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No Veto Power for you - varnamvarnam
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No Veto Power for you

Everytime a western diplomat visits, there is bad news for India and usually the bad news is delivered after they land in Pakistan. Once Colin Powell announced that Pakistan is being upgraded to Non Nato Major Ally status after he landed in Islamabad. Indians were given no warning. Now Kofi Annan, being the United Nations diplomat did not have to be in enemy territory to deliver the message

Delivering a cracker of a parting shot, UN secretary-general Kofi Annan on Thursday poured cold water over India’s professed ambitions of being armed with veto power when entering the Security Council.

Additional permanent members in a reformed Security Council will not have the veto, he said, addressing a press conference after a rare visit to India. The high-powered panel set up by him, Annan said, did not envisage giving the veto to new members. It would be “Utopian”, Annan said, to expect the P-5 countries to give up their veto power or to extend it to new members. [Forget veto power, Kofi tells India]

Somehow he felt that the zing was not enough. So he came up with another zinger.

Annan also threw the government off balance by asking India to sign the CTBT and join negotiations for a fissile materials cutoff treaty (FMCT). India maintains CTBT is part of a “discriminatory” nuclear architecture, though it accepts P-5 positions on FMCT.

Annan’s statement is a clarification of what Secretary Rice told in an obfuscated way

Now, in terms of the UN Security Council, the United States has said that we believe UN Security Council reform needs to take place in the context of broader UN reform, that it is important, of course, to reform the Secretariat, the institutions of the UN, the organizations of the UN, it needs management reform and, of course, we should also look at Security Council reform. I said when I was in India that international organizations in general will have to take into account India’s growing role in the world in order to be updated and to be effective. [Remarks With Indian Minister of External Affairs Natwar Singh Following Meeting]

Atithi Devo Bhavah (Guests are like gods), that’s Indian culture. So we did not raise questions about Annan’s son or the oil-for-money scam or the corruption in United Nations. And when Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is in India, he can eat all the Biriyani he wants and exchange Sushi recipes with Manmohan Singh, but the veto power looks like a dream.


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