Biden administration non-committal on support for permanent UNSC seat for India

U.S. says it does not support expansion of veto

August 06, 2021 09:41 am | Updated 09:44 am IST

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price in Washington. File photo

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price in Washington. File photo

While the U.S. has in the past backed India’s bid for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the Biden administration has continued to remain non-committal on the issue.

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“Well, we value working with India at the United Nations, including in the context this month of the Security Council. We believe that a reformed Security Council that is representative, that is effective, and that is relevant is in the best interest of the United States and all of the UN member states. And we look forward to the opportunity to working very closely with India in the context of the Security Council in the coming weeks,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in response to a question on the U.S. position.

The Obama and Trump administrations had supported a permanent seat for India on the Security Council.

Mr. Price said the U.S. offered qualified support for building a consensus for enlargement of the UNSC – in terms of permanent and non-permanent members. However, the U.S. would not support an expansion of the veto – given to the P-5, the current five permanent members: China, France, Russia, the U.K and the U.S.

“Well, we support building a consensus for modest enlargement of the Security Council for both permanent and non-permanent members, provided it does not diminish its effectiveness or its efficacy and does not alter or expand the veto,” he said.

At her Senate confirmation in January, the U.S.’s U.N Ambassador, Linda Thomas Greenfield, had also refrained from saying the U.S. supported India and other members of the G4 (Japan, Germany and Brazil) for a permanent UNSC seat, citing regional disagreements on who should get the seat.

Ms. Thomas-Greenfield was possibly alluding to the Uniting for Consensus (UFC) group – Pakistan, South Korea, Italy and Argentina – which opposes the G4 plan. China also opposes the bids of India and Japan.

India is currently (in 2021 and 2022) a non-permanent member of the UNSC and is president for the month of August.

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