UNGA president-elect in India: Modi to push for fast-tracking UNSC expansion


Ahead of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), India’s top leadership is set to engage the President-elect of the UNGA Mogens Lykketoft and impress upon him the imperative of fast-tracking reforms of the UN Security Council.

Mr Lykketoft, a former speaker of Denmark’s parliament, will succeed Uganda’s Sam Kuetsa and will begin his UNGA presidency in September at the commencement of the 70th General Assembly session. He will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The reforms of the UNSC have languished for years due to procedural quibbles and indifference of the permanent members of the UNSC, who are not keen to let emerging powers inside this exclusive club. India is hoping for for the launch of the text-based negotiations at the 70th anniversary of the founding of the UN, and this will be the key point of discussions between Mr Modi and Mr Lykketoft.

Recently, the US, Russia and China voiced their opposition to the text-based negotiations and argued instead for the primacy of the Inter- Governmental Negotiations (IGN), a development that has been widely seen as a setback for the overall process of UNSC expansion and India’s quest for a permanent seat in the global body.  

Against this backdrop, Prime Minister Modi is expected to make a robust pitch for expediting reforms and expansion of the global body to reflect the shift of power from the West to the rest.

India is part of the G4 grouping, including include India, Brazil, Germany and Japan, which has been pushing for their inclusion as permanent members in a reformed and expanded UNSC.  All the four countries back each other’s bid for a permanent seat in a reformed Security Council. India has been the only country to receive support from four out of the five permanent members barring China for a permanent membership in the UNSC. US President Barack Obama had endorsed India’s permanent membership in the UNSC during his visit to India in 2010 and 2015.

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Manish Chand
Manish Chand
Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.