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Jaishankar says India will surely get Security Council seat but not easily

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Perth, Feb 10 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said on Saturday that he was 100 per cent confident that India will get a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council but it won't be easy as there are a lot of countries who want to "block us".

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Jaishankar, who is here to attend the two-day Indian Ocean Conference, said he sees the change as to how differently the world looks at India now as he goes around the world.

"We will get there. I am 100 per cent certain we will get there. But I will also tell you that honestly, we will not get it easily because the world is full of competition," he said in response to a question at an interaction with the Indian community here.

"Some will try to block us, will make that passage difficult or put some kind of obstacles, some kind of argument in the way," he said, without naming any country. But I'm confident we will get there and I'm more confident today than I was five years ago or 10 years ago," the external affairs minister said.

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"As I go around the world, often I hear this from people that 'look, you can say things we can't say. We trust you to say this as we have our constraints'," he said, highlighting how India has already just naturally put across a position which is a collective position for all of them.

He said that there were many issues where the interests of many were involved but the global debate was dominated by a few.

"It could be about the energy crisis, a lot of countries have a debt situation today. It could be about culture and heritage as everybody doesn't want to be overwhelmed by others' cultures. In a sense, today India is trusted and well-regarded. there are a lot of countries who want to see us there," Jaishankar said.

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He said that in the many elections held in the different bodies of the United Nations, India constantly does well in these elections.

"We often do better in those elections than the five who are already in the Security Council," the minister said.

"We enjoy, in that sense, the trust and confidence of the world. But again, as I said, look, we have this period, this 25 years is a very vital period for us. We have laid the foundation for the take-off in these 25 years and that 25 years will of course be years of transformation in India, but it will also change India's position in the world.

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He said India will be a much bigger economy and will wield a much bigger influence in the world.

"So our time is coming, you know, but we have to work for it," the minister stressed.

He said India needed to make sure things were right at home. "The path we have followed, we have to ensure we get everything right. We now need to sort of accelerate that and go forward. And I'm sure that if it takes place, we will get there," the minister added.

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The minister had in December last year said the UN Security Council was like an old club with a set (of) members who did not want to let go of their grip and were not keen to have their practices questioned.

India has been at the forefront of years-long efforts to reform the Security Council, saying it rightly deserves a place as a permanent member at the UN high table, which in its current form does not represent the geo-political realities of the 21st Century.

Currently, the UNSC has five permanent members - China, France, Russia, the UK and the US. Only a permanent member has the power to veto any substantive resolution. PTI PY AKJ PY PY

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