It’s different this time, India says about Biden promise of UN reforms | India News – Times of India

WASHINGTON: India believes US President’s promise of reforming the UN Security Council is different from past Washington pledges, external affairs minister S.Jaishankar said on Wednesday, while acknowledging that the path to New Delhi’s elevation in the body is still not easy and no one country can make it happen.
“My understanding is that the position that President (Joe) Biden put forward, is the most explicit and specific articulation of the US support for reform of the UN, including the Security Council,”Jaishankar said in a wrap-up of his ten-day visit to the UN and Washington DC, adding, “I don’t think it’s a reiteration of something, I don’t think…it’s business as usual.”
“Now, how this advances, where it goes, I think, depends on all of us: the members of the UN, and where we take it. We have, we have never thought that it was an easy process. But we do believe that the need for reform cannot be denied forever,” he told journalists at a briefing.
The basis for India’s belief that the US is more serious this time in its assertion — going back to President Obama’s explicit pledge before the Indian parliament — is not clear, unless he received some back channel assurances. In his UN address last week, Biden said he believes “the time has come for the UN to become more inclusive so that it can better respond to the needs of today’s world,” arguing (without specifically naming India as Obama did), for permanent seats “for those nations we’ve long supported and permanent seats for countries in Africa [and] Latin America and the Caribbean.”
Jaishankar however, acknowledged that it is not the responsibility of a single country, however powerful, to make it happen. It would require a collective effort from UN members, he said, adding, in an oblique reference to China and Pakistan, “you also know where the reluctance comes from.”
In his UN address on Saturday, the external affairs minister said negotiations for the much-needed UN Security Council reforms should not be blocked by procedural tactics and naysayers cannot hold the process “hostage in perpetuity,” while asserting that “multipolarity, rebalancing, fair globalisation and reformed multilateralism cannot be kept in abeyance.”
The UN Security Council has five permanent members—China, France, Russia, the UK and the US. India is currently a non-permanent member of the 15-nation UN Security Council, and it will complete its two-year tenure — given on a rotating basis — in December this year after preside over the Council.
While many US and global analysts have said the UNSC as it stands makes more sense without including the world’s second largest country and fifth largest economy, the pathway to reconstituting it is seen as intractable.
“Why then has it never been achieved? Because no formula for expansion has been acceptable. Italy would fight adding Germany; Pakistan would fight adding India; Argentina would fight adding Brazil; Nigeria would struggle with South Africa; China would reject adding Japan; and those five countries are the most logical new additions given their size and global influence. Does the president really want some Caribbean country to be added as a permanent Council member, as his remarks suggest? Why?” one prominent US analyst wrote this week, dismissing Biden’s pledge as a bad idea.

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