krishna thanked all the UN members for supporting India. "India would continue to work with like-minded countries," he said, adding that India would also work for reform in the UNSC.

"We live in a troubled neighbourhood. Our immediate priorities in the Council will include peace and stability in our near and extended neighbourhood, including Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa, Counter-terrorism, including the prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-state actors, and the strengthening UN peacekeeping," Krishna said.

"There have been significant changes in the international scene since India last served on the Security Council. "India has been integral to some of the important processes that induced these changes in the context of the financial and economic architecture, major shifts at the world trade and climate change negotiations as well as the recalibration of the global regime for civilian nuclear cooperation," Krishna said.

"The overwhelming support we have received is recognition of India's contribution to these and other developments and, in turn, reflects the expectations of the international community from India. This support is also reflected in the formal endorsement for the UNSC non-permanent seat we received from the Asian Group in February 2010," Krishna said. Krishna said: "It is of significance to note that, for the first time, the Security Council will witness the simultaneous presence of all BRIC [Brazil, Russia, India, China] and IBSA [India, Brazil, South Africa] countries, and three of the four G4 countries {India, Brazil and Germany}.

"The Council will also include a number of developing countries with which we have close ties as well as some of our global strategic partners," he said. He said as a founding member of the United Nations, India is fully committed to the principles and purposes of the UN. With no competition from the Asia region, India was shoo-in for the seat. After Kazakhstan pulled out from the competition this year, there was no challenger for India from the Asia region. India would hold the seat after a gap of 19 years. In the absence of contest, South Africa and Brazil too are sure winners from Africa and Latin America respectively.

The voting was held to elect five of 10 non-permanent seats on the UNSC. The UNSC is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. There are 15 members of the Security Council, consisting of 5 veto-wielding permanent members (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States) and 10 elected non-permanent members with two-year terms.