Competition from China may throw a spanner in the works
Support for India’s claims for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council will be high on the agenda at the second Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) summit that will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Jaipur on Friday.
On Thursday, addressing the heads of the Pacific Island nations who are in New Delhi for the summit, President Pranab Mukherjee said: “UNSC reform and expansion will be discussed and concrete proposals are expected to be considered in the forthcoming UNGA session next month. An inter-governmental negotiating text is already on the table, for which India needs their support.”
Of the 14 Pacific Island nations, 12 have a vote in the United Nations, and India asserts it has “firm stated commitment of support” from at least 10 of these. According to MEA sources, of these two countries (that are yet to back India’s claim) one supports the G4 resolution, which indirectly supports the Indian position, while the other is yet to announce its stand.
New Delhi is banking on old, cultural ties with these nations, especially Fiji, which wields considerable influence in the region, and has a significant percentage of population that is of Indian descent, to garner support.
“While there hasn’t been much coordination on issues at the U.N., we hope the FIPIC conference will see a strengthening of coordination on the U.N. floor,” High Commissioner of Fiji, Yogesh J. Karan toldThe Hindu . However, it remains to be seen which country the FIPIC block would choose if the vote came down to a contest between India and China, which is a closer neighbour with heavy investments in infrastructure in the islands.