India to be non-permanent member of UNSC: Puri

India to be non-permanent member of UNSC: Puri

"There is every expectation that from January 1 2011, we will be on the Security Council for a 2-year term as a non-permanent member. This is after 19 years we will be entering the Council," Puri told reporters.

Puri, who was in the city to attend an India Business conference organised by the Kellogg School of Management, said India's candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the Security Council has already been endorsed by the Asian Group in the UN General Assembly. "This has to be formalised in October by the General Assembly".

Regarding India joining the UNSC as a permanent member, Puri said he is "hopeful that before we finish our non-permanent seat tenure, there will be an expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories and India will be part of it". After about 15 years, the open-ended working group in March last year gave way to a negotiating phase.

In December 2009, 140 countries signed a letter to the Chairman of the negotiating process asking for text-based negotiations, in response to which the Chairman of the negotiating group is going to produce a text soon, Puri said. "Based on that text, negotiations will start for expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories. So we expect that process to see the light of the day maximum in another one year," he added.

Given India's growing economic and political strength, Puri said: "it would make absolutely no sense to expand the membership of the Security Council and not have India in it". Nineteen countries including Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have favoured giving Indian a spot on the Security Council table starting January 2011.

Earlier this year, Kazakhstan withdrew from the electoral race leaving with India with a clean slate for 2010-11. There are 15 members in the Security Council, consisting of 5 veto-wielding permanent members (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States) and 10 elected non-permanent members with two-year terms.

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