November 8th, 2010
08:28 AM ET
12 years ago

Obama Endorses India's Bid for Permanent UN Seat

New Delhi, India (CNN) - In another major sign of growing ties between the two nations, President Obama on Monday used a speech before the Indian Parliament to endorse this country's bid for permanent membership on the United Nations Security Council

Ben Rhodes, a top White House aide, told reporters before the speech that the Obama administration wants to "send as clear a statement as possible" that the U.S. sees India as a "rising player" on the international stage.

But Rhodes said the U.S. was "not getting into" details about the time frame in which the United States would like to see India get the permanent seat and whether or not it will push to get India veto power as well.

Rhodes, a senior staffer on the National Security Council, said the President's endorsement "speaks volumes" about U.S. support for India and the administration will let the key details be "hashed out" by the United Nations itself.

Actually getting India a permanent seat, however, will not be easy. Obama administration officials acknowledged that they and previous administrations have supported Japan, Germany, and Brazil at various times for permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council without any success so far.

Before Monday's announcement was made India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh eluded to the deal during a joint news conference before Obama's speech to parliament in which he highlighted the close cooperation on major issues typically confronted by the UN.

"As states possessing nuclear weapons, we have today put forth a common vision of a world without nuclear weapons, and decided to lead global efforts for non-proliferation and universal and non-discriminatory global nuclear disarmament," Singh said. "This is a historic and bold bilateral initiative. We have also decided to strengthen cooperation to tackle nuclear terrorism, and we welcome US participation in the Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership which will be set up in India."

Expectations about the endorsement made headlines all day in the local India media before Obama's speech. Political analysts on local news channels largely said this is a huge moment for India because it firmly puts the country in a position of being a world power, and is a big win for Prime Minister Singh's ruling Congress Party.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. stufit

    Huh????? And this will get our economy moving again how???? Oh yeh, this idiot got the message from the voters.

    November 8, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  2. Dustin

    Not that I really care about pakistans feelings, and I'm pro-india, they seem relatively sensible, but any thought coming out of the nucleur armed pakistan?

    November 8, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  3. Greenspam

    UN is a joke because 4 nations on the security council have unusual power over all others – USA, China, UK, and Russia. Japan, India, Germany, Brazil... will never make it because the nations alread in security council won't share power.

    November 8, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Would the number of permant members be increased to 6 (or 7 if Germany gets some support) or would the plan knock off France or Britian? Detains need to be explained and worked out.

    November 8, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  5. Dean

    Great idea, let the U. S. withdraw from the UN and let India take our seat.

    November 8, 2010 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  6. NoOne

    Great Headline CNN ! Makes it sound like the second most populus nation in the world is trying to join the United Nations. Good world civics lesson. Do you even know where India is CNN ?

    November 8, 2010 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. Abe

    I will like to comment on the people that are attacking the president for going to India and how much money it will cost for the visit. I think we need to evaluate our likes and dislikes about this president. I have gotten to the belief that this president cannot do anything right among the people that dislike him and our Republican party. He is promoting business and trying hard to improve the economy that was thrown on his lap when he became president. We should give him credit instead being an obstacle. What is wrong in strengthening you bilateral relations with a country that is highly educated, industrialized and can be a huge trading partner. I think India need to be in the security council because they are a rising super power and have a say in the global issues. I will promise you that this presidents vision and hope for our country will shine again and will appreciate him for his courage. So for his political foes and for the people that do not believe in bilateral relations and do not have a clear understanding how the world functions I think they should study 101 politics. We are not alone in this world, the world is catching up with us so it is time we should evaluate our world vision. We are still the most powerful country in the world, but we should stay awake, open our eyes and see how the rest of the world is functioning. Travel comes with the package when you are president. You just do not sit at home and not watch the rest of the world pass us. We need to engage and we might learn from other countries.

    November 8, 2010 10:36 am at 10:36 am |