Swaraj meets Caribbean, Latin American ministers to push for UNSC reform

New York, Oct 1 (IANS) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met with two groups of Caribbean and Latin American foreign ministers Wednesday as part of India’s campaign to win support for Security Council reform.

At the meeting with the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the foreign ministers reiterated their support for the reform of the United Nations and in particular the expansion of the Security Council. They backed an early start to the negotiating process for reforms.

Swaraj expressed appreciation for the role played by Courtenay Rattray, the Jamaican ambassador to the UN who is heading the Intergovernmental Negotiations for the Security Council reform process. He managed to get the process that had been stalled for several year rolling again.

Capacity building and India’s offer to train young people in different fields was also discussed.

The ministers said there was great potential for trade between India and CARICOM to grow. The ministers welcomed India’s offer to hold trade promotion events early next year in the region.

CARICOM region has a special significance for India because of the large numbers of the Indian diaspora into those countries.

At the meeting with Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) foreign ministers, Security Council reform was discussed and they expressed support for the reform process.

It was decided to hold annual India-CELAC foreign ministers’ meetings, with the venue alternating between India and the region.

With trade between the 33-member CELAC and India reaching $46 million from just $2 million in 2000, they decided to work of expanding economic cooperation.

Meanwhile, the Pacific Island of Nauru’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull came out in support of India getting a permanent seat on a reformed Security Council. He was speaking at the General Assembly.

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