British Prime Minister David Cameron said here on Thursday that the United Nations Security Council should be modernised and India made a permanent member of the body. “The Security Council ought to include India as their permanent member there is no doubt about it,” Mr. Cameron said at an interaction with students at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.

However, he said, the political will of “deciding to act and deciding take a stand” mattered more than issues such as reforming the Council.

Referring to the intervention of the United Nations in Libya, Mr. Cameron said it “took a stand and took a view” and allowed change to happen. “Don’t just think about reforming institutions but think about how you behave in it, when you take up a stand what you stand for,” he told students.

Though the United Nations was not “perfect,” “it is very good in our world to have something like that,” the British Prime Minister said. “You need to have institutions and rules in order to try having sensible governance approaches across the world. So we should all back the United Nations and back the U.N. Charter.”

Describing the Commonwealth as a “club” and a “good organisation to have,” Mr. Cameron said: “It [Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting] is a meeting place where we pat each other on the back when we get things right and point a bit of our fingers when we get it wrong. In an ideal world I would see it get tougher on human rights issues.” His remarks are significant as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has decided not to attend the summit, which is scheduled to start in Sri Lanka from Friday.

Mr. Cameron said that the members of the Commonwealth attending the summit would “talk about issues like climate change, how we can make tackle poverty.”

Asked about the Arab Spring, Mr. Cameron said that while it should be welcomed, it should also be recognised that there would be setbacks.

He described the alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians in Syria earlier this year as “dreadful” and “horrific,” adding that Syria was destroying its chemical weapons stockpile after certain countries took strong action.

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