Washington: Aspiring for a permanent seat at the powerful UN Security Council, India has renewed its call for reforming and expanding the 15-membered highest decision making body of the United Nations, to make it more reflective of the 21st century realities. "Now that we have renovated the Chamber, it is time to renovate the institution," Union Minister for Human Resources Development Shashi Tharoor said during a ceremony to mark the inauguration of the renovated chamber of the Security Council at the UN headquarters in New York.
"India calls for reform because we believe in the UN... We believe it has done well enough to be worth reforming," Tharoor said, delivering a strong message at the ceremony to celebrate the reopening of the UN Security Council chamber, which had undergone extensive renovations at the expense of Norway, the country which had originally gifted the room to the world body in April 1952.
"This event is a reminder that institutions and places that looked fresh and relevant in 1952 need extensive repair work to bring them up to date for 2013. What was true of the fixtures, wallpaper and electronics of the Security Council is also true of its composition and working methods," he said.
"Just last week India lost 5 of its soldiers in South Sudan. The bodies of our brave peacekeepers have come home to much grief and mourning but not one voice has been raised in our political space to question why Indian lives are being lost to keep the peace in Africa. India remains staunchly committed to the ideals and goals of the world organisation. It is in this spirit of commitment that we seek change," Tharoor said.
"While congratulating Norway for its marvellous work in renovating 'the most important room in the world', I must tell my old friend Foreign Minister Eide that we will not wait 61 years for new seats to be added to the chamber," he said.
Tharoor asserted that if the Council is to remain the most important room, it will have to expand both in the permanent and non-permanent categories. "This is fair warning that additional seats and additional table space will soon be needed. The horseshoe table's days are numbered. We will soon need a new, more democratic and representative Round Table," he said.