US Congressman argues for India in Security Council

February 22nd, 2008 - 12:54 am ICT by admin  

(Lead, Superseding earlier story)
By Parveen Chopra
Washington, Feb 21 (IANS) The US Congressman who moved a resolution in the House of Representatives in September asking the United Nations to admit India as a permanent member of the Security Council has reiterated New Delhi’s case. Gus Bilirakis, Republican from Florida and member of the house committee on foreign affairs, has presented his arguments in an article published in the Washington Times Wednesday.

His resolution, H. Res. 638, co-sponsored by Thaddeus McCotter, Republican member of the house from Michigan, is now with the house committee on foreign affairs.

The resolution expresses the sense of the House that the UN should take the procedural actions necessary to amend Article 23 of the Charter to add India’s name to the five permanent council members - the US, Russia, China, France and Britain - charged with the role of maintaining international peace and security.

Bilirakis wrote in the Times, “In India, democracy and rule of law, protections for freedom of the press and respect for all religions are woven into the fabric of society. On a continent afflicted with violent extremism and markedly authoritarian, repressive government systems, India has created a peaceful and stable government that respects the human rights of its diverse citizens.”

Adding the voice of the world’s largest democracy to the deliberations of the Security Council would be a major improvement to an organisation too often paralysed by the intransigence of anti-democratic members, he said.

“Moreover, in meeting its mandate of maintaining world peace and enforcing UN decisions, the Security Council must have members with advanced force capacity and proven military leadership, most especially ones tempered by a belief in democratic principles like those practised by the people of India,” the Congressman continued.

Bilikaris argued that the five permanent members created by the Allies after Word War II no longer reflect today’s global landscape radically transformed by global economic and security power realignments.

“Power is diffused and Islamic extremists pose a worldwide threat to moderate governments and democracy. The new foreign policy imperatives of democratic nations are to counter the rise of extremism and roll back global poverty through economic opportunity and enhanced political freedom,” he pointed out.

He urged the US and likeminded nations to actively advocate reform of the UN Security Council, beginning with permanent membership for the world’s largest democracy - India.

Supporting India’s membership of the council is also in the interest of the US, Bilirakis argued.

“It (India) is a crucial and proven partner in the global war on terror and is strategically located to combat growing Islamist extremism in South Asia,” he pointed out.

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