India joins UNSC as non-permanent member

Updated - November 17, 2021 05:33 am IST

Published - January 03, 2011 01:35 am IST - New York:

India has joined the United Nations Security Council as its non-permanent member for a two-year term after a gap of 19 years, hoping that the seat at the high table will not only cement its place as a key global player, but also pave the way for becoming a permanent member of the powerful wing of the world body.

On January 1, India, along with Germany, Portugal, South Africa and Columbia, became one of the five non-permanent members of this 15-member body.

India's approach to key global issues would be keenly watched not only by members of the United Nations — especially the third world countries — but also from the P5, in particular the U.S. which would like New Delhi to align itself with and support Washington's move on burning issues such as Iran.

Fresh outlook

As India celebrates the support of U.S. President Barack Obama for its quest to become a permanent member in the Council, India's Ambassador to the U.N. Hardeep Singh Puri said New Delhi was ready to serve in the powerful structure with a fresh outlook on several international issues, especially human rights.

“Over the last year we have been repositioning ourselves on issues ... I can anticipate that we will be much more upfront and even demanding on human rights issues,” Mr. Puri said.

“That reflects the changing priorities in India,” he told PTI earlier.

“I don't see us having any problem in terms of where our interest lies and where the interest of the permanent members lie including the West ... in fact, I think we are on the same page with them on most of these issues,” he said.

The top diplomat further stressed that while India is part of G-77 and the non-aligned world, this affiliation would not prevent it from taking actions and positions that contributed to the “larger public good.”

“If this means going against positions that some groups take then we will have no hesitation,” he said.

Mr. Puri, however, dismissed reports that India's changing position had anything to do with appeasing the U.S. and other Western countries in order to secure a permanent seat on the Security Council.

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