India will make a strong pitch for comprehensive reform of the United Nations Security Council to create an equitable system that is reflective of current realities when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addresses the UN General Assembly on Saturday.
Dr. Singh, who arrived here on Thursday, will participate in the high level segment of the 66th session of the world body when he will also focus on issues like the need for a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism to tackle the scourge that India has been suffering for decades.
As Prime Minister of a key emerging economy that is playing a constructive role in contributing to global economic recovery, Dr. Singh is expected to reaffirm India’s commitment at the UN to continue working with other countries on furthering global economic and financial stability as well as to foster, strong sustainable and balanced economic growth.
On UN Security Council reforms, India feels that unless comprehensive reform is undertaken, the process would only be piecemeal and incomplete.
India would, along with members of the G4 (Brazil, Japan and Germany), continue to work pro-actively to maintain the momentum for Security Council reforms.
Briefing reporters on the Prime Minister’s participation at the UNGA proceedings, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri expressed optimism on the world body coming out with a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) but would not fix a timeline for that.
He said that an agreed text of the CCIT was before a committee of the U.N.
“My expectation is that the text will see action in the near future. I am cautiously optimistic but I am not going to be giving timelines,” he said, adding India has been pushing for such a document as it was a victim of the scourge for several decades now unlike the US which experienced it only on 9/11.
Mr. Puri said a Counter-terrorism committee chaired by India will meet on September 28th, when they will come up with a outcome document that will review the CTC’s work of the last 10 years marking the completion of a decade of the 9/11 attacks as well as work out a vision statement for the next decade.
Against the backdrop of the recent terror attack in Delhi, India will push for an early adoption of the CCIT that will provide a global normative framework against terrorism.
On Friday, he will have bilateral meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse.
Replying to a question on China’s support for India’s quest for membership of the UN Security Council, Mr. Puri said it is only a matter of time before China voices its support for India.
Asked about absence of any meeting with United States President Barack Obama, Mr. Puri said the fact was that Mr. Obama left a day before the Prime Minister arrived here and it was a matter of scheduling.
“It doesn’t cause me any anxiety. They are going to be present at the G-20 Summit in a short while,” he said.
The two leaders will have an occasion to meet on the sidelines of the upcoming G-20 Summit in France in November.