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Declaration of Support to India for Permanent Membership of the UN Security Council

US India Political Action Committee ( urges the US House of Representatives to support Representative Frank Pallone's legislation supporting a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for India.

Representative Pallone's 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. (A press release from Representative Pallone's office regarding the introduction of this legislation is given in Attachment A below).

There are compelling reasons to consider Indias appointment as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. At 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 Councils 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.

In "The National Security Strategy of the United States of America" released in September 2002, President Bush has 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 recently written columns extolling the world community to admit India as a permanent member of the Council. (Full texts of the articles written by both are reproduced in Attachments B and C). Tom 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". Charles Krauthammer writes, "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."

While Britain, France, Russia and many other countries fully support Indias admission to the Council as a permanent member, the U.S. has not yet endorsed Indias request (President Clinton during his visit to India as President indicated that the U.S. would seriously considers supporting Indias claim). There is no question that the support of the U.S. would be necessary for Indias 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.

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 include:

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 communist worlds.

Indias 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 UNs 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 Councils 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 worlds 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.

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Attachment A Press Release, Representative Frank Pallone, US House of Representatives

February 27, 2003


Washington, DC --- U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), founder of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, introduced legislation today supporting a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for India.

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.

"All 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 terrorism.

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," Pallone concluded.

Andrew Souvall
Press Secretary
Office of Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ)
Phone: 202.225.4671; Fax: 202.225.9665

ATTACHMENT B Washington Post Article by Charles Krauthammer

February 28, 2003

The absurdity of the U.N. Security Council

WASHINGTON--America goes courting Guinea, Cameroon and Angola in search of the nine Security Council votes necessary to pass our new resolution on Iraq. The absurdity of the exercise mirrors the absurdity of the United Nations itself. Guinea is a perfectly nice place and Guineans perfectly nice people. But from the dawn of history to the invention of the U.N., it made not an ounce of difference what a small, powerless, peripheral country thought about a conflict thousands of miles away. It still doesn't, except at the Alice-in-Wonderland United Nations, where Guinea and Cameroon and Angola count.

For a day. As soon as their votes are cast, they will sink again into obscurity. In the meantime, however, we'll have to pay them off. Their price will be lower than Turkey's but, then again, Turkey is offering something tangible--territory from which to launch second front. Guinea will be offering a raised hand at a table in New York.
The entire exercise is ridiculous, but for unfathomable reasons it matters to many, both at home and around the world, that the United States should have the permission of Guinea to risk the lives of American soldiers to rid the world--and the long-suffering Iraqi people--of a particularly vicious and dangerous tyrant.

It is only slightly less absurd that we should require the assent of France. France pretends to great power status, but hasn't had it in 50 years. It was given its permanent seat on the Security Council to preserve the fiction that heroic France was part of the great-aunt-Nazi alliance rather than a country that surrendered and collaborated.

Half a century later, that charade has proved costly. In order to appease the French, we negotiated Security Council Resolution 1441, which France has thoroughly trashed and yet which has delayed American action for months.

Months for the opposition to mobilize itself, particularly in Britain where Tony Blair is now hanging by a thread. Months for Saddam to augment his defenses and plan the sabotage and other surprises he has in store when the war starts. Months, most importantly, that threaten to push the fighting into a season of heat and sandstorms that may cost the lives of brave Americans. We will have France to thank for that.

France is not doing this to contain Iraq--France spent the entire 1990s weakening sanctions and eviscerating the inspections regime as a way to end the containment of Iraq. France is doing this to contain the United States. As I wrote last week, France sees the opportunity to position itself as leader of a bloc of former great powers challenging American supremacy.

That is a serious challenge. It requires a serious response. We need to demonstrate that there is a price to be paid for undermining the United States on a matter of supreme national interest.

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.

Second, there should be no role for France in Iraq, either during the war, should France change its mind, or postwar. No peacekeeping. No oil contracts. And France should be last in line for loan repayment, after Russia. Russia, after all, simply has opposed our policy. It did not try to mobilize the world against us.

Third, we should begin laying the foundation for a new alliance to replace the now obsolete Cold War alliances. Its nucleus should be the ``coalition of the willing'' now forming around us. No need to abolish NATO. The grotesque performance of France, Germany and Belgium in blocking aid to Turkey marks the end of NATO's useful life. Like the U.N., it will simply wither of its own irrelevance.

We should be thinking now about building the new alliance structure around the United States, Britain, Australia, Turkey, such willing and supportive Old Europe countries as Spain and Italy, and the New Europe of deeply pro-American ex-communist states. Add perhaps India and Japan and you have the makings of a new post-9/11 structure involving like-minded states that see the world of the 21st century as we do: threatened above all by the conjunction of terrorism, rogue states and weapons of mass destruction. As part of that rethinking, we should redeploy our bases in Germany to Eastern Europe, which is not just friendlier but closer to the theaters of the new war.

This is all for tomorrow. The imperative today is to win the war in Iraq. However, winning the peace will mean not just the reconstruction of Iraq. It will mean replacing an alliance system that died some years ago, but whose obituary was written only this year. In French, with German footnotes.

2003 Washington Post Writers Group

Attachment C New York Times Article by Thomas L. Friedman

February 9, 2003

Vote France Off the Island

Sometimes I wish that the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council could be chosen like the starting five for the N.B.A. All-Star team with a vote by the fans. If so, I would certainly vote France off the Council and replace it with India. Then the perm-five would be Russia, China, India, Britain and the United States. That's more like it.

Why replace France with India? 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. France is so caught up with its need to differentiate itself from America to feel important, it's become silly. India has grown out of that game. India may be ambivalent about war in Iraq, but it comes to its ambivalence honestly. Also, France can't see how the world has changed since the end of the cold war. India can.

Throughout the cold war, France sought to differentiate itself by playing between the Soviet and American blocs. France could get away with this entertaining little game for two reasons: first, it knew that Uncle Sam, in the end, would always protect it from the Soviet bear. So France could tweak America's beak, do business with Iraq and enjoy America's military protection. And second, the cold war world was, we now realize, a much more stable place. Although it was divided between two nuclear superpowers, both were status quo powers in their own way. They represented different orders, but they both represented order.

That is now gone. Today's world is also divided, but it is increasingly divided between the "World of Order" anchored by America, the E.U., Russia, India, China and Japan, and joined by scores of smaller nations and the "World of Disorder." The World of Disorder is dominated by rogue regimes like Iraq's and North Korea's and the various global terrorist networks that feed off the troubled string of states stretching from the Middle East to Indonesia.

How the World of Order deals with the World of Disorder is the key question of the day. There is room for disagreement. There is no room for a lack of seriousness. And the whole French game on Iraq, spearheaded by its diplomacy-lite foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, lacks seriousness. Most of France's energy is devoted to holding America back from acting alone, not holding Saddam Hussein's feet to the fire to comply with the U.N.

The French position is utterly incoherent. The inspections have not worked yet, says Mr. de Villepin, because Saddam has not fully cooperated, and, therefore, we should triple the number of inspectors. But the inspections have failed not because of a shortage of inspectors. They have failed because of a shortage of compliance on Saddam's part, as the French know. The way you get that compliance out of a thug like Saddam is not by tripling the inspectors, but by tripling the threat that if he does not comply he will be faced with a U.N.-approved war.

Mr. de Villepin also suggested that Saddam's government pass "legislation to prohibit the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction." (I am not making this up.) That proposal alone is a reminder of why, if America didn't exist and Europe had to rely on France, most Europeans today would be speaking either German or Russian.

I also want to avoid a war but not by letting Saddam off the hook, which would undermine the U.N., set back the winds of change in the Arab world and strengthen the World of Disorder. The only possible way to coerce Saddam into compliance without a war is for the whole world to line up shoulder-to-shoulder against his misbehavior, without any gaps. But France, as they say in kindergarten, does not play well with others. If you line up against Saddam you're just one of the gang. If you hold out against America, you're unique. "France, it seems, would rather be more important in a world of chaos than less important in a world of order," says the foreign policy expert Michael Mandelbaum, author of "The Ideas That Conquered the World."

If France were serious about its own position, it would join the U.S. in setting a deadline for Iraq to comply, and backing it up with a second U.N. resolution authorizing force if Iraq does not. And France would send its prime minister to Iraq to tell that directly to Saddam. Oh, France's prime minister was on the road last week. He was out drumming up business for French companies in the world's biggest emerging computer society. He was in India.

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