for a Permanent Security Council Seat for India
Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-9), a member of the House Committee on Foreign
Affairs, in an editorial in Washington Times on February 20, has given
support for India's inclusion as a permanent member of the UN Security
Council. Last year, Congressman Bilirakis introduced H. Res. 638 which
expresses the House of Representatives' desire that the UN should amend
Article 23 of the Charter to establish India as a permanent member of
the Security Council.
"The Allies created the U.N.
Security Council at the end of World War II and charged it with
maintaining international peace and security. Five nations were
granted permanent membership at a time when the Soviet Union
occupied half of Europe, China was the most powerful Asian country
and Great Britain and France controlled worldwide empires...
"India is an important ally of the United States and the world
community. Their enormous role in mediating and contributing to global
peacekeeping missions combined with their ever-evolving economic prowess
and democratic institutions, makes them a natural fit as a permanent
member of the Security Council," says Congressman Bilirakis.
"This issue is very significant in the eyes of the Indian-American
community as grassroots efforts in the past have shown us. A
previous USINPAC online petition drive in support of India gaining a
permanent seat on the Security Council resulted in over 50,000
signatures. The importance of and support for this issue, however,
goes well beyond Indian-Americans and is really a fundamental American
foreign policy and global concern of first importance, and we applaud
Congressman Bilirakis' key leadership on this critical issue," says
Mr. Sanjay Puri, Chairman of the U.S.-India Political Action Committee
"The highly respected USINPAC is an effective voice for the
interests of the Indian Diaspora here in the United States," says
Congressman Bilirakis. "They have long pointed out the
benefits of reforming the UN by realigning the Security Council to
reflect today's global landscape, particularly with respect to the
one-billion strong democracy of India."
Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI-11), Chairman of the House
Republican Policy Committee, is a co-sponsor of H. Res. 638.
"The burgeoning strategic partnership between the Great Democracies
of the United States and India will be the transformational Twenty-First
Century alliance of free peoples," says Congressman McCotter.
"This is the compelling reason India must become a voting member of
the UN Security Council; and why the hard work of our Indian-American
community to achieve this critical goal through USINPAC is of immense
importance to the shared destinies of both nations and all the
"The National Security Strategy of the United States of
America" released in September 2002, President Bush said: "The
United States has undertaken a transformation in its bilateral
relationship with India based on a conviction that U.S. interests
require a strong relationship with India. We are the two largest
democracies, committed to political freedom protected by representative
government. India is moving toward greater economic freedom as well. We
have a common interest in the free flow of commerce, including through
the vital sea lanes of the Indian Ocean. Finally, we share an interest
in fighting terrorism and in creating a strategically stable Asia".
This statement was a reflection of the fact that India was the first
country in the world to offer full use of its military bases to destroy
the Taleban and Al Qaeda.
Today, when several permanent members of the UN Security council are
placing political expediency over the long-term credibility of the
United Nations, India remains a friend of the United States. This has
not gone unnoticed by The New York Times columnist Tom Friedman and The
Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthmammer, who have both written
columns extolling the world community to admit India as a permanent
member of the Council.
Friedman wrote, "Why replace France with India (in the Council)?
Because India is the world's biggest democracy, the world's largest
Hindu nation and the world's second-largest Muslim nation, and, quite
frankly, India is just so much more serious than France these
days". (The New York Times February 9, 2003 Vote France
Off the Island)
Krauthammer wrote, "First, as soon as the dust settles in Iraq, we
should push for an expansion of the Security Council - with India and
Japan as new permanent members - to dilute France's disproportionate and
anachronistic influence." (
Washington Post February 28, 2003 The absurdity of the U.N.
While Britain, France, Russia and many other countries fully support
India’s admission to the Council as a permanent member, the U.S. has
not yet endorsed India’s request (President Clinton during his visit
to India as President indicated that the U.S. would seriously considers
supporting India’s claim). There is no question that the support of
the U.S. would be necessary for India’s admission as a permanent
member. Since India has a very strong case for admission as a permanent
member, the lack of support from the U.S. thus far is puzzling at best.
are compelling reasons to consider India’s appointment as a permanent
member of the United Nations Security Council.
the present time, the Council does not fully represent the world
population, such as developing countries, and is anachronistic in
character. This is so despite the fact that more than 150 countries
endorsed, at the UN Millennium Summit, the need for a reformed council
that was more representative. This has in the past and continues to
hinder the Council’s ability to tackle threats to international peace
and security. In 1965, the membership of the Council was expanded from
11 to 15. There was no change in the number of permanent members. Since
then, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of Member States
of the UN and considerable change in composition of the General
Assembly. The Council's representation too must change to reflect the
growth of the UN.
India is well qualified by any objective criteria for permanent
membership of the Council. Some of the reasons the U.S. should
whole-heartedly to support appointment of Indian as a permanent member
India has more than a billion people, representing about one sixth the
population of the whole world, and it is the largest functional and
stable democracy in the world. It is a model for the third and post
India’s gross domestic product is the 5th highest in the world. It is
one of the fastest growing economies in the world as a result of
liberalization of trade policies in the last decade.
India, with its ancient civilization, rich heritage, deep rooted
democratic system and growing economic potential has the credentials to
champion the cause of the developing nations which need proper
representation in the Council.
India had been one of the few countries, which had participated, in all
the military operations the Council had undertaken thus far. Presently,
India is ranked as the second largest troop contributor to the UN. It
shows strong commitment to the UN Charter, international leadership and
contribution to the world peace.
India had been the bulwark of the Non-Alignment Movement during the cold
war years and continues to be a major force in that sphere.
India is and will be a major player of the world in helping the UN’s
efforts to eliminate nuclear arms from the face of earth.
India is strategically situated in the Asian continent.
India is potent military power, and the Indian armed forces are
considered one of the most disciplined in the world. This will become
important to the United Nations and Security Council, as it will be
called upon to play a major in role in resolving future conflicts.
In summary, the Council’s expansion is essential to make it more
representative. The fact that India with a population over a billion,
representing about one sixth of the whole world, not being a permanent
member of the Council, seriously undermines the representative nature of
the Council. Indeed, as the world’s largest democracy, ancient
civilization, a rapidly growing economic power and a major contributor
to peacekeeping operations, India has a natural claim to a permanent
seat in the Council.
Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), founder of the Congressional Caucus on
India and Indian-Americans, introduced legislation on February 27, 2003,
supporting a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for
||Pallone said his
legislation, a "Sense of the Congress," allows the U.S.
House of Representatives to go on record in supporting India's bid
for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.
"I believe it is morally wrong to ignore the voice of over
one billion Indian people in security decision-making that affects
them, and the rest of the world," Pallone said. "India's
location, its large population, its history of participating in
U.N. peacekeeping operations, and its leadership in the
non-alignment movement all justify its bid for a permanent seat on
the U.N. Security Council.
five members of the UN Security Council must realize that having India as
a permanent security council member will give the South Asia region a
stabilizing force, helping peace efforts in Central Asia and all parts of
our increasingly connected world," Pallone continued.
Pallone said that since September 11, India has been dedicated to
eradicating terrorism not only within its own country, but also throughout
the world. India was one of the first nations to say the United States
military could use its strategically placed land during its fight against
The New Jersey congressman believes the United States should follow the
lead of one of its most important allies and endorse a permanent seat for
India in the United Nations Security Council. Last year, British Deputy
Prime Minister John Prescott informed his Indian counterpart, Deputy Prime
Minister L K Advani, that the United Kingdom backed India's candidacy to
the Council. Britain joins France and Russia in supporting India's
permanent inclusion in the Security Council.
"It is time for this Congress and the Bush Administration to
recognize the importance India plays in the region and the world and
support its bid for a permanent seat at the U.N. Security Council,"