India is actively engaged in the ongoing intergovernmental negotiations for reform of the UN Security Council and a number of countries have supported its bid to become permanent member of the top body.
Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said India was working alongside various countries and blocs like G4 and L 69, a cross regional grouping of developing countries, in pushing for reform of the UN Security Council.
The G-4 comprising India, Japan, Brazil and Germany are all aspirants of permanent membership of UN Security Council. “A large number of countries have supported India’s candidature for permanent membership in an expanded UN Security Council.
“India’s performance as a non-permanent member of the Security Council during 2011-12 has also significantly strengthened India’s claim to permanent membership,” Mr Singh said.
He said a small minority of countries known as the Uniting for Consensus (UfC) which includes Pakistan, Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Italy, Malta, Mexico, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Spain and Turkey, have opposing an expansion of permanent membership.
These countries have been favoring expansion of the UN Security Council in only the non-permanent category.
To a separate question, Mr Singh said India engages constructively with Asia Pacific countries, including to promote and ensure our maritime security and its engagement does not include joint patrolling with foreign navies.
“Our relationship with the US is not directed against or determined by any other country, nor is it at the expense of relationship with other countries,” he said.
Replying to a question on names of countries listed as unsafe to visit for tourism, Mr Singh said a total of five advisories were issued cautioning people not to visit Yemen while 18 advisories were issued about Libya, three each for Iraq and Syria and one for South Sudan.
To another query, the minister said 17 Indian nationals were awarded death penalty in Kuwait for “serious” crimes and 13 of them were convicted on charges of drug trafficking. He said the Indian mission has taken up the matter with the Kuwaiti government requesting them to show mercy and commute their sentences to life imprisonment.