New Delhi: The United Nations assumes centre stage for India in the coming week as voting takes place for the non-permanent seat to the Security Council for the period 2011-12 and broader reforms, which will include increasing the strength of permanent members to that pre-eminent international body, are taken up for consideration in New York, USA.
Indian external affairs minister, SM Krishna, leaves for New York on Saturday on a 10-day visit that will see him attend the meeting of the 65th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and also connect with foreign ministers of the three other members of the G4 group of nations, Brazil, Japan and Germany, to take stock of their campaign to attain permanent seats at the UN Security Council.
India is the fourth member of this informal grouping.
As for the non-permanent seat in the Council, for the period 2011-12, India is hopeful of securing a resounding majority of votes in the UN General Assembly. If it does so it would assume a place at the hallowed round table after a gap of 19 years. The tenure of this membership begins on 1 January 2011.
As part of his campaign to get India elected not only to the non-permanent seat but also secure its place a ass a permanent member along with other G4 members Krishna expects to meet fellow dignitaries and address multi-nation groupings, including a G-77 foreign ministers meet on 24 Sept, the SAARC foreign ministers' gathering on 29 Sept and the meetings of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) and the new RIC (Russia, India and China) formation.
In a interesting twist some countries in the United for Consensus, informally called Coffee Club, who so far have determinedly opposed the G4 bid for seats in the UNSC, have now dropped their opposition to India. The Coffee Club weren't opposed to India's membership per se, but were more opposed to their regional rivals and only incidentally ended up opposing other members in the G4 grouping.
While Pakistan opposed India, Mexico opposed Brazil's candidature and Italy was against set against Germany's ambitions.
With many in the Coffee Club backing India's bid for a non-permanent seat in the UNSC the Indian contingent is hopeful; that they will also drop opposition to its bid for a permanent seat.