India's bid to become permanent member of the United Nations Security Council got a huge fillip on Monday after securing China's cooperation.
The UN General Assembly on Monday adopted a negotiating text by consensus for the long-
pending Security Council reforms, setting the stage for talks on the issue at its 70th session beginning Tuesday, boosting India's bid for a permanent seat in the revamped world body.
India termed as "historic" and "path-breaking" the adoption of the document, saying the decision puts the Inter-Governmental Process formally on an "irreversible text-based
negotiations path" and changes the "dynamics" of the negotiations on achieving UNSC reforms.
UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa convened a plenary meeting here to take action on the draft decision on the "Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters".
During the meeting, he also circulated letters containing the positions of key countries, including Russia, the US and China which refused to contribute to the negotiating text.
There was no voting on the decision to continue text- based UNSC reforms in the 70th session of the General Assembly and it was adopted by consensus.
The draft decision contains a negotiating text which has positions of UN member states on Security Council reforms and how the powerful 15-nation body should be expanded in its
permanent and non-permanent categories.
The adoption is a significant step towards beginning talks on the long-stalled reforms process in the 70th session of the Assembly on the basis of a negotiating text, a first in the last seven years of Inter-Governmental Negotiations that have been conducted so far without the basis of any text.
India's Ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji said the "most important aspect" of Monday's decision is the text circulated by Kutesa in July which "we have agreed will be the guiding
basis for our deliberations in the 70th General Assembly session".
"What you have delivered today... to all 193 Member States of the United Nations, is truly historic and path- breaking on several counts," Mukerji told the Assembly.
It was a crucial day for India in its lengthy battle for a spot on the United Nations Security Council, and China held the key.
China has heretofore been strongly opposing the expansion of the Security Council, and if it had insisted on a vote, India would have had to get other countries on board to support the extended negotiations.
Indian officials hope the resolution calling for more discussions is adopted with consensus, but a vote would complicate things. Many countries don't want to be seen taking sides between India and China, and may simply abstain. While the US and Russia have verbally backed India's membership, neither has put that down in writing.
The draft resolution calls for next year's UN agenda to discuss the "Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council."
Once the draft is agreed on, it will be put to vote at the General Assembly, where a two-thirds vote is needed to clear it.
Ahead of the UN's 70th anniversary in October, the PM has, on foreign trips and in bilaterals with the heads of other countries, strongly lobbied for support for a permanent seat on the Security Council for India.
(With Inputs From Agencies)