Obama backs India for seat on UN Security Council

During his address to India’s parliament on Nov. 8, United States President Barack Obama formally endorsed India’s petition for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. The endorsement, which came at the end of President Obama’s three day visit to India, is the latest effort by the U.S. to strengthen its political ties in Southeast Asia.

“Indeed the just and sustainable international order that America seeks includes a United Nations that is efficient, effective, credible and legitimate,” Obama said during his address. “And that is why I can say today, in the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed United Nations Security Council that includes India as a permanent member.”

Experts say that though the endorsement will be relatively worthless in the near future, as India’s petition to gain permanent membership on the council will likely take years to be approved, it does add more legitimacy to India’s efforts.

With the United States’ endorsement, four of the Council’s five permanent members now back India’s petition. Great Britain, France and Russia have already given India their support. China is the only country on the Council that has yet to back the petition.

The United States’ endorsement has caused some controversy with Pakistan, who has been a rival of India since both nations gained independence from Great Britain in 1947.

“Pakistan hopes that the U.S. will take a moral view and not base itself on any temporary expediency or exigencies of power politics,” said Abdul Basit, Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman. Pakistan has been a longtime U.S. ally in the War on Terror.

Presently, the Security Council has five permanent members: the United States, Great Britain, France, Russia and China, as well as ten non-permanent members who are elected every two years. Critics of the UN and the Security Council claim that the Council in its current form does not give enough power to either developing or non-Western 


Sources: BBC, LA Times, NY Times

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