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G-4 Countries Reiterates UNSC Reform

The G4 grouping comprising India, Japan, Germany and Brazil expressed their concern over lack of any “meaningful” forward movement on long-pending reform of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and demanded “urgency” on the issue.

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The Proceedings:

The foreign ministers of the G4 countries held a virtual meeting coinciding with the 75th session of the UN General Assembly during which they held extensive discussion on the need for urgent reform of the UNSC. A joint press statement said the ministers highlighted the urgency of reforming the UN and updating its main decision-making bodies, in order to better reflect contemporary realities.

What They Said:

“G4 Ministers expressed disappointment at attempts to derail this process and committed to addressing the issue in a meaningful way and with increased urgency at this 75th anniversary of the UN,” the statement released by the external affairs ministry said. The meeting was attended by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Arajo, Japan’s Motegi Toshimitsu and Minister of State at German Foreign Office Niels Annen.

Concern Expressed:

“G4 Ministers expressed their concern at the lack of any meaningful movement forward in the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council reform and expressed their concern that after two sessions in February and March the IGN was adjourned due to COVID-19 and no further meetings were held thereafter,” according to the statement. It said virtual meetings or a written process could have taken place to allow for progress to be made in the previous session.

Why It Is Needed:

‘There is a clear need for an enhanced role of developing countries and of major contributors to the United Nations to make the Council more legitimate, effective and representative,” the G4 said in the statement. “Africa needs to be represented in both the permanent and non-permanent categories of membership of a reformed and expanded Security Council to correct the historical injustice against this continent with regard to its under-representation,” it added. “What is needed is a representative UN Security Council to help us restore confidence in international cooperation and global governance urgent more than ever in these testing times,” the G4 said.

What Is G-4 All About:

  • Members : India, Brazil, Germany and Japan
  • All members support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council
  • Formed in 2004
  • Each of these four countries have figured among the elected non-permanent members of the council since the UN’s establishment.
  • Their economic and political influence has grown significantly in the last decades, reaching a scope comparable to the permanent members (P5)
  • G4 campaigns for U.N. Reforms, including more representation for developing countries, both in  the permanent and non-permanent categories, in the UNSC
  • France supports inclusion of G4 and an African representative as permanent member with no objection to the veto power being extended to new permanent members. UK supports G4 as new members but without veto power.
  • G4’s bids are often opposed by Uniting for Consensus movement or Coffee Club (ground 12 countries including Pakistan led by Italy) and particularly their economic competitors or political rivals.

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