India assumes United Nations SC presidency

United Nations

India, which assumed the rotating Presidency of the UNSC today, hopes to reach out to other nations in garnering support for expansion of the world body's top decision-making arm besides seeking a comprehensive anti-piracy strategy to tackle the maritime menace.

India will have a "very full agenda" as President of the powerful 15-nation UN Security Council this month, with every troubled spot in world, including Yemen, Libya, Syria, Sudan, the Palestinian question and terrorism expected to be discussed at the UNSC in November, India's Permanent Representative Hardeep Singh Puri told PTI.

India had last held the Council presidency in August 2011.

Its two-year term as a non-permanent member of the Security Council would end this year.

Puri said India has been steadfastly undertaking outreach efforts with the African countries, mainly the L-69 group and C-10, for the last several months on the issue of expansion in the permanent and non-permanent membership of the UNSC.

Puri stressed that permanent membership for India at the UN high table "will not come from goodwill of the five permanent members, which is important, but it will come from traction in the General Assembly.

"We have to complete our groundwork to prepare our\ outreach, after that it requires political courage and will to put it to vote. It will be time to test the waters in an open vote."

Puri said the outreach efforts are "almost nearingcompletion to our full satisfaction," which would lay thebasis for securing the required 128 votes in the General Assembly.

"Once we get that done, hopefully very very soon, rest will be political decisions."

Expectations were high when India joined the Council last year in achieving considerable forward movement in expansion of the Council's membership.

A short resolution that seeks expansion in both the permanent and non-permanent categories and improvement in the Council's working methods has received support from more than 84 signatories.

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