President Biden’s pick for US ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield (File Photo, Image credit: CBS News)

Biden’s UN envoy not clear on India’s permanent UN Security Council membership

Unlike the three previous administrations of George W Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump which had publicly said that the United States supports India’s bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, President Biden’s choice for the ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield did not explicitly say that the new administration supported for a permanent membership for India at the UN Security Council. However, Ms Greenfield who has served for more than 35 years in the US Foreign Service told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during her confirmation hearing that the matter was of ongoing discussion.

When asked by Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon about the possible permanent membership of India, Japan, Germany and Brazil in the UNSC, Ms. Greenfield replied: “I think there has been some discussions about them being members of the Security Council and there are some strong arguments for that.”

Later she also made a reference to the Coffee Club or Uniting for Consensus. The Coffee Club comprises Italy, Pakistan, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Turkey etc. These are the countries which have been opposing for a permanent membership of India, Japan, Germany and Brazil in the UNSC for a long time. It needs to be mentioned that President Biden’s campaign policy document had said last August that: “Recognising India’s growing role on the world stage, the Obama-Biden Administration formally declared US support for India’s membership in a reformed and expanded United Nations Security Council.”

It needs to be stated that India is currently a non-permanent member of the Security Council and its term began earlier this month. Ms. Greenfield also said that the UN Security Council needs reforms.

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