- Linda Thomas-Greenfield told lawmakers that this is a matter of ongoing discussion when asked about India’s Permanent Security Council Seat
- Previous administrations of George W Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump had publicly supported India’s bid to be a permanent member of the UN Security Council
- Before being named to the position, Thomas-Greenfield spent more than 35 years in foreign service
U.S. President Joe Biden’s appointment of Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Ambassador to the United Nations, on Wednesday did not expressly commit the support of the new administration to India as a permanent member of the Security Council.
Three previous administrations, George W Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, had supported India’s bid to be a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
Nevertheless, during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Thomas-Greenfield, who spent more than 35 years in foreign service before being named to the post, told lawmakers that this is a matter of ongoing debate.
During her confirmation hearing for the position of the US Ambassador to the UN, Senator Jeff Merkley from Oregon asked, “Do you think India, Germany, Japan, should be (permanent) members (of the UN Security Council)?”
Biden has termed it as a Cabinet-ranking position.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, “I think there has been some discussions about them being members of the Security Council and there are some strong arguments for that.”
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, further said in an apparent reference to the Coffee Club or United for Consensus, “But I also know that there are others who disagree within their regions that they should be the representative of their region. That, too, is an ongoing discussion.”
Comprising countries such as Italy, Pakistan, Mexico and Egypt, the Coffee Club has opposed India, Japan, Germany and Brazil’s permanent membership bid. President Biden reiterated his commitment to support India as a permanent member of the UN Security Council in his campaign policy document last year.
The Obama-Biden Administration formally declared US support for India’s membership in a reformed and expanded United Nations Security Council, acknowledging India’s rising presence on the world stage, the Biden Campaign’s policy document on Indian Americans said last August.
In response to another issue, Thomas-Greenfield favored changes within the UN Security Council. India is currently a non-permanent member of India for a two-year term which began this year in January.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield added, “I think there is general agreement across the board that reforms are needed in the Security Council.” She further said while answering to Senator Merkley, “I think it remains to be seen what these changes will be and how they will be incorporated, but you know that we are moving from 11 to 15 some years ago, changing the number of members, and there are attempts to push for more permanent members, and those talks are ongoing.”
She was answering to Senator Merkley’s question.
Senator Jeffrey Alan Merkley asked, ” To start with, I wanted to ask about the Security Council itself. At the same time, China and Russia frequently stymie the Security Council’s actions. With key powers like India, Germany and Japan not included as permanent members, the Security Council is decreasingly representative of the geopolitical landscape.”
Jeffrey Merkley questioned further and asked, “How do you approach the question of the Security Council? How do you see why it would need to be reformed? How do you think that it can be made more functional and efficient?