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Obama renews old offer of backing India UNSC bid
January 27, 2015, 9:30 am

US President Barack Obama concluded a 3-day India visit on Tuesday [Image: PMO India]

US President Barack Obama concluded a 3-day India visit on Tuesday [Image: PMO India]

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday repeated an offer of American backing for Indian membership of the United Nations security council in a warmly received speech in Delhi.

“I believe if we are going to be true global partners, our two nations must do more around the world together. So, to ensure national security and peace, multilateral institutions created in the 20th century have to updated for the 21st. That’s why I support a reformed United Nation Security Council that includes India as a permanent member,” Obama said, while addressing a gathering at the Siri Fort auditorium in the Indian capital.

Obama, however, did not specify whether Washington would actively push for a UN security council seat for India. He had made a similar offer in 2010.

India, Brazil, Germany and Japan have since the 1990s argued that as growing economies with large populations and influence on the global stage they, too, should have permanent member status.

BRICS founding members, Brazil and India, both see themselves as economic stalwarts, nuclear-ready (India’s programme has already been weaponised), and major contributors to the UN both financially, and in men and material for peacekeeping operations.

It is also broadly acknowledged, however, that any enlargement of the UNSC would be immensely complex, subject to the vetoes of the five permanent members that include France, Russia, China, the US and UK and could take many decades.

In her opening address at the United Nations General Assembly last year, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff slammed the delay in implementing reforms at the UNSC, the body tasked with keeping international peace.

“The Security Council has been having difficulties in promoting peaceful solutions to those conflicts.  A genuine reform of the Security Council is necessary to overcome the current paralysis.  This process has been dragging on for too long,” she said.

President Obama concluded a three-day visit to India on Tuesday during which the two sides claimed to advance agreement on a nuclear deal signed in 2008.

Obama also announced on Monday that the US Export-Import Bank would finance $1 billion in exports of ‘Made-in-America’ products to India. The US Overseas Private Investment Corporation will also aim to lend $1 billion to small- and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas of India.

An additional $2 billion will be committed by the US Trade and Development Agency for renewable energy, Obama said.

During the trip, he became the first US president to attend the Republic Day celebrations and the first president to visit India twice while still in office.



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