India pitches for UNSC representation from Africa

United Nations: Strongly pitching for the expansion of permanent membership of the UN Security Council, India has said the powerful body should have representation from developing countries, including Africa.

Taking part in a Security Council debate on UN-African Union partnership here on Thursday, India`s Permanent Representative Hardeep Singh Puri said as much as two-third of the active items on the Council`s agenda concern Africa and about three-fourth of the Council`s time is spent on African issues.

"It would, therefore, be no exaggeration to say that the success of the efforts of this Council in Africa will determine in significant measures its overall effectiveness in the implementation of its Charter-mandated role as the principal organ of the United Nations for maintenance of international peace and security," he said.

Puri said that for an effective and enduring cooperation between the UN and AU, it is necessary that the Council not adopt a selective approach to this cooperation.

Partnership should not be restricted only to the areas of the Council`s convenience but also extend to areas where there may be differences, and be based on mutual respect.

"This requires a mindset change in approach and demands expansion of the permanent membership to make the Council reflective of contemporary realities and increased representation from developing countries, including Africa.

This will not only make this Council more representative but also enhance its ability to successfully address the challenges that the international community faces today," he added.

India said it supports strengthening of the UN-AU partnership, which should be based on long-term strategic and operational perspectives taking into consideration the complementarity of strengths that the two organisations possess.

Focus should be given to capacity-building of African Union`s peace and security architecture so that the AU becomes a more effective and capable partner of the UN system.

Puri added that the Council should be more forthcoming in extending support to the AU in critical areas of financial resources, force-multipliers and force-enablers.

India is providing credit lines of USD 5 billion for the next three years to help Africa achieve its development goals.

An additional USD 700 million will also be provided for establishment of new institutions and training programmes in consultation with the African Union and its institutions.

India is offering 22,000 scholarships in various areas of capacity building to African nationals during 2011-14. "Conscious of the AU`s role in handling African issues concerning not only peace and security but also social and development-related, India has institutionalized its cooperation with the African Union," Puri said.

The debate was organised by South Africa, which holds the current presidency of the 15-nation Council. It was chaired by South African President Jacob Zuma.