G4 countries call for urgent measures for reform of the UN Security Council

Dr S Jaishankar

The G4 grouping comprising India, Japan, Germany and Brazil on Wednesday 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.

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.

“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.

“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.

The G4 countries reiterated their support for each other’s candidatures as aspiring new permanent members in a reformed UNSC.

“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.

At present, the UNSC comprises five permanent members and 10 non-permanent member countries which are elected for a two-year term by the General Assembly of the UN.

The five permanent members are Russia, the UK, China, France and the United States and these countries can veto any substantive resolution. There has been growing demand to increase the number of permanent members to reflect the contemporary global reality.

“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.

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