India, US more convergence than divergence on UNSC reform: Rao

"I'm not saying we have reached the destination of full American support for our case but certainly we are moving from divergence to greater convergence," said Rao, who accompanied External Affairs Minister S M Krishna for a bilateral with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Security Council reform will be on the agenda when US President Barack Obama visits India in November.

"The dialogue has expanded and moved forward," she told journalists. "We are not stuck in the same place...let us say in the discussions before the visit of President Obama we hope that we'll see a greater convergence," she said.

Security Council reforms, however, was not one of the topics of discussion during the 30-minute bilateral at the Waldorf Astoria. Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake appeared more guarded when asked about the reform, saying "I don't have anything to report at this stage, but again, this is under discussion."
While the UK and France have given the green signal for change, the United States has agreed to it in principle.

The US also favors Japan in the Council but has not yet come out openly to back India. Earlier this year, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Bill Burns recognised New Delhi as a major global player but stopped short of endorsing its bid on the Council.

At the same time there is resistance from the big powers that don't want change. Meanwhile, India is gearing up to join the Security Council as a non-permanent member after a gap of 19 years. And diplomats here are hoping that reform comes in the next two years while India is already on the Council.

India's envoy to UN Hardeep Singh Puri has indicated that some significant movement on the matter can be expected in the next 12 months. Discussions on Security Council reform, in one form or other, have been continuing for more than 15 years.

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