'India should not expect UNSC permanent membership soon'

New York, Nov 9 (ANI): US President Barack Obama might have endorsed India for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), but as Japan has experienced, the booming South Asian democracy should not expect to see its name engraved on a Security Council seat very soon because the road to permanent membership is full of obstacles, experts say.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, Japan has had its hopes set on a permanent Security Council seat since at least the early 1990s. President Clinton endorsed the idea of Japan and Germany joining the Council's five permanent and veto-endowed members: the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France. A decade later, in 2005, the Bush administration made supporting Japan's accession to a permanent Council seat US policy.

But Japan's hopes have been crushed time and again, as a global security body that largely retains a configuration dating from its post-World War II reation finds reform bids thwart by regional suspicions, geopolitical calculations, and plain old power-mongering, the paper said.

Virtually everyone seems to agree publicly that the Security Council needs to change to reflect a 21st century of diffused power and new global players. It last saw reform in 1965, when the number of no permanent, non-veto-wielding seats was expanded to reflect the UN's expanding membership in the postcolonial era, it added.

According to Michael Doyle, a former UN official now specializing in international relations at Columbia University in New York, getting consensus to actual reform would not be that easy both for practical and political reasons.

First, there are the "extensive and demanding processes of reforming the UN club," Doyle says, noting that it takes not only avoiding any veto by one of the Council's permanent members, but a two-thirds vote by the full Council and approval of the General Assembly.

"That alone is a considerable bar to clear," he said.

Talking about political hurdles, he stated that many countries, in particular some of the original permanent members, do not want to dilute their power in this way, and whenever any name is proposed for a new member or new countries for the Council, others immediately object to it.

"If it's India, for example, then what does Pakistan think? If it's Japan, right away China is there questioning the idea, not to mention South Korea. And Mexico and Argentina have their own questions if anyone proposes a permanent seat for Brazil," he added.

After Obama's speech, the State Department's top career diplomat, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, had also said in New Delhi that the road to Council reform would not be easy, and added: "This is bound to be a very difficult process and it's bound to take a significant amount of time." (ANI)

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