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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

03 March 2006

United States Supports Larger U.N. Security Council

Secretary of State Rice says India meets criteria for membership

Washington – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the United States understands India's desire to be a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and supports a larger, more representative council.

"We understand India’s aspirations for a Security Council seat," Rice said, "and we support an enlarged, more representative Security Council … that looks like 2006 – not 1945."  The secretary of state's remarks came during an interview with Indian television March 3 while she accompanying President Bush on his trip to the regions.

She added that Security Council reform is not as high a priority for the United States as it is for other nations. She identified major U.S. priorities at the United Nations as management reform, creation of the Peace Building Commission, and replacement of the discredited Human Rights Commission with a new Human Rights Council.

Returning to the topic of the Security Council, Rice said the United States believes there should be Security Council reform, but that it must come within the overall context of the broader U.N. reform.

The United States publicly has specified criteria for Security Council reform, she said, adding that she believes many countries meet the criteria -- including India.

The transcript of Rice's with India’s Zee News is available on the State Department Web site.

For additional information on U.S. policy, see United States and U.N. Reform.

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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