External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursda:
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday expressed optimism on India’s prospects of becoming permanent member of the UN Security Council. Sushma said that the country expected that the new members would have the same rights, including the veto power, as the existing permanent members.
During the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Swaraj said India has all the credentials to become a permanent member of the Security Council and four permanent members, US, UK, France and Russia have extended support.
The fifth member, China, has also “not publicly opposed it”, the External Affairs minister said.
“I am confident that if not this time, then next time, India would become a permanent member of the Security Council,” she said.
To a question whether India would also get the ‘veto’ power, Swaraj said the country wants the same responsibilities, prerogatives as well as obligations as the current permanent members.
“We don’t want any discrimination between old and new members. We don’t want two classes - that there is a first class and a second class of permanent members. This should make it clear that India wants the same responsibilities, prerogatives and obligations as the current permanent members,” she said.
She said India has been making diplomatic efforts to ensure not only expansion but also reform in the Security Council. She said India wanted expansion of its permanent as well as non-permanent membership of the council.
In her reply tabled in the House, Swaraj said on the issue of extending veto powers to new permanent members in their submission during the inter-governmental negotiation process of the 69th General Assembly, USA and UK opposed extension of veto to new members.
France supported the extension while Russia and China did not make any submission on the issue, she said.
She said discussions were currently on in the UN General Assembly through inter-governmental negotiation and India and other pro-reform groupings have been calling commencement of text based negotiations.