India, Germany will step up pressure for UNSC seat

New Delhi/Berlin, April 14 (IANS) India and Germany will jointly intensify efforts to gain permanent membership in an expanded United Nations Security Council as also for broader reform of the world organisation, top ministers of the two sides say.

“Security Council reform was naturally one of our focus areas of discussions. We have decided to continue to collaborate with Germany and intensify the pressures,” Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told this IANS correspondent in the course of a brief chat in Berlin.

He was referring to the inter-governmental consultations between India and Germany that took place here Thursday co-chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Khurshid said India and Germany will also continue to press for the UN Security Council reforms through the G4, a grouping comprising Brazil and Japan, besides India and Germany. He did not specify what the specific steps will be.

The US, China, Russia, Britain and France are the five permanent members of the Security Council and each one of them enjoys veto power. This means any of them can prevent any resolution regardless of the level of international support it may command.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle also said that the Security Council system must change as it does not reflect today’s global realities. He said heavyweights like India, Germany, Brazil and Japan can’t be kept out of the most powerful decision-making body in the UN system.

“The whole continent of Africa is also not represented. Asia is represented only by China. Naturally, this system does not reflect the reality,” Westerwelle said. “We (Germany and India) will continue to work to strengthen the rule of law at the global level.”

Among the four serious aspirants to the high table, Germany is the third-largest contributor to the UN regular budget after the US and Japan.

India is the third largest contributor of troops to UN peacekeeping missions. It has the world’s second largest population. The global community also loosely recognises it as a responsible nuclear weapons state.

Japan is the second largest contributor to the UN budget and the third largest economy of the world, while Brazil is the largest country in Latin America, in terms of bothpopulation and economy.

(Gyanendra Kumar Keshri can be contacted [email protected])

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