India to focus on terrorism and SC reform at UNGA meet

India to focus on terrorism and SC reform at UNGA meet

India to focus on terrorism and SC reform at UNGA meet

Singh will attend the UNGA after a gap of two years. He was last here in 2008. Briefing a group of Indian journalists here ahead of Singh's visit, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said: "we are very pleased that the Prime Minister has chosen to lead the delegation. It is important that our national priorities are articulated at the level of the Prime Minister as that has a much better resonance."

Singh would arrive here on September 22 and will address the 193-member UN General Assembly on the 24th. "India's priorities will be developmental concerns, eradication of poverty, Millenium Development Goals, inclusive growth and terrorism," Puri said.

Singh would hold bilateral talks with Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattara, Japanese PM Yoshihiko Noda and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. While an Obama-Singh meeting is not expected to take place at the UNGA, Puri said there will be many occasions in the coming months, like the G-20 meet, SAARC and east Asia summit where Singh will have "a day and half or two" with the US President and leaders of France and UK.

Referring to the issue of Security Council reform, Puri said in the past a permanent UNSC seat was an "aspiration" for India but today it is "something we are actually negotiating."

India has almost the number required for a majority but it wants to be "100 per cent sure" its has a 2/3 majority, Puri said, adding that a permanent UNSC seat is no longer at the "aspirational stage but we are taking hard decisions of how to go about it and looking at modalities."

Puri said India's seat in the UNSC will not come from the Security Council but from traction in the General Assembly as "that is where you need the votes." India will get votes "from a clinical appreciation" of what it has to put on the table in its capacity as the world's largest democracy and a vibrant and growing economy, he added.

"Today perception of India as potential member of the UNSC is better than ever before," he said.