China and Pakistan have joined the other 53 members of the Asia Pacific Group to endorse India for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council in a diplomatic victory for India.
The group decided unanimously on Tuesday to support India in next year's contest for the Asia seat to succeed Indonesia on the Security Council in 2021 for a two-year term. India will be returning to the Council after nine years.
Thanking the countries which endorsed India's candidature, India's UN Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin tweeted: "A unanimous step. Asia-Pacific Group @UN unanimously endorses India's candidature for a non-permanent seat of the Security Council for a 2-year term in 2021-22."
India has served seven times on the Council, most recently from 2011 to 2012 when Hardeep Puri was India's Permanent Representative. He is now a Minister in the Narendra Modi government with industry, commerce and civil aviation portfolios.
India is also pursuing a permanent seat on the Council as part of the effort to reform it.
The ten non-permanent seats are distributed regionally, with Asia-Pacific getting two of them. In most cases, there is no contest for the regional seats if the group has unanimously endorsed a candidate, although upstarts sometime crop up.
Usually, countries start lobbying openly for the seat years ahead, but that India did not have to in order to get the group's endorsement is a measure of New Delhi's influence.
Vietnam, which was elected last year will serve with India for a year on the Council.
(Arul Louis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter @arulouis)
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