US President Joe Biden reiterated the US support for India’s permanent membership on a reformed United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and its entry into the Nuclear Supplies Group (NSG) during his one-on-one meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the first time in person at the White House after the former became president.
Reforms to the Security Council have been long due. India’s name has been coming up time and again to become a permanent member of the council because of its size and its important role in international affairs. The G4 nations – Brazil, India, Germany and Japan – have proposed an amendment in the next UN General Assembly.
There are five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. They are USA, Russia, China, UK and France. These five countries enjoy veto power. They can stop any resolution from passing. There have been a lot of changes in the global scenario since the Second World War. There is need to increase the number of permanent members of the council to make it more representative.
The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) is a 48-member body which decides on global nuclear commerce. Biden assured Modi that India would be made a member of this group as well. China has been opposing India’s membership in this group. It has been arguing that only those countries which signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) could become members of this group. India and Pakistan did not sign the NPT. India had applied for membership of NSG in 2016. Soon after, Pakistan also applied for the same. Biden and Modi also discussed Indo-Pacific issues and Africa.
Message to Taliban
India and the US have called on the Taliban to adhere to the commitment and respect the human rights of all Afghans including women, children and minorities. The two democracies have asked Taliban not to allow its territory for terrorist activities or plan to attack another country from its soil. The joint statement issued by the US and India after the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden said the two leaders have understood the importance of fighting terrorism in Afghanistan. The two leaders said Taliban has to abide by the UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021), adopted during the presidency of India, that demands that Afghan territory must never again be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists or to plan or finance terrorist attacks and underscored the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan.
Contrary to the assurances given at the time of signing the agreement with the US, the Taliban had put up a ministry of 33 members which is not inclusive. It exclusively comprises Pashtuns and is dominated by Hakkani group which mentored by Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan. Many minority groups have been left out of the government. Even among the Taliban, some influential leaders who worked from Qatar and who were in the forefront while negotiating US withdrawal have been sidelined after getting into power. The two leaders also stressed on the need to send humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. They appealed to Taliban government to allow free access to the UN agencies to supply essential supplies. They hoped Afghanistan will have inclusive and peaceful future taking care of its people’s interests.