With the unequivocal backing of the United States for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, India’s two-year temporary term, due to end in December 2012, will continue well after that, the Hindustan Times reports.
“We have no intention of leaving the Security Council. We are working to dovetail one into the other,” a senior Indian diplomat told the paper, referring to Delhi's present temporary and future permanent seats.
India’s case will be bolstered by additional endorsements in the weeks ahead from both French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, the paper said.
Meanwhile, interestingly, US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns wouldn't say if the US backed veto power for India, the Wall Street Journal reported.The five permanent members of the UNSC - US, UK, France, Russia and China - all have a veto on any resolution. The ten temporary members, who are elected for two-year terms, can block a resolution only if nine or more vote against it.The only permanent member of the UNSC yet to endorse India is China. The Hindustan Times opinioned that even if that does not occur, all indications are that China would not veto a decision of the UN General Assembly to add countries to permanent positions, including India.
India has just begun a two-year term, the south Asian giant's second since 1981. Other UNSC aspirants such as South Africa, Germany and Japan have held temporary seats more frequently.
Britain has long been supportive of India taking a permanent seat, as former Premiers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have made clear.
China has in the past also indicated its acceptance of India joining the UNSC. However, Beijing was this week non-commital on the US endorsement, instead calling for "patient consultations" on UNSC reform.
The Wall Street Journal also quoted US Under-Secretary of State Burns as saying that Washington has not laid out any actual plan for a reformed Security Council and that it would take “significant” time to work it out.
However, according to Indian diplomats President Barack Obama’s announcement this week would not only “silence the skeptics” of UNSC reform, it has had an “electrifying effect” with regard to hastening the long moribund process.
President Obama Monday endorsed Delhi’s bid for a permanent seat on the last day of what has become a historic visit to India.
"Indeed the just and sustainable international order that America seeks includes a United Nations that is efficient, effective, credible and legitimate,” Mr. Obama said Monday.
"And that is why I can say today, in the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed United Nations Security Council that includes India as a permanent member."
Earlier in his visit, Mr. Obama paid tribute to India as a world power, saying both countries would work together to promote stability and prosperity, the BBC reported.
"As the world's two largest democracies, as large and growing free market economies, as diverse, multi-ethnic societies with strong traditions of pluralism and tolerance, we have not only an opportunity, but also a responsibility to lead."
Washington and Delhi's relationship will be one of the century's defining partnerships, President Barack Obama and Indian PM Manmohan Singh said earlier this week.