Portugal, Ukraine support US demand to include India and other countries as permanent members of UN Security Council

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US President Joe Biden’s demand to expand the United Nations Security Council to include emerging powers such as India has been backed by Portugal, Ukraine and Japan. Leaders of these three countries said the UN’s most powerful body must adapt to changing geopolitics.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stressed the reform of the United Nations, including the Security Council, “to return to the vision and principles of the UN Charter, strengthening UN functions, including disarmament and non-proliferation”.

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said the world needs a flexible and functional Security Council to respond to the geopolitical challenges of the 21st century. He said the revamped council will include a comprehensive view of security and recognize the role of climate change as a driver of conflict.

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He said the world of 1945 — when 51 countries met in the United States to form the United Nations — was different from today. He said the African continent and at least Brazil and India should have seats on the council. Smaller countries must be fairly represented.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has also called for reform of the UN Security Council. “There is an imbalance when Africa, Latin America, most of Asia, Central and Eastern Europe adhere to the veto power they never had.”

“And this is what Ukraine is talking about. Have you ever heard such words from Russia? But it is a permanent member of the Security Council and for some reason Japan, Brazil, Turkey, India, Germany and Ukraine are not. The day will come when this will be resolved,” he said.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his country has been committed to reforming and expanding the UN Security Council for many years, primarily to include the countries of the global south.

Germany is also ready to take on more responsibility as a permanent member and initially as a non-permanent seat in 2027/28, he said.

“I kindly ask you to support our candidacy, the candidacy of a country that respects the principles of the United Nations and that offers and seeks cooperation. It is, in my view, completely natural that the emerging, dynamic countries and regions of Asia, Africa and South America must be given a stronger political voice on the world stage,” the German chancellor said.

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Italian President Mario Draghi said his country supports the need to reform the UN Security Council to make it more representative, efficient and transparent.

US President Joe Biden has said India, Germany and Japan should become permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, a senior official told reporters on Wednesday.

Five countries – China, France, Russia, the UK and the US – are permanent members and have veto power.

With inputs from PTI

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