Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Obama should now work for early UNSC expansion

After his dramatic endorsement of India for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, some American experts now want President Barack Obama to spearhead efforts to bring about the council's expansion without further delay.

"The President should follow up on his dramatic announcement by launching a comprehensive plan for Security Council enlargement, based on clear criteria for permanent membership," Stewart M Patrick, Senior Fellow at the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations said.

Obama's announcement is "a bold foreign policy stroke," Patrick said, stressing that besides deepening the US-India strategic partnership launched by the Bush administration, the move "may help break the logjam that has kept the UNSC's permanent membership mired in the world of 1945."

Several experts, however, believe that UNSC overhaul is fraught with uncertainties. The US endorsement, no doubt, is a diplomatic success for India, but doubts persist how soon it could become a practical proposition, they say.

Lisa Curtis, Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, is among those who are convinced that UNSC reform is "still years away", so Obama's endorsement of India may be more in the nature of symbolic value right now.

Curtis lays greater store by his announcement to ease high-tech export controls, remove top bodies from the Entity List and support India's membership in non-proliferation groupings such as the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime.

State Department spokesman Philip J Crowley admitted that there is no target date for UNSC enlargement. "Well, we are not able to dictate the terms of reform," he said, stressing the exercise will require continued consultations within the UN and within the Security Council on an appropriate way forward.

News From: http://www.s7News.com

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