Brazil, Germany, Japan, India call for UN Security Council overhaul

The current format is claimed not to reflect 21-century needs

Published in 27/09/2018 - 16:10 By Agência Brasil - Brasília

In a joint statement made Wednesday (Sep. 26) at a meeting in New York, representatives from the G4 countries (Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan) reiterated their support for the expansion of the United Nations (UN) Security Council. Of the ten items listed, the chancellors from the four countries stressed that the council’s current model—with just five permanent members and ten non-permanent seats—is believed not to reflect the needs of the 21st century.

“The reform in the Security Council is essential to face today’s complex challenges. As aspiring new permanent members of a reformed Council, the ministers reiterated their commitment to work to strengthen the functioning of the UN and the global multilateral order as well as their support for each other's candidatures,” the statement reads.

In attendance were Foreign Ministers Aloysio Nunes Ferreira (Brazil), Sushma Swaraj (India), Heiko Maas (Germany), and Taro Kono (Japan). The statement also mentions “the need to safeguard the legitimacy and credibility of this UN organ which deals with international peace and security.”

The Security Council is formed by five permanent members with veto power: Russia, the UK, France, the US, and China. There are also ten non-permanent members, with no veto power, who change on a rotating basis.


The expansion of the council is a long-pending demand by Brazil. The discussion includes a number of disputes within the UN organ itself, and the countries holding permanent seats question the need for a reform by mentioning bilateral quarrels. The Chinese show resistance to the admission of the Japanese, whereas Americans would not appreciate the entry of the Germans. Last year, France and the UK supported the G4 nations’ request for expansion.

The UN Security Council is tasked with ensuring international peace and security. It is the only United Nations organ with decision power. In practice, this means that all UN member countries should accept and follow the decisions of the Council.

The issues addressed by the council range from deliberations on peace missions to probes into situations that could lead to international conflicts. The agency may also make recommendations on methods for dialogue between the countries, devise plans on the regulation of guns and the expansion of economic sanctions, and other measures aimed at preventing or stopping aggression.

It is in the hands of the permanent members to accept the admission of new UN members and recommend the General Assembly the election of a new secretary-general.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Davi Oliveira / Augusto Queiroz

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