Four down, one to go

Russia is the latest Security Council permanent member to express support for a permanent seat for India, according to the Wall Street Journal.

[Russian President Dmitry] Medvedev on Tuesday offered an endorsement of India’s U.N. ambitions. “Russia considers India a strong and deserving candidate to have a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council,” he said in a joint news conference with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.


Adding India to the roster of permanent member is by no means certain nor imminent, but Russia’s endorsement is a significant push in that direction. It leaves China as the sole hold-out among the P5, not a very comfortable position for the government to be in. Resistance by China to support India’s bid was further suggested in a communique jointly issued last week following talks between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on mutual regional and international interests.

“China welcomed India’s election to non-permanent membership of UN Security Council during 2011-2012 and both countries agreed to deepen consultation within the Council.” {emphasis added}

What concession China may seek to “encourage” its support is now the question to be carefully considered.

Adding India to the P5 will require an amendment to Article 23 of the UN Charter, requiring a vote in favor of 2/3 of the General Assembly and ratification per their respective constitutional processes of 2/3 of UN Member States.

Update, 11 April 2011China now seems willing to support India being considered for permanent membership. Though couched in vague, diplomat-ese, China endorsed a declaration following the BRICS summit that included a call for “comprehensive reform of the UN, including the Security Council, to make it ‘more effective, efficient and representative so that it can deal with today’s global challenges more successfully.'”

Asked about the mention in the declaration, secretary (Economic Relations) in the external affairs ministry Manbir Singh told reporters that it was an “endorsement” to India’s quest for playing a larger role in the UNSC as the leaders talked about expansion and reform. “You can draw your own conclusion.”

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Tony Fleming

Tony is a communications and advocacy professional with over 20 years of experience in multilateral reform advocacy and online communications.

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