Sarkozy backs India’s permanency in UNSC, civil nuclear programme

Sarkozy backs India’s permanency in UNSC, civil nuclear programme

Bangalore: The French President Nicolas Sarkozy backed India’s bid for a permanent membership on United Nations’ Security Council (UNSC) on Saturday during his address at Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

“India that represents one sixth of the world’s population deserves a permanent seat in the Security Council," Sarkozy said at the ISRO’s Satellite Centre.

During the first leg of his four-day trip to India, Sarkozy accompanied by his model turned singer wife Carla Bruni and a delegation of 60 members visited ISRO in Bangalore. The European EADS Austrium and Arianespace have contracts of launching satellites with the ISRO.

“It is critical that India participate in all major global political and economic institutions and bring its experience and knowledge to the international debates. Hence France insists emphatically that India become permanent member so it can play full role in G20," said Sarkozy who was elected as president of G20 this year.

Nuclear energy cooperation

Sarkozy announced that the focus of his visit was to co-operate in India’s plans to put in place nuclear energy programme in years to come. “It is vital to build civil nuclear programmes to ensure our energy independence and that provides us with energy that does not emit greenhouse gases," he said.

France produces 62,000 megawatts of nuclear energy annually that accounts for 80% of the nation’s electricity generation. While in India, nuclear energy accounts for 4% generating 4,000 megawatts every year.

Sarkozy supported India’s decision to expand the nuclear energy tenfold in next 20 years taking the production up to 60,000 megawatts. In the next phase of cooperation, he also declared that the six Indo-French EPR plants will provide 10,000megawatts on non-polluting energy to the economy. The French firm Areva is joining hands in constructing a nuclear plant for civilian use in Jaitapur, Maharashtra.

He also lauded India’s standing to join the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG), saying that it was sensible of a nation to participate in the work of multilateral bodies responsible for drafting and ensuring compliance with the non-proliferation regime.