New York: India today assumes its seat as an elected member of the United Nations Security Council after a long gap of 19 years. Even though it takes a seat at the high table of global politics as a non-permanent member it hopes to usher in reforms that will ensure its place as a permanent member of the body.
Starting 1 January, India along with Germany, Portugal, South Africa and Columbia become the five non-permanent members of this 15-member body alongside the five existing non-permanent members Bosnia, Brazil, Gabon, Lebanon and Nigeria. The remaining five United Sates of America, Russia, France, China and the United Kingdom are permanent members (P5).
Observers say India's approach to key global issues would now be keenly watched as it comes under pressure not to kow-tow to P5 dictats and maintain an independent line in the conduct of its policies. In particular its performance will be watched to see the extent to which it synchronises its actions with that of the United States of America with which it has been involved in a number of strategic moves.
The US would be particularly anxious that New Delhi align itself with and support Washington's move on pressing international issues like those concerning Iran.
India's permanent representative to the UN, Hardeep Singh Puri, has said that New Delhi was ready to serve in this powerful international body and bring to it a fresh outlook on several international issues, especially human rights.
"Over the last year we have been repositioning ourselves on issues...I can anticipate that we will be much more upfront and even demanding on human rights issues," Puri said.