UNITED NATIONS — In a highly significant diplomatic win for India and testament to its global stature, India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat at the powerful UN Security Council for a two-year term has been unanimously endorsed by the Asia-Pacific group at the world body.
Elections for five non-permanent members of the 15-nation Council for the 2021-22 term will be held around June next year.
“A unanimous step. Asia-Pacific Group @UN unanimously endorses India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat of the Security Council for 2 year term in 2021/22. Thanks to all 55 members for their support,” India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin tweeted Tuesday.
A video message accompanying Akbaruddi’s tweet said “Asia-Pacific Group endorses India for Non-Permanent Seat of United Nations Security Council. 55 countries, 1 nominee - India for non-permanent seat of UN Security Council Term 2021-2022.”
The video message thanked all the countries in the Asia Pacific group for endorsing India’s candidature. Among the 55 countries supporting India’s candidature are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, UAE and Vietnam.
Each year the 193-member General Assembly elects five non-permanent members for a two-year term at the UN high-table. The five permanent members of the Council are China, France, Russia, UK and the US.
The 10 non-permanent seats are distributed on a regional basis : five for African and Asian States; one for Eastern European States; two for the Latin American and Caribbean States; and two for Western European and other States.
Previously, India has been elected as a non-permanent member of the Council for the years 1950 1951, 1967 1968, 1972 1973, 1977 1978, 1984 1985, 1991 1992 and most recently in 2011 2012 under the leadership of former Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri.
Early this month, Estonia, Niger, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tunisia and Vietnam were elected to the Council for a two-year term beginning January 2020. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the smallest nation ever to secure a seat.
Currently the 10 non-permanent members are Belgium, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Germany, Indonesia, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and South Africa.
India has been at the forefront of the years-long efforts to reform the Security Council saying it rightly deserves a place as a permanent member of the Council, which in its current form does not represent the geo-political realities of the 21st Century.
India’s former Permanent Representative to the UN Asoke Kumar Mukerji had previously told PTI that the country will contest the elections for a non-permanent member seat of the Security Council for the 2021-2022 term.