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India's UNSC term set to end, confident of returning soon

United Nations, Dec 21, 2012 (PTI) 16:38 IST
The end of 2012 will see India complete an eventful two-year term as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, leaving the high-table of the world body with confidence of returning "very" soon having established its credentials as a dominant global power.

India joined the 15-nation Council in January, 2011, after a gap of 19 years, winning an overwhelmingly high number of votes, which its Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri described as a "resounding endorsement" from the international community.

India served as President of the Council in August 2011, and November this year and was also Chair of the Counter Terrorism Committee.

It introduced "zero tolerance" towards terrorism in the UN lexicon during its term. It also presided over the Security Council Committee concerning Somalia and Eritrea sanctions.

From being embroiled in a bitter war of words with Pakistan, which also sits on the Security Council as a non-permanent member, on the issue of Kashmir to unveiling the low cost Aakash tablet at the world body amid a controversy over its made-in-China components, India's year at the UN was eventful and closely watched.

Sources in the Indian mission here have voiced concern that "hurdles" are being placed in the 193-member Assembly for Security Council reform but added that India hopes to come back to the Council "very very quickly."

Puri also expressed confidence that it will not be long before India returns to the Council.
"When India joined the Council last year, I had made an assessment that we have no intention to leave the Council. We have every intention to stay on. This can be done in two ways -- seek re-election quickly and through Security Council reform. We will do both," Puri said.

"Once you have been able to demonstrate that you have the wherewithal to be a Council member, you must make sure that you are on the Council," he said.

"India did not behave like a country which came on the Council after 19 years. It behaved as if it belongs to the Council," he added.

During its tenure, India made a strong push for expansion in permanent and non-permanent categories of the Security Council "to make it reflect contemporary realities", saying that the Security Council in its present structure "serves no one's purpose."

India has proposed that an expanded Council should have a total of 25-26 members.
Puri asserted that India has demonstrated through its "maturity and constructive contribution" that it rightly deserves a permanent seat at the Council and offers a promise that it will not take another 19 years for India to return to the Council.

"The struggle for Security Council expansion is uphill but this peak can be scaled and will be scaled," he told PTI.

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