At UN and Beyond, India's Rising Global Profile

The South Asian nation joins the United Nations Security Council

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India has joined the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for a two-year term. India and nine other non-permanent members, elected by the UN General Assembly, will join the UNSC's five permanent members: the U.S., China, Russia, the U.K., and France. India's election to one of the world's most important multilateral bodies comes as the massive and populous county, rapidly industrializing, seeks to broaden its military reach and become more of a global player. Indian media is abuzz with India's powerful new position and what it means for India on the global stage. Here's what they're saying.

  • U.S Encourages Bigger 'Global Role' For India  The Times of India reports, "Welcoming India's election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, the United States has backed its role on regional and global issues, but stopped short of endorsing India's quest for a permanent seat. 'We are well aware of India's aspirations to play a more significant global role,' State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley told reporters Tuesday. 'We have welcomed that expanded role by India both on regional issues and global issues.'"
  • Next Goal: Permanent Membership  The Hindustan Times says that India will seek expanding the UNSC permanent membership. "After securing a non-permanent berth in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), India is looking at ways to overcome the 'formidable obstacles' on the road to becoming a permanent member. Asserting that Indian shoulders are strong enough to carry the varied responsibilities of a UNSC non-permanent member, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna stressed that the victory margin shows that India is a 'strong contender' for a permanent seat. ... Though the text-based negotiations for the UNSC expansion began early this year, the permanent members are not as enthusiastic as the developing countries on the issue, making UN reforms a winding task."
  • India Should Align With 'Rising Powers,' Not the U.S.  The Hindu's Siddharth Varadarajan says that the biggest test for India will be how closely it aligns itself with the U.S. interests. "Whatever Washington's expectations might be, the rest of the world values India precisely because of its ability to reason for itself and stick to its own positions. If the non-permanent seat India has just won is indeed to become a stepping stone for a permanent seat, the Manmohan Singh government will have to focus less on convincing the U.S. about how 'responsible' it can be. It should instead work hard to demonstrate how a restructured Security Council built around the inclusion of rising powers like itself, Brazil and South Africa stands a better chance of solving the world's problems than the present outdated arrangement."
  • India Expanding Influence With 'Look East' Plan  The Times of India reports, "To further boost India's Look East Policy, Defence Minister AK Antony said that New Delhi will provide support to Vietnam to enhance and upgrade the capabilities of its three services in general and its Navy in particular. Antony announced India's help at the bilateral meetings with the top Vietnamese leadership including President Nguyen Minh Triet, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh." This expansion of soft power is widely seen as India's effort to establish a long-term presence across Asia.
  • Chinese Rivalry Will Be Top Priority  The Japan Times' Harsh Pant writes, "After trying to push significant divergences with China under the carpet for years, Indian decision-makers are being forced to grudgingly acknowledge that the relationship with China is becoming increasingly contentious. The challenge now is to understand China and its motivations more clearly. ... There is no need for India to counter China by matching weapon for weapon or bluster for bluster. India will have to look inward to prepare for the China challenge. ... India will also have to work more purposefully with other powers, most notably the U.S., in countering China."
  • India's Growing Centrality to Global Power, Commerce  The Washington Times' , reviewing Robert Kaplan's new book, writes, "The Indian Ocean is once again at the heart of the geopolitical world map, Robert Kaplan argues in his latest book. Emerging economies in China and India are shifting the global axis of trade and commerce, making sea lanes along the old East-West trade routes vital to the grand strategy of the United States as a future great power. ... Ninety percent of all global commerce travels by sea, half of which flows through the Indian Ocean. Here, too, passes 70 percent of the world's petroleum products. These routes will only become more crucial and more congested, as world energy consumption is predicted to rise 50 percent by 2030."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.