Three weeks before India joins the United Nations Security Council after a gap of nearly two decades, U.S. President Barack Obama has underlined the significance of the UN’s 15-member powerful wing in maintaining world peace and preventing war.

Mr. Obama dropped in a White House meeting of the National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, with Permanent Representatives to the UN of 15 current Security Council members, and of the five countries including India whose two-year elected terms on the Council begin in January.

The meeting lasted for about 45 minutes.

The Indian Ambassador to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, was present at the meeting, wherein Mr. Obama congratulated the new members including India on becoming the non-permanent member of the Security Council for a two year term beginning January 2011.

The US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, who holds the presidency of the Security Council for the month of December had convened a day-long series of meetings for these Ambassadors in Washington, which included meetings with the lawmakers at the Capitol Hill and those with the top State Department officials at its Foggy Bottom headquarters.

Obama stressed the importance of the Security Council remaining united in urging all parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement on Sudan to abide by their commitments, particularly in light of the upcoming referendum scheduled for January, the White House said in a statement.

“The President also underscored the importance of continued Security Council support for non-proliferation, building on the strong work that has been done to hold North Korea and Iran accountable for their failure to live up to their obligations,” it said.

Mr. Obama also noted the broader role that the Security Council has in supporting peace, security and development around the world; the White House said.

“The President then led a discussion that covered a wide range of issues facing the council, including nuclear non-proliferation, the Middle East, Haiti, Somalia, Sudan, Iran, North Korea and our shared efforts to combat terrorism,” it said.

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