US reaches out to UNSC members over India’s bid

US reaches out to UNSC members over India’s bid

Washington: Backing India’s bid for a permanent membership, US has started reaching out to other Security Council members on the reform of the apex UN body but said it could not set a target date for expansion of the UNSC.

“We have talked to China about Security Council reform. We’ve talked to all of our partners in the Security Council, and I’m sure we’ll be doing follow-up discussions. We have reached out and explained the announcement that the President has made," State Department spokesman P J Crowley said.

With American endorsement, China remains as the only veto-wielding permanent member of the UNSC that has not publicly endorsed India’s candidacy.

On whether Washington had sounded Beijing for supporting India’s candidature, Crowley said, “I just can’t say whether we’ve reached out to China at this point."

The American official’s remarks came as Beijing sounded positive to US President Barack Obama’s endorsement of India’s bid.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in Beijing that China understands New Delhi’s “aspirations" to play a bigger role in the UN and is ready for consultations with it over reform of the the world body.

“China values India’s status in the international affairs and understands India’s aspirations to play a greater role in the United Nations and is ready to keep contact and consultations with India and other member states on the issues of security council reform," Hong said during a media briefing.

Crowley said it is inconceivable to have a reformed UNSC without India, which has arrived at the world stage as a major power.

“The (US) President was clear that as we contemplate reform, we are mindful that, on the one and, we need to protect the effectiveness and efficiency of the Security Council.

“But on the other hand, we are open to countries that demonstrate that they are prepared to contribute significantly to the peace and security of the world. And India is such a country," he said.

The state department official, however, said the US has not set any time line for the reform.

“Well, we are not able to dictate the terms of reform. This is the Security Council. There are five permanent members, and so this will be a requirement for us to continue to consult within the UN and within the Security Council on an appropriate way forward," he observed.

“Indeed, the just and sustainable international order that America seeks includes a United Nations that is efficient, effective, credible and legitimate. That is why I can say today in the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member," Obama said in a major speech at India’s Parliament yesterday.