India's UNSC permanent seat bid a 'matter of discussion,' says Linda Thomas-Greenfield, likely next US envoy to world body

Three previous administrations have publicly stated that the US supports India's bid to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council

Press Trust of India January 28, 2021 09:30:55 IST
India's UNSC permanent seat bid a 'matter of discussion,' says Linda Thomas-Greenfield, likely next US envoy to world body

United States Ambassador to the United Nations nominee Linda Thomas-Greenfield testifies during for her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Washington. (Greg Nash/Pool via AP)

Washington: US President Joe Biden's pick for the ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, on Wednesday did not explicitly commit the support of the new administration for India to be a permanent member of the Security Council.

Three previous administrations, that of George W Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, had publicly said that the United States supports India's bid to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

However, Thomas-Greenfield, who has spent more than 35 years in foreign service before being nominated to the position, during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee told lawmakers that this is a matter of ongoing discussion.

"Do you think India, Germany, Japan, should be (permanent) members (of the UN Security Council)?" Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon asked during her confirmation hearing for the position of the US Ambassador to the UN.

Biden has named it as a Cabinet-ranking position.

"I think there has been some discussions about them being members of the Security Council and there are some strong arguments for that," she said.

"But I also know that there are others who disagree within their regions that they should be the representative of their region. That, too, is an ongoing discussion," she said in an apparent reference to the Coffee Club or United for Consensus.

Comprising countries like Italy, Pakistan, Mexico and Egypt, the Coffee Club has opposed the permanent membership bid of India, Japan, Germany and Brazil.

Biden in his campaign policy document last year had reiterated its promise of supporting India as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Recognising India's growing role on the world stage, the Obama-Biden Administration formally declared US support for India's membership in a reformed and expanded United Nations Security Council, Biden Campaign's policy document on Indian-Americans had said last August.

Thomas-Greenfield, in response to another question, favoured reforms in the UN Security Council. India is currently its non-permanent member for a two-year term that began in January this year.

"I think there is general agreement across the board that reforms are needed in the Security Council. What those reforms will be and how they will be implemented, I think remains to be decided but you know changing the number of members that happened we move from 11 to 15 some years ago and there are efforts to push for more permanent members, and those discussions are ongoing," she said.

She was responding to a question from Senator Merkley.

I wanted to start by asking about the Security Council itself. At the same time that China and Russian often stymie actions in the Security Council. The Security Council is decreasingly representative of the geopolitical landscape with key powers like India, Germany, Japan not included as permanent members, he said.

How do you approach the question of the Security Council? How do you consider that perhaps it needs to be reformed? How do you believe it can be made more effective and functional, Merkley asked.

Updated Date:

Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro at ₹499 for the first year. Use code PRO499. Limited period offer. *T&C apply

also read

Roll back Donald Trump's 'dangerous practice' of showing Taiwan support, China tells Joe Biden administration
World

Roll back Donald Trump's 'dangerous practice' of showing Taiwan support, China tells Joe Biden administration

The United States has no official relations with Taiwan but extensive informal ties. Trump irked Beijing by sending Cabinet officials to visit Taiwan in a show of support

'Do you miss me yet?': Donald Trump returns to address Conservatives, pledges unity in GOP
World

'Do you miss me yet?': Donald Trump returns to address Conservatives, pledges unity in GOP

A handful of Republican lawmakers have urged the party to move on from Trump, most prominently Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming

Biden administration vows to ensure US, not ‘authoritarian China’, will set international agenda
World

Biden administration vows to ensure US, not ‘authoritarian China’, will set international agenda

US and China are engaged in a bitter confrontation over various issues, including trade, the origins of COVID-19 and Beijing’s aggression in the South China Sea