India, Japan, Germany and Brazil mount joint offensive to reform the UN Security Council


The foreign ministers from G4 countries at New York (Photo credit: @DrSJaishankar/Twitter)

India, Brazil, Germany and Japan have made a global appeal to urgently reform the UN Security Council (UNSC) for it to become more representative and legitimate for a multi-polar world witnessing new challenges.

The G4 nations--India, Brazil, Germany and Japan--have come together as a block where they support each other's candidature for permanent seats to the UNSC. India, Brazil and Japan also represent regions and populations which remain under-represented in having a global voice.

The four foreign ministers--Carlos Alberto Franco França of Brazil, Heiko Maas of Germany, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar of India and Motegi Toshimitsu of Japan--met on Wednesday during the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss the expansion of the UNSC.

After the meeting, Jaishankar said that India has “sent a clear message on the need for reformed multilateralism. Called for concrete outcomes in a fixed time frame.”

The four reiterated that it is “indispensable” to reform the UNSC by expanding permanent as well as non-permanent seats. This would empower the global body to better deal with the “ever-complex and evolving challenges” which confront the world, particularly new challenges that have arisen in the last few years.

This is an articulation that has been raised before the UN by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speeches in the last few years. India is now steadfast that the UNSC needs to shed its nearly-seven decade old thinking and work style by including new members.

A joint statement by the G4 ministers said: "The G4 Ministers expressed their strong determination to work towards launching text-based negotiations without further delay in the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN), on the basis of a single document, with a view to its adoption in the General Assembly".

The four countries, which are powerful in their regions, supported by strong economic and political heft, have instructed their delegations to the UN to support Abdulla Shahid--the President of the 76th UN General Assembly, and Ms Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani--the Chair of the IGN in taking the reform process forward.

The G4 nations meet annually on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. This year, they have, "decided to intensify dialogue with all interested Member States, including other reform-minded countries and groups, in order to seek concrete outcomes in a definite time-frame".  

The ministers welcomed UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' statement to provide support for a reformed UNSC in his report--Our Common Agenda--earlier this month.

India had joined the UNSC as a non-permanent member in January this year for two years till December 2022. It also served as the President of the Council in August this year.