Ban arrives, India to pitch for permanent UNSC seat

New Delhi: India will convey its views on major regional and global issues apart from strongly pitching for an expansion of the Security Council with its inclusion as a permanent member during the four-day visit of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who arrived here today.

Ban, accompanied by his wife, Madam Ban Soon-taek and a high-level delegation, will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior leaders here. "The UNSG`s visit here comes in the context of India`s strong commitment to multilateralism and its wide-ranging contribution to efforts of the UN, including its specialized programmes and agencies. It is expected that UNSG`s visit will provide an opportunity for us to share India`s perspectives on major regional and global issues," Ministry of External Affairs said.

Ban will also travel to Mumbai, where he will meet the State Chief Minister and participate in a Millennium Development Goals related event. Adopted by the UN in the year 2000, MDGs provide benchmarks for tackling world problems ranging from eradicating extreme hunger to combating HIV/AIDS and other diseases by 2015.

This will be Ban`s third visit to India since assuming the UN top job in 2007. It comes at a time when the country is aspiring to become a veto-wielding permanent member in a revamped Security Council. India is currently one of the 10 non-permanent members which are elected for two-year terms.

Ahead of his visit, Ban, in an interview to PTI, said "I am very well aware of the aspiration of India to serve even in a bigger role as permanent member of the UNSC."

There is generally broad consensus of views that considering such dramatic situations which have been taking place in the international community, the UNSC should be reformed in a more representative, more democratic and transparent way, he said, but admitted that member states have not been able to find a clear formula which would satisfy and meet the expectations of all.