UFC will oppose Indian bid for UNSC


ISLAMABAD: The Uniting for Consensus (UFC) group in the United Nations, which is led by Pakistan and Italy, will oppose the India’s bid for UN Security Council’s permanent membership after the extension of backing by Washington to New Delhi in this regard.
“It was decided at the foreign minister-level talks held between Pakistan and Italy, the leaders of the UFC which opposes the expansion of permanent members of the Security Council. The two sides expressed concern about US President Barack Obama’s endorsement of India’s bid for the candidature of Security Council’s permanent berth,” a Pakistani diplomat said.
The UFC only supports the expansion of the UNSC non-permanent seats saying it is against the creation of more power centers in the United Nations. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told a joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, that the Security Council should not be expanded only to increase the number of the permanent members.
He said, “Italy is in favour of reforming the Security Council but the process should be based on regional representation.” Qureshi said that India’s bid to have a permanent membership of the UNSC could be a long-drawn and complicated process despite President Obama’s backing for the move.
“Pakistan wants a comprehensive, democratic and representative expansion of the Security Council.” “I have spoken to my Chinese counterpart about Pakistan’s reservations on India’s bid to gain permanent membership of the body and President Asif Ali Zardari is also expected to raise the issue during his ongoing visit to China,” Qureshi said.
“Pakistan and Italy have unanimity of views on the expansion of the Security Council on the basis of regional representation,” he said. On Kashmir, the Italian FM said, “Yes, it is a problem for Pakistan and needs to be addressed.”
“It is in India’s interest to have excellent relations with Pakistan and New Delhi should work for positive movements to resolve the Kashmir dispute,” he said. The Italian foreign minister also separately met army chief General Ashfaq Kayani and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday.