• Friday, December 01, 2023


James Cleverly urges to give permanent security council seat for India in UN

India has been at the forefront of the years-long efforts to reform the UN security council

James Cleverly (Photo by ANDERS WIKLUND/TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

FOREIGN SECRETARY James Cleverly has said that India and Japan should be given permanent seats on the UN security council.

Cleverly also called for a doubling of the number of countries able to wield a veto on UN resolutions.

The UK announced its backing for an expanded council, including a permanent spot for Africa, to reflect the current and future state of the world.

“We want to see permanent African representation and membership extended to India, Brazil, Germany and Japan,” said Cleverly in a speech to Chatham House foreign affairs think-tank in London.

“I know this is a bold reform. But it will usher the security council into the 2020s.”

There are five permanent members of the UN security council – the UK, US, China, Russia and France – and ten elected members who occupy their seats for two-year terms.

Since the end of the Second World War, the composition of the security council’s five permanent members has remained unchanged for nearly 80 years. The original six non-permanent members were later increased to ten in 1965.

India has been at the forefront of the years-long efforts to reform the UN security council, saying it rightly deserved a place as a permanent member of the UN.

Cleverly also called for an expansion of the G20 to include permanent membership for the African Union. During his speech, he argued for a reinvigorated multilateral system that is more reflective of the times.

According to him, the world’s economic centre of gravity is shifting away from the Euro-Atlantic and towards the Indo-Pacific but the multilateral institutions are yet to catch up.

The minister also urged to reform international financial institutions as it matters for climate finance and poverty reduction.

Cleverly also hailed India’s leadership role with its presidency of the G20 in pitching for representation of poorer nations on the world stage.

“It seems obvious to me that the voice of the poorest and most vulnerable countries must be heard at the heart of the multilateral system. That’s why we support permanent membership of the G20 for the African Union and welcome India’s leadership on taking this forward,” he said.

Among the other priorities for the UK, Cleverly highlighted making finance easier and quicker to access and maximise the impact of that investment.

He also stressed that the World Trade Organisation (WTO) desperately needs new rules that reflect today’s digital economy to make trade policy “free, fair, open and not manipulated or distorted”.

Cleverly pointed out that artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing have the potential to transform humankind’s problem-solving capabilities.

(with inputs from agencies)

Eastern Eye

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