The Asia-Pacific Group at the UN has unanimously supported India for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council after India's overwhelming influence forced China and Pakistan to join in the endorsement.
The 55-member group decided unanimously on Tuesday to endorse India in next year's contest for the non-permanent Asia seat, assuring New Delhi of its election by the General Assembly to succeed Indonesia on the Council in 2021 for a two-year term.
China and Pakistan were forced to join the others in the group to support India because there was no other country willing to contest the Asia seat against India given its influence, making the endorsement unanimous.
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 the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Civil Aviation portfolios in the Narendra Modi government.
India is also pursuing a permanent seat on the Council in the effort to reform it. Pakistan and China oppose 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 with trips for diplomats and journalists and media campaigns. But that India did not have to follow these tactics 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 email@example.com and followed on Twitter @arulouis)
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