General Assembly: Statement by Brazil, Germany, India and Japan (G4) on Security Council reform

Apr 1, 2014

"Mr. Chairman,

I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the G4 countries: Brazil, Germany, India and Japan.

It has become clear in the negotiations that a majority of Member States wants a true shift in the power structure and in the dynamics of the Security Council, which also remedies the underrepresentation  of the developing world.

This is why the G4 countries have from the start called for a reformed Security Council that adequately reflects the geopolitical realities of the 21st Century. This reform would be in line with Article 23 of the UN Charter, taking into consideration the contributions made by Member states to the maintenance of international peace and security and other purposes of the Organization, and also to equitable geographical distribution.

No doubt: the increased representation of developing countries in both categories of membership is key. This is particularly true for African countries, whose increased voice in the Council is long overdue, as the Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone has reminded us.

Last September, the G4 Ministers emphasized here in New York the importance to enhance dialogue and outreach to African countries, and they noted with appreciation the CARICOM initiative to reinvigorate the IGN process. 

The view is also reflected in our proposal, which is known to you all.

At the core, we call for new permanent members from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Western and Others Group. New non-permanent seats would be allocated to Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean. This would also ensure improvement in the participation of smaller countries in the Council.

In this connection, we would also encourage member states and regional groups to pay due consideration in the nomination and election process to adequate representation of small and medium-sized countries from all regions, in particular the small island developing states.

Mr. Chairman,

The G4 believes that the President of the General Assembly's non paper has provided us with a useful reference for the way forward by listing - in a concise and objective manner - all the possible options on the subject of regional representation. And if we look at the tables in the pages 2, 3 and 4 of the non paper, whatever the option taken out of the ones that have been presented so far in the discussions the future membership of the Security Council would not add to more than 27. In fact this would be placed between 21 and 27 members. We understand that the views that are being expressed from the floor today could be helpful to further narrow down the preferences of the membership on this cluster.

After addressing the topic of today’s discussion allow me to briefly touch upon two interesting submissions flowing from our previous round of discussion on 19 March.

First, we gladly noted that the Permanent Representative of Italy, on behalf of the Uniting for Consensus Group referred to [and I quote] “an overwhelming majority of member states” [end of quotation] that agreed on the need to reform the veto. In the same statement it was also argued that there was a [and I quote] “broad mainstream tendency in this Assembly” [end of quotation] that should convince the permanent members of the need for a veto reform.

Whether we agree with this assessment or not, it is interesting to note the acknowledgment that clear majorities exist on the reform issues at hand. Given the reservations we continue to hear from some quarters for bringing up the concept of majorities and minorities,  Italy's reference to a majority is a welcome admission. We would expect, of course, that this would be consistently applied to the other clusters.

We have seen time and again that there is an overwhelming majority or, if one prefers, a “broad mainstream tendency in this Assembly” for an expansion in both categories of membership, a point you, Mr. Chairman, identified in your letter of 25 July 2012.

But we also noted with interest that the UfC raised questions to the G4 position on the veto as creating or potentially creating a three class system: a category made of the current permanent members, a category made of new permanent members with a moratorium on the use of veto, in addition to non-permanent members. This would, so goes the argument, give the P5 even more power over the other members of the Council and drive or potentially drive a wedge between member states.

This is a curious statement coming from a group that has proposed a three-class Council in a very specific way, and  I refer members to model 1d, on page 3 of the non paper.

My conclusion is: we need your objective assessment on where the majority views of the membership are. You are in the unique position to provide this assessment. Let us see where these majority views are and build convergence around them through real give-and-take negotiations. This, Mr. Chairman, is the way we work here at the United Nations and we see no reason why a different template is to be followed on this subject.

The G4 remains committed to work with all reform-oriented member states on finally achieving concrete outcomes. And as the distinguished representative of the L69 Group - the Permanent Representative of Saint Lucia -reminded us, the year 2015 should be seen as a watershed. 

Thank you"


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General Assembly: Statement by Brazil, Germany, India and Japan (G4) on Security Council reform

UN Security Council (Archive)

Reform of the United Nations

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