India has won the unanimous support of all countries in the 55-member Asia-Pacific Group at the United Nations in support of its bid for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year term in 2021-22.
The development is particularly significant given that Pakistan and China, both countries with which India has had diplomatic challenges at the UN, supported the move.
“Humbled by the show of solidarity by the Asia-Pacific Group in endorsing India’s candidature,” India’s Ambassador & Permanent Representative to the UN Syed Akbaruddin told The Hindu . “We accept the responsibility with humility and will now seek support from the broader UN membership at the elections in General Assembly next year.”
The 55-member Asia-Pacific Group gets to nominate one of its members for the June 2020 elections to a non-permanent seat on the UNSC. Estonia, Niger, Tunisia, Vietnam and St. Vincent and the Grenadines were elected earlier this month.
No challenges to India’s candidacy are expected with regard to acquiring the support of other UN members. India will need the vote of two-thirds of the 193 UN General Assembly members to win a non-permanent seat on the UNSC.
India has already held a non-permanent seat on the UNSC for seven terms: 1950-1951, 1967-1968, 1972-1973, 1977-1978, 1984-1985, 1991-1992 and 2011-2012. It announced its candidacy for the 2021-22 seat at the end of 2013, with Afghanistan, a potential contender, withdrawing its nomination to accommodate India’s candidacy based on the “long-standing, close and friendly relations” between the two countries, as per what Afghanistan’s UN mission had said at the time.
India has been keen to hold the seat in 2021-22 to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Independence in 2022.
It will be hosting the G-20 meeting in New Delhi in that year.
“Quiet diplomacy always works even in places where megaphones are easily available,” Mr. Akbaruddin said of the support India had received from all countries in the Asia Pacific group, including Pakistan and China.