In response to a question on whether India, Germany and Japan should become permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), U.S. President Joe Biden’s pick for U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said that discussions on the subject were underway. She noted that there were arguments for and opinions against these countries becoming permanent members.
“ There are some strong arguments for that but I also know that there are others who disagree within their regions that they should be the representative of their region. That too is an ongoing discussion,” she said during her Senate confirmation hearing.
Ms. Thomas-Greenfield was presumably referring to the opposition that the Uniting for Consensus (UFC) group – Pakistan, South Korea, Italy and Argentina- has to the G4 (Brazil, Germany, Japan and Italy) becoming permanent members. In addition, China opposes permanent membership for India and Japan.
The U.S. has for some years supported India’s permanent membership to the Council – with Barack Obama telling declaring his country’s support in his address to Parliament in 2010. In 2017, former U.S. President Donald Trump reaffirmed the U.S.’s support for the idea in a joint communique issued during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the White House.
“ Recognizing India’s growing role on the world stage, the Obama-Biden Administration formally declared U.S. support for India’s membership in a reformed and expanded United Nations Security Council,” Mr. Biden’s campaign website had said. India has just embarked on a two-year non-permanent term at the UNSC.
Ms. Thomas-Greenfield, a former ambassador, who is likely to be confirmed soon, was grilled by Senators on a speech she gave in 2019 at the Savannah State University, which was sponsored by the Confucius Institute, established by the Chinese government to promote Chinese culture and language abroad. She expressed regret at having given the talk and said she was surprised by the Institute’s predatory activities – which she discovered later – in high schools and elementary schools.
“We know that China is working across the U.N. system to drive an authoritarian agenda that stands in opposition to the values of the institution,” she had said.