US President Joe Biden held his first in-person bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House on Friday and reiterated America’s support for India’s permanent membership on a reformed UN Security Council and its entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
Biden applauded India’s “strong leadership” during its Security Council presidency in August 2021, according to the US-India Joint Leaders’ Statement issued after the meeting.
“In this context, President Biden also reiterated US support for India’s permanent membership on a reformed UN Security Council and for other countries who are important champions of multilateral cooperation and aspire to permanent seats on the UN Security Council,” it said.
India has been at the forefront of efforts at the UN to push for reform of the Security Council, emphasising that it deserves a place at the UN high table as a permanent member.
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In June the country said that the Inter-Governmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council reforms can no longer be used as a smokescreen, as the General Assembly decided to roll over the IGN work to the next UN General Assembly session and agreed to include an amendment proposed by the G4 nations of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan.
At present, the Security Council comprises five permanent members and 10 non-permanent member countries, which are elected for a two-year term by the General Assembly.
The five permanent members are Russia, the UK, China, France and the United States, and these countries can veto any substantive resolution. There has been growing demand to increase the number of permanent members to reflect the contemporary global reality.
During his meeting with Modi, Biden also reaffirmed US support for India’s entry to NSG, the joint statement said.
The NSG is a 48-member grouping that regulates global nuclear commerce.
Ever since India applied for the membership of the NSG in May 2016, China has been insisting that only those countries that have signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) should be allowed to enter the organisation.
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India and Pakistan are not signatories of the NPT. After India’s application, Pakistan too applied for the NSG membership in 2016.
China maintains that there would be no discussion on India’s entry into the NSG before reaching a specific plan on non-NPT members’ participation in the grouping, as it declined to give a timeline to reach a consensus among member states on this issue.
Modi and Biden also welcomed the extension of the Statement of Guiding Principles on Triangular Cooperation for Global Development to leverage the combined capacities of India and the US to address global development challenges around the world, particularly in the Indo-Pacific and Africa, the statement said.