Biden Administration Doesn't Favour Granting Veto Power to India in Expanded UN Security Council
10:04 GMT 06.08.2021 (Updated: 13:21 GMT 06.08.2022)
Since being elected to power in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has been making a push to garner global support for India’s inclusion as a permanent member at the UN Security Council. In fact, Modi’s election manifesto projects a “resurgent India” taking its “rightful place in the world”.
While backing the inclusion of India in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a permanent member, the United States on Thursday expressed reservations about granting the veto power to any other nation except the existing five permanent members.
"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", US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a briefing on Thursday.
The State Department official was responding to a question about whether the Joe Biden administration backed the potential inclusion of India as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
The previous three American administrations, headed by ex-Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump, also expressed support for New Delhi’s demand for a permanent seat at the 15-member UNSC, which comprises five permanent members (Russia, the US, China, France and the United Kingdom) and 10 non-permanent ones. The temporary members at the UNSC change every two years.
“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”, Price stated.
A permanent UN seat has been a longstanding demand of India.
While four of the permanent UNSC members—Russia, the US, France and the UK—have backed India’s demand in one form or another, China has called for a “package solution” in response to Delhi’s repeated calls.
“China supports UNSC reforms in a manner that increases the authority and efficacy of the UNSC, increases the representation and voice of developing countries so that small and medium-sized countries have a greater opportunity to participate in the decision making of the UNSC”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said in February after Delhi and Beijing held consultations on UN-related matters.
“It should be done through the widest possible democratic consultation and seek a package solution that takes into account the interests and concerns of all parties”, Wang remarked.
India this week assumed charge as the president of the UN grouping, tasked with maintaining international peace and security.
On 1 January this year, New Delhi also began its two-year stint as a non-permanent member, the first time during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s prime ministership and the eighth time since the UN was established.
“We will make the best of our two-year term in the Security Council. We will leave our mark in the Council and our point is to say that India really, by its contribution, establishes the right to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council", Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla remarked in an address last month.