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India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Syed Akbaruddin, speaks on Thursday, March 21, 2019, a the High-Level South-South Cooperation Conference in Buenos Aires. (Photo: UN/IANS)

China and Pakistan have joined the other 53 members of the Asia Pacific Group to endorse India for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council in a diplomatic victory for India…writes ARUL LOUIS

India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Syed Akbaruddin, speaks on Thursday, March 21, 2019, a the High-Level South-South Cooperation Conference in Buenos Aires. (Photo: UN/IANS)

The group decided unanimously to support India in next year’s contest for the Asia seat to succeed Indonesia on the Security Council in 2021 for a two-year term. India will be returning to the Council after nine years.

Thanking the countries which endorsed India’s candidature, India’s UN Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin tweeted: “A unanimous step. Asia-Pacific Group @UN unanimously endorses India’s candidature for a non-permanent seat of the Security Council for a 2-year term in 2021-22.”

India has served seven times on the Council, most recently from 2011 to 2012 when Hardeep Puri was India’s Permanent Representative. He is now a Minister in the Narendra Modi government with industry, commerce and civil aviation portfolios.

India is also pursuing a permanent seat on the Council as part of the effort to reform it.

The ten non-permanent seats are distributed regionally, with Asia-Pacific getting two of them. In most cases, there is no contest for the regional seats if the group has unanimously endorsed a candidate, although upstarts sometime crop up.

Usually, countries start lobbying openly for the seat years ahead, but that India did not have to in order to get the group’s endorsement is a measure of New Delhi’s influence.

Vietnam, which was elected last year will serve with India for a year on the Council.

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