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China supports greater role for India in UN
Ashok Tuteja writes from Sanya in China

In what reflected a “positive change” in Beijing’s stand on India’s inclusion in the UN Security Council as a permanent member, China today joined other BRICS nations in calling for a comprehensive reform of the world body, including the Security Council.

In the “Sanya declaration” adopted by the BRICS leaders, China and Russia, two of the five permanent members of the Security Council, said they attached importance to the status of India, Brazil and South Africa in international affairs and understood and supported their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN. Currently India, Brazil and South Africa are also members of the Security Council.

Indian officials said they were satisfied with the BRICS formulation on UN reforms. “It’s quite satisfactory…it’s an endorsement…they (China) have spoken about UNSC reforms,” Manbir Singh, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry said.

He recalled that the BRICS nations, at their last summit in Brazil in 2010, had only called for UN reforms in the declaration adopted by them, without making any reference to the expansion of the Security Council. New Delhi’s view is that China was gradually realising the increasing support for India in its quest to become a permanent member of the Security Council and, therefore, modifying its own stand vis-à-vis New Delhi’s claim.

While dealing with other political and diplomatic issues, the BRICS nations came out against the Western air campaign in Libya, condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and underlined the importance of international cooperation for the development of safe nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

They also expressed their support for the African Union high-level panel initiative on Libya while pledging to continue their cooperation on the situation in the North African nation in the UN Security Council.

South Africa was the only BRICS nations to approve a UNSC resolution establishing a no-fly zone over Libya and authorising all necessary measures to protect civilians, paving the way for the coalition air strikes in the North African nation. The other four BRICS nations had abstained from voting, seeking a political settlement of the crisis without the use of force.

New Delhi’s concern over the unrest in Libya also found mention in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s press statement on the conclusion of the BRICS summit. “The developments in West Asia and North Africa and the aftermath of the huge tragedy that befell Japan have introduced fresh uncertainties in the global economic recovery process. At the same time, the world continues to grapple with threats to security from terrorism and piracy,” he said.

Regarding international terrorism, the BRICS countries fell in line with India’s articulation that there was no justification, whatsoever, for any acts of terrorism.

Recognising the central role of the UN in coordinating the international action against terrorism within the framework of the UN charter and in accordance with principles and norms of the UN General Assembly, the BRICS leaders called for an early conclusion of negotiations in the world body of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, proposed by India, and its adoption by member states. They also promised to pay special attention to combat cyber crime.





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