Durban, March 27 (IANS) BRICS leaders Wednesday reiterated their commitment to the United Nations (UN) as the foremost multilateral forum, but China and Russia, the two permanent members of its Security Council, had a somewhat weak stand on the induction of India, Brazil and South Africa into the prized club.
In the eThekwini Declaration, after the Zulu name for Durban and issued at the end of the two-day BRICS Summit, the leaders said the UN enjoyed the status of a foremost forum to bring about hope, peace, order and sustainable development to the world.
But the declaration stopped short of demanding a seat for India, Brazil and South Africa.
"The UN enjoys universal membership and is at the centre of global governance and multilateralism," said the declaration after the Summit, where the Indian side was led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
"In this regard, we reaffirm the need for a comprehensive reform of the UN, including its Security Council, with a view to making it more representative, effective and efficient, so that it can be more responsive to global challenges," the declaration said.
"In this regard, China and Russia reiterate the importance they attach to the status of Brazil, India and South Africa in international affairs and support their aspiration to play a greater role in the UN," the declaration added, in what clearly was not a clear demand for Security Council membership.
The above two sentences also featured verbatim in the Delhi Declaration when India hosted the previous BRICS summit last year.
Ahead of the Summit, expectations were high that India could get China to be more explicit in endorsing New Delhi's demand for a permanent Security Council seat. In the past, Beijing has refrained from being so forthcoming -- a stand which now appears to have been maintained.
(Arvind Padmanabhan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)