G-4 for UNSC reform, enhanced role of developing countries

News:The foreign ministers of G-4 grouping held a meeting on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA).


About G-4:

  • The G4 nations comprises of Brazil, Germany, India, and Japan.
  • These four countries support each other’s bids for permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council.
  • Unlike the G7, where the common denominator is the economy and long-term political motives, the G4’s primary aim is the permanent member seats on the UN Security Council.

Highlights of the meeting:

  • The G-4 countries have decided to prepare for a fresh plan for reforms at the UNGA in 2020 when the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary.
  • The G-4 countries highlighted that there is a clear need for an enhanced role of developing countries and of major contributors to the United Nations to make the UNSC more legitimate, effective and representative.
  • The countries also put a focus on the role of the African continent in the Council.
  • The G-4 countries also said that the reforms-related decisions should be by a two-thirds majority in the UN General Assembly which was enshrined in the 1998 resolution of the UNGA. 
  • This is contrary to the position taken by China which has always said that the decisions should be taken through comprehensive consensus.

Additional information:

About United Nations Security Council(UNSC):

  • The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations.
  • The Security Council consists of fifteen members. Russia, the United Kingdom,France,China and the United States serve as the body’s five permanent members.
  • The Security Council also has 10 non-permanent members elected on a regional basis to serve two-year term.

Need of UNSC reform:

  • The UN represents a larger world but it has only 5 permanent members in an important body such as UN Security Council(UNSC).
  • The current composition of the UNSC represents the post World War II realities and thus is not in pace with the contemporary geopolitical realities of the world.

UNSC reforms:The demands for reform of the UNSC is based on five key issues which are:

  • categories of membership (permanent , non-permanent).
  • the question of the veto held by the five permanent members.
  • Council with a membership that includes regional powers 
  • the size of an enlarged UN Security Council and its working methods.
  • the relationship between the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly.